Wednesday 12 December 2018

Roy Keane with some straight-talking advice for Paul Pogba and he questions Lukaku and Sanchez

Paul Pogba and (inset) Roy Keane
Paul Pogba and (inset) Roy Keane
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane has urged the club’s record signing Paul Pogba to abandon his celebrity lifestyle and turn his focus back onto football.

Keane has echoed Eamon Dunphy’s sentiments by suggesting the France international may have allowed his focus to drift on to his off-field activities, as he passed judgement on Pogba's latest performance for United in their 0-0 Champions League draw against Sevilla.

Pogba was left on the bench by United boss Jose Mourinho for the game in Spain after the midfielder claimed he was too sick to start last Saturday’s FA Cup clash at Huddersfield, with Keane offering some straight talking advice for the £89m midfielder and his team-mates Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez.

“Pogba is a really good player. He’s under lots of pressure at the moment, lots of speculation about him, but you’d still have Pogba in your starting eleven,” Keane told ITV Sport.

“I look at Pogba off the field and he seems to have a big personality whether it be social media, the cars he drives, his haircut….he needs to bring all that on to the football pitch.

“But Man United’s problems are not just with Pogba. Lukaku has to do better, Sanchez has to do better, even though he is new to the club. They also need to reinvest in some defenders, so you can’t keep pointing the finger at Pogba, but of course the lad has to do better.

“Talk is cheap. Man United is one of the biggest clubs on the planet and they have to do better and certain players have to up their game.

“Lukaku, for example. If he wants to become one of the great strikers at Man United and you get chances like he did (against Sevilla) you have to score in these tight games.

Jose Mourinho, Manager of Manchester United speaks to Paul Pogba during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Sevilla FC and Manchester United at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan

Keane also defended United's uninspiring display in Spain, as he suggested Mourinho is still trying to repair the damage done to the club by David Moyes and Louis van Gaal as they in the years since the retirement of Alex Ferguson.

“In an ideal world, obviously, you are hoping to get a goal away from home,” he added. “Performance wasn’t great, but 0-0 you take it and you expect United to beat Sevilla at home.

“I still look at United and they still look as if they are getting used to each other, all playing as individuals. They are still lacking something.

“There is a responsibility when you are playing for a big club like United to have a style over the years, but there was big damage done to United over the last few eyars going back to the change of manager when Alex Ferguson left and it’s almost as if they are taking baby steps.

“They won a couple of trophies last season, if they get through this (tie against Sevilla), they have a good FA Cup draw, they are taking small steps.

“They are short of two or three players so their short term targets at the moment are just getting through these ties without necessarily playing fantastically well.

“If you are a player in that dressing room tonight and going back on the plane, you say we didn’t play well tonight, but job done and you fancy them to get through at Old Trafford.”

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