Sunday 22 July 2018

'He is never where he should be' - Graeme Souness offers scathing assessment of Paul Pogba after Man United defeat

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 11: Paul Pogba of Manchester United is challenged by Jonjo Shelvey of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St. James Park on February 11, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 11: Paul Pogba of Manchester United is challenged by Jonjo Shelvey of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St. James Park on February 11, 2018 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Graeme Souness has accused Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba of having a lack of understanding of the game, after his latest performance led to him being substituted once again in a 1-0 win for Newcastle.

Pogba appeared to pick up an injury in the warm-up at St James’ Park, but his manager Jose Mourinho insisted the Frenchman had no injury problem as he proceeded to turn in another lacklustre display,

Now Souness has echoed the views of Eamon Dunphy after suggesting Pogba still has so much to learn despite his vast experience and £89m price-tag.

"He has super individual ability, there is much to admire about his technique when he is on the ball and his general athleticism, but if I am playing today I want to play against him because he is never where he should be when I am in possession," Souness said on Sky Sports.

"The criticism I have is that he doesn't understand the role when not in possession. I don't see any changes in his play from the day he arrived to now. With all his attributes he should be a bigger goal threat."

Souness also suggested Pogba is not being played in the right position, as he continues to struggle in a deep midfield role.

"First of all, I don’t see him as a central midfield player," he added.

"He’s got exceptional talent, wonderful athleticism and ability. Where my criticism comes is that he doesn’t understand the game as a central midfield player, he’s an off-the-cuff kind of player.

"If I were managing him I’d let him off the lead, play him on the left of a midfield three and in areas where he could break forward and do damage, but when Manchester United don’t have the ball he doesn’t fully understand the game as a midfield player."

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