Graeme Souness has rarely held back in his criticism of Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and his latest comments suggest he will not be won over by the French World Cup winner any time soon.
As former Liverpool skipper Souness suggested in his appearance on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, he has become known as Pogba’s biggest critic and he didn’t hold back in his criticism of United’s club’s record signing after his mistake led to Chelsea’s first goal in Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Chelsea.
Pogba failed to track Antonio Rudiger as the Chelsea defender was given space in the box to head Chelsea into a lead, with Souness suggesting United manager Jose Mourinho must be close to running out of patience with his maverick star.
“I think they’ve run out of patience with him,” states Souness. “You cannot as a manager keep saying ‘this is what you need to do’.
“As (ex-Liverpool manager) Joe Fagan would say – the great Joe Fagan would say – ‘we’ll tell you once we’ll tell you twice and if you don’t get it you won’t be here very long’ and it was as brutal as that.
“This boy has been blessed with the most wonderful athleticism, he’s six foot four, I’m sure he can leap like a stag and run like the wind. You’d think this was tailor made for him.
“You don’t have to be six foot four to prevent someone from getting a clear header at your goal. Someone my size could prevent Rudiger getting that header if you really wanted to.”
Souness went on to suggest Pogba could be a great player if he used all his attributes in the right manner, but he appears to be convinced that will never happen.
“I’m seen as his biggest critic but his manager is not happy with him,” he added. “I’ve been a manager and I’m saying to myself, like Jose will be saying to himself, ‘what a player this boy could be if you would just listen and learn’.
“He’s got fabulous technique, he’s got fabulous athleticism, but for me he just doesn’t do the basics right. There is a player there, but he doesn’t make the most of his attributes.
“He should be turning up everyday listening to the manager, listening to the senior players and wanting to improve. I’m not sure if that is the case but I’ll come back to it, this boy could be a top, top player.
“Even at 25 you never stop learning in this game. If this boy believes that he is the real deal at 25 then he won’t get any better.”