Graeme Souness Urged France To Bench Paul Pogba At The World Cup Because "You Can't Trust Him"
Well this hasn't aged well. Earlier this week, Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness urged France to bench Paul Pogba for their then-upcoming World Cup games because "you can't trust him."
Five days later, the Manchester United midfielder has produced a performance of the highest quality against top class opposition. When the stakes were extremely high, Pogba produced the goods - something that many have criticised the 25-year-old for lacking in recent months.
"There are question marks about France." Souness wrote in the Sunday Times. "Like Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, Didier Deschamps struggles to find a system that gets the best out of Paul Pogba."
If you're feeling bad for Croatia just try to imagine how Graeme Souness if feeling right now. Months and months of Pogba criticism just to finish the season by watching him lift the biggest prize in football with a goal in the final and a fantastic individual campaign overall.- Patrick Timmons (@PatrickTimmons1) July 15, 2018
Souness went on to speak about how Deschamps should have drawn a line under his inclusion in the squad and went on to state how he could have been used as an impact substitution:
"He should draw a line under that. You can't trust him as a central midfielder and, ultimately, that's how Deschamps will see it. He could use Pogba as an impact substitute."
"If you're 1-0 up, you're not bringing him on to close the game down. If you're chasing the game, he might do something, but still doesn't understand the midfield role properly."
Some great advice from Graeme Souness once more. Spot on again. It's not like Pogba was a major part of France's success or scored in the World Cup final. Not at all. pic.twitter.com/da5W0O3ryL- Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) July 15, 2018
Souness has long been a critic of Pogba's ability. Earlier this year he insisted that the French midfielder was a 'country mile from being a great player.'
"Paul Pogba is capable of great things, but a country mile from being a great player," he wrote.in The Times.
"(Pogba) still doesn't understand what is required to play that position properly. Pogba simply cannot be one of two in central midfield. You cannot rely on him. Against the lesser teams you'll get away with it, but against the better teams you're not going to. He plays like a schoolboy running after the ball in the playground."
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Jose Mourinho even responded to the comments, saying: "You ask Graeme Souness. Paul (Graeme) Souness comments and is responsible for his comments, not me," he said.
"I wanted a better way to come out in the first phase against a team that was defending in a very compact block.
"I was trying that with the simplicity of Michael Carrick because he tries to make everything simple and bring Alexis [Sanchez] close to an area to [Romelu] Lukaku where he could be like a second striker to try to win the game," Mourinho added.
He certainly proved his critics wrong on Sunday night, didn't he.
Thoughts on Souness' opinions on Pogba?
Let us know in the comments.
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