Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 16th 2017 Contents A44 sports
guardian.co.tt Thursday, March 16, 2017
LONDON---As the world's most expensive player,
Paul Pogba can't escape the limelight.
Especially not when Manchester United flashes
promotional adverts for his Twitter emoji on pitch-
side advertising and a fluorescent yellow "P'' is dyed
into the side of his head.
But the midfielder's influence on the field will al-
ways be measured against his price tag: 105 million
euros (then $116 million).
Jose Mourinho, though, is ordering the critics to lay
off Pogba and dismissing their right to say anything
remotely negative about the France international.
Jealousy is the only reason anyone would question
Pogba, according to Mourinho.
"I feel that the world is losing values and we all
know that," Mourinho said yesterday. "Envy is coming
into certain levels that I am scared with, especially
with the next generation if things go in this direction.
"It's not Paul's fault that he gets 10 times the money
that some very good players did in the past. It's not
his fault that some of the pundits are in real trouble
with their lives and they need every coin to survive
and Paul is a multimillionaire. It's not his fault. I think
he deserves respect."
It was a disproportionate response to a journalist's
question about Pogba's impact on a team that is sixth
in the Premier League. But it came from a manager
renowned for his ability to deflect the focus from his
team's struggles with outlandish statements.
When United played Chelsea in the FA Cup on Mon-
day night, only one French midfielder shone through
and he was wearing blue. In the summer transfer win-
dow, N'Golo Kante cost Chelsea around 30 million
pounds (then $40 million)---a fee that is looking like a
bargain compared with Pogba's world-record signing.
Kante scored the goal that sent Chelsea into the FA
Cup semifinals after Pogba failed to close down his
compatriot. And the statistics from Opta highlighted
Pogba's peripheral role at Stamford Bridge. While the
diminutive Kante produced 70 passes, Pogba only
managed 27. Pogba also only achieved a 27 percent
success rate in duels while Kante's doggedness saw
79 percent of duels won.
And while Kante is set to win back-to-back Pre-
mier League titles after being a key component in
Leicester's astonishing success last season, Pogba
will have to settle with second-tier successes. United
has already won the League Cup and only remains in
contention for the Europa League, with a Round of
16 game against FC Rostov locked at 1-1 heading into
Thursday's second leg.
In the Premier League, where Pogba has only
clocked up three assists and four goals in 25 games,
United is 17 points behind Chelsea.
Mourinho is clear: Don't blame Pogba.
"I'm very happy with Paul, the club is very happy
with Paul," the Portuguese coach said. "A good thing
is that because of his personality he doesn't give an
(expletive) to what people say."
There are few players who go through a bitter di-
vorce with a club like United and return four years
The academy graduate left when his contract ex-
pired after falling out with then-manager Alex Fer-
guson with only seven appearances as a substitute
to his name. Pogba flourished in Italy with Juventus
and Mourinho was determined to open his reign by
bringing one of the game's brightest talents back to
"(He is) a kid that came to Manchester as a teenager,
that fought for his career here, that was not afraid
to move and go to another country and to look for
better conditions for him," Mourinho said. "A kid that
reached the top of the world with his work. Nobody
gave him anything." (AP)
United's Paul Pogba, left,
reacts as Chelsea players
celebrate after scoring
the opening goal during
the English FA Cup
match at Stamford
Bridge stadium in
Technical Sales Support Manager
Our Company is recruiting for a dynamic individual to accept the role of Technical Sales Support Manager to
• High degree of personal impact
The Human Resource Department
P.O. Box 25 San Fernando.
Apply online at www.caribbeanjobs.com
Job reference ID: 15032017TSS
Applicants are also required to submit a copy of the application to:
50-54 Duke Street
Port of Spain
Links Archive March 15th 2017 March 17th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page