Paul Pogba is a player who gets a raw deal from the media. The incessant baiting from Graeme Souness is just the tip of the iceberg.
Being the record signing for Manchester United, criticism comes with the territory. But what is frustrating is that all the positives Pogba brings to the table are often ignored.
That’s why comments from teammate Luke Shaw about the Frenchman deserve attention.
Shaw was asked in a fan led Q&A via the club website, which teammate had helped him develop as a player the most since he joined United in 2014.
The left-back said that Paul Pogba had been the biggest positive influence on him, and described the way the midfielder has encouraged him to succeed.
He praised the impact Zlatan Ibrahimovic made during his one full season at United, before adding: “Another one I’d say is Pogba. He’s always been good with me. He’s always telling me to believe in myself, telling me that he believes in me, so he’s one that I’d say always pushes me in training.
“He’s always said positive things to me that have driven me on, so I’d have to say Paul is a big influence.”
This is the Paul Pogba the world does not get to see. The Pogba away from the television cameras.
The way the media carry on about Pogba, you would think he is a disruptive wild canon like Mario Balotelli.
Instead all he shares with the Italian is a penchant for eye-catching haircuts.
Pogba is a total professional, who has the backing of his teammates.
The media have tried to drive a wedge between Pogba and United over the past year, and at times fan frustration has played into this.
The one constant, has been the backing for Pogba from manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the United players.
If Pogba was ‘persona non-grata’ and not welcome at United, we would know by now. The coaches and players would not be making references to the Frenchman if they had given up on him.
Just last week coach Kieran McKenna said United have been preparing tactically for Pogba’s return.
Clearly the club haven’t given up on the supremely talented midfielder, and Shaw’s comments show he is held in high esteem by his teammates.
This will help him slot straight back in if the season resumes. Premier League be warned.
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