Jose Mourinho wants Paul Pogba to forget his price tag and focus on his football at his second spell at the club. Pogba has played every minute in the four games he has featured in so far this season (without any pre-season, which should be noted), and he is yet to record a goal or an assist, therefore the pitchforks are out for him already. Naturally, this sort of pressure comes hand-in-hand with holding the feat of being the most expensive footballer on the planet. Although Mourinho may still be tweaking his system to maximise Pogba’s powers, the manager feels it will only be a matter of time before the Frenchman shows his class. He told the official Manchester United website:
“You make a relation between what you pay and the club revenue, and realise that other clubs paying 20, 30, 40 [million pounds] is a much bigger thing than what Man United did, I just want Paul to forget that and to play his football. [Having had] no pre-season, he had a very good impact in the first game and it’s normal that, after that, he has a little decrease.
“But I’m full of trust in him because I know the player he is; I know he’s a very good guy with a lot of ambition, so the form will come naturally. As the team improves, form improves.”
Much has been made out of where Pogba’s best position would be for United. He has played in a defensive midfield pairing with Marouane Fellaini in the Premier League and in the Europa League on Thursday night, he played in a midfield three with Ander Herrera and Morgan Schneiderlin, allowing Pogba to have more positional freedom. Mourinho believes he is capable of being disciplined in midfield but also has the ability to roam and play a more ‘free-ranging’ role. The manager said;
“It depends on the situation. In the Premier League, we are playing with Wayne Rooney as a no.10 and [against Feyenoord] we played [Ander] Herrera in front of the back four with [Morgan] Schneiderlin and gave Paul more freedom to occupy spaces. It’s not a problem with his position – he feels comfortable.”
If you had a £89 million price tag on your head, I’m sure it would play on your mind slightly. Whenever I’ve watched Pogba this season, he’s looked lively. However, at times it does look like he’s trying too hard to impress the keyboard warriors on Twitter who immediately slate him as the most overrated player ever when he doesn’t score a hat-trick every game, fly to the moon and bring about world peace. The point I’m making is that he’s human, and naturally, it will take time for him to settle into the team. Of course, there are people who want to see him fail; he’s a Manchester United player. But as the manager has said, he needs to forget about the price tag and focus on his football.
There’s no doubting the quality the Frenchman possesses, and part of me thinks that’s the reason why rival fans are loving his slow start- they know what he’s capable of. Being the most expensive footballer in the world has probably brought pressure that Pogba has never considered before, but he’s on record as saying he wants to win the Ballon d’Or one day, so he puts pressure on himself to perform. The most important thing for him to do is ignore what the media are saying and focus on what’s happening on the pitch, and let his football do the talking.