Sunday 19 May 2019

'You don't have to be captain to speak' - Paul Pogba gives a hint that the armband is not important to him

Manchester United's Paul Pogba (L) shakes hands with Jose Mourinho after being substituted
Manchester United's Paul Pogba (L) shakes hands with Jose Mourinho after being substituted
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Paul Pogba may have been removed from his role as Manchester United vice-captain by manager Jose Mourinho last month, but he has now hinted that he does not not need an armband to be a vocal figure in a dressing room.

Mourinho's public confirmation that he had erased Pogba from his list of vice-captains highlighted the discord between the United boss and his club record signing, but the midfielder has now offered up what will be viewed as his first public comments on leadership.

While he has been told by United not to speak to the UK media for the foreseeable future, the midfielder has spoken to the French media while he was away on international duty and was asked whether he had an ambition to lead the France team.

"I've never played in the France team to be captain, being here is already a big thing for me," he stated. "You don't have to be captain in order to speak, a leader is not someone who has the armband.

"As a leader you can talk on the pitch but I've seen leaders who didn't necessarily talk."

Pogba has made no references to United in his media comments this week, but a former France World Cup winner has suggested he has been a little too vocal in his public comments this season.

Meanwhile, former Arsenal winger Robert Pires won the World Cup with France back in 1998 and he suggests Pogba needs to be more cautious when speaking to journalists.

"For Paul Pogba, the best is to say nothing," declared Pires. "He's a great player. If Man United paid a lot of money for him, it's because he's a good player.

"His relation with the manager may not be so good but he's a professional. It's very important for him to be focussed on Man United, on the pitch. Now say nothing, play football and walk out. That's my advice for Paul Pogba."

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