Graeme Souness’ Constant Criticism Of Paul Pogba Is An Embarrassment And Must Stop
If you watch football regularly, you’ll know Paul Pogba.
You’ll know that he’s one of the most talented players in the world, you’ll know about his haircuts, style and personality, and you’ll know that Graeme Souness has a serious obsession with criticising him.
Ever since the Frenchman returned to the Premier League in a world record move from Juventus, there’s been an angry Scotsman ready to launch a scathing attack whenever he puts a foot wrong.
Last night, Pogba turned in a fantastic performance as Manchester United made a winning start to their Champions League campaign, scoring twice and laying on an assist for Anthony Martial, as United beat Young Boys 3-0.
It’s undeniable that the World Cup winner was close to his best, dominating the midfield and ensuring United got off to a winning start in Europe.
But Souness was not impressed, using his position on Virgin Media Sport to launch his latest tirade against the 25-year-old.
If he wants to become a star, someone that can run games and someone people talk about like a proper player, he has to show consistency and leadership. He has the armband now and he has got to change his attitude – to football. I bet he is a really nice guy but I wonder if he treats football as a bit of a joke. I wonder if he trains properly every day, that is a stab at the dark at something that could improve
A bit of a joke? Really Graeme? I’m sure Jose Mourinho didn’t mind Pogba’s attitude as his captain carved open the Swiss champions and slammed the opening goal into the top corner in Bern.
It’s the last line that tells the story here though. “That is a stab in the dark” spouts Souness, underlining everything that’s wrong with his countless number of personal attacks on Pogba in the last 18 months.
Souness has absolutely no idea what the United number six does on a daily basis. No idea how hard he trains, how he impacts his team mates or his relationship with his manager. So why all the personal attacks?
It’s nothing new, as you’ll know if you’ve ever had the misfortune of catching some of the former Blackburn manager’s punditry on Sky Sports at a weekend, or read some of his work in the Sunday Times.
Here’s what he wrote earlier this month:
Pogba plays for himself, it’s all about how cool he looks, showing us how clever he is.
I reckon Pogba’s only in the team to maintain his transfer value until United can sell him, because he doesn’t merit his place for any other reason.
Perhaps we’re now seeing the selfish player Fergie didn’t fancy first time round?
The funny thing about this ongoing attack is that it’s become a running joke to everyone that isn’t Graeme Souness. Recently, after United had beat Burnley 2-0 at Turf Moor, he was in the studio to give his ‘expert’ analysis.
Instead of focusing on the visitors win, or even Marcus Rashford’s red card for clashing with Phil Bardsley, the former European Cup winning captain went straight for Pogba, who had a penalty saved by Joe Hart in the second half.
As soon as he was given airtime by host David Jones, Souness launched another attack on his favourite victim, centred around an incident that happened over two weeks previous. As soon as the 65-year-old mentioned Pogba’s name, Craig Bellamy almost burst out laughing, such as the inevitability over the latest jibe.
Jones himself even made a joke after the outburst, saying “Good job they won today, wasn’t it?”, to which the studio erupted into laughter, but left Souness looking absolutely furious.
Check out the awkwardness:
Fortunately, you can bet that Pogba won’t be deterred by the criticism, having endured plenty throughout his career, especially from the English press who waited with their pitchforks set when he returned to Old Trafford from Turin in 2016.
And, seeing as he’s too young to remember Graeme Souness the footballer, when he googles Souness’ managerial career and sees the time he stuck a giant Galatasaray flag in the middle of Fenerbahce’s pitch, he’ll realise that the man who loves to hammer him is no stranger to unnecessarily winding people up.
The best thing to do now is ignore him, like a weird cousin at a family gathering, and hope he takes his unsubstantiated opinions with him into retirement.