Former Manchester United fan favourite Patrice Evra has spoken out in defence of fellow Frenchman Paul Pogba, and asked for critics to start focussing more on his game. The left back, who now plies in the Premier League with West Ham United is aware of the media storm that seems to follow the player around, and addressed it this weekend during his work as a World Cup pundit.
“I ask people to stop hating my PauI,” Evra told ITV in quotes carried by FourFourTwo. “I know he is doing his hair but let’s talk about football.
“I would like to know if Messi or Ronaldo or Neymar scored the goal would they take it away from them? That is just my point of view.”
“The problem with Paul is that his image is getting bigger than his football. Even when the game starts people are already angry and already criticising him – about his hair, about his style, about his fashion. We never talk about his football, we talk about a lot of other things.
“The expectations with Paul are too high – maybe that’s the problem. When you see his statistics from when he played at Juventus and now for Manchester United, they are better at United.”
Evra knows all about Pogba, of course; the former Monaco left back spent time with him at Juventus and for the national side, and Pogba affectionately refers to the man as ‘Uncle Pat’.
Whilst this very public backing certainly needs to be taken in context, due to their friendship, Evra isn’t wrong with his assessment. Pogba’s image has dwarfed his performances to an extent, but it’s up to the player to turn that around. United fans are fully behind him, but the £89m man needs to start delivering more consistently for his club in order to silence his critics.