Paul Pogba: Why Mourinho needs to protect the megastar

Paul Pogba has slowly but surely been finding his stride since returning to the Premier League in the summer.

The France international has like a fine tooth comb graced the Manchester United midfield with novelty and charm, creating multiple attacking frets with Zlatan Ibrahimovic leading the firing line.

But if the analogy that football is a game of numbers is anything to go by, then we might as well affirm that Marouane Fellaini is greater than Andres Iniesta since he has a superior goal-to-game ratio than the World Cup winner.

For Pogba though, it was a stark, unadorned display during the 1-1 draw with Liverpool- which can only mean more work for manager Jose Mourinho.

 

Price tag

Manchester United shocked the world when they completed the record breaking £89m signing of Pogba from Serie A side Juventus.

The price seemed all the more absurd considering his departure from the club on a free transfer just four years earlier.

Nonetheless, with his every display comes a thorough scrutiny of his monumental price tag, more so from rival fans.

At some point in the game against Liverpool, the price tag must have crossed his mind given his below par performance.

Mourinho needs to occasionally remind the midfielder to overcome the psychological barrier of the price tag and just do it!

 

Press coverage

His return at Old Trafford was met with jubilation and crazed fanfare, but the media frenzy around Pogba just won’t go away.

Before Sunday’s epic encounter, he became the first footballer to have his own emoji on Twitter, not to mention have his own hash tag which has transformed Pogba into a brand.

I however felt a massive letdown when the Pogba’s hash tag went round the advertising hoardings during the match.

That drew too much unwarranted attention which only elevated the pressure to perform: and perform he did not.

As much as Pogba is now a brand, Mourinho – having managed Cristiano Ronaldo- should help keep the Frenchman in check.

 

Still young

For all the media coverage, captivating displays and of course bizarre haircuts, it’s easy to forget that Paul Pogba is only 23.

Not many players his age are able to command such massive following, and Mourinho should provide the much needed reassurance to manage the pressure and protect Pogba from both the media and himself.

 

Written by Brian Humphrey

Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum

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