Manchester United were victorious in the EFL Cup final on Sunday, but it didn’t stop some fans from feeling annoyed at some of the United players.
In all honesty, Southampton were probably the better team, or at least, their players performed better. A team of United’s calibre would wipe Southampton aside with relative ease if they performed to their potential, but they didn’t. One player who underperformed in particular was world record signing Paul Pogba. Southampton’s Oriol Romeu was the standout midfield performer.
There was no such criticism for Zlatan Ibrahimovic though. The match winner, who cost United nothing, helped them win another important game. He has definitely been a more important and more productive player in comparison to Pogba this season, although the Frenchman is obviously a lot younger and has a lot more time to try and repay his transfer fee.
United didn’t have the hardest run to the League Cup final to say the least, and although they were tested in the final, they were somewhat fortunate to win the game in 90 minutes. Mourinho will have ambitions to finish inside the top four and win the FA Cup and Europa League – to do that the team will need to play better than they did against Southampton and the fans will hope to see Pogba emerge as a more effective player in the big games like these. When you pay that much money for a player, I don’t think it is unreasonable to ask for them to make the difference in the games that matter.
Here’s some of the reaction to Pogba’s performance vs. Southampton
We were so shit ??? pogba was pure shit. Genuinely feel bad for southampton
— wade wilson (@damian_heaney) February 26, 2017
Pogba was absolutely terrible.
— Toby Freestone (@Tfreestone_) February 26, 2017
No one likes to admit it, but Pogba has been woeful today. So poor at defending set-pieces and has failed to take control. Not good enough.
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) February 26, 2017
Pogba was honestly terrible today. His vision was as bad as Stevie Wonder's…
— ? Ben ? (@CPFC_BW) February 26, 2017
In my opinion, Pogba has played fairly well this season and has been one of the clubs better players. He hasn’t stood out as much as you would like or perhaps expect from a player that cost so much. You may expect Messi or Ronaldo effects on the team, but let’s remember he is a midfielder and he is a young midfielder, who will surely only improve season on season.
He does need to improve in the big games. People criticise the likes of Mesut Ozil for failing to make a difference in the big games, but Pogba cost more than twice as much and should be criticised and held accountable just as much as Ozil, if not more.
Luckily for Pogba, United got away with his poor performance but against a team of greater quality, I doubt they will be as lucky. Time to step up.