Mourinho refuses to criticise Pogba after Newcastle defeat

Manchester United’s record signing Paul Pogba has come in for some heavy criticism over recent weeks, after poor performances in his sides last two away games.

The France international struggled in the Red Devil’s defeats against Spurs and Newcastle. His display’s have been slammed by former Liverpool midfielder and Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness recently, with the Scot claiming the 24-year-old resembles ”a schoolboy running after the ball in the playground.”

Pogba looked laboured during Sunday’s game at St.James Park and most observers believed it was due to an injury he picked up during the warm up. He was then badly at fault in the build up to Newcastle’s winning goal, when he failed to challenge Florian Lejeune for a header from a free kick.

However, after the game his manager Jose Mourinho revealed that Pogba’s substitution was a tactical one and not due to injury, when 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,” he told Sky Sports.

“I was trying that with the simplicity of Michael Carrick because he tries to make everything simple and bring Alexis close to an area to Lukaku where he could be like a second striker to try to win the game.”

But the Portuguese coach also refused to criticise his star player for his below par display, and when quizzed about Souness’ comments he replied:

“I will not talk about individual players.”

Many feel that Pogba’s lack of tactical discipline is not suited to playing a midfield two, and that his attacking instincts would be better suited to playing on the left of a midfield three, as he did during his successful spell with Juventus.