Manchester United star Paul Pogba has hit back at criticisms of his style and application in an interview with France Football. The Frenchman, who has been repeatedly criticised during 2018 for a myriad of issues, small and large, is currently with his national side preparing for this summer’s World Cup in Russia after a disappointing end to the 2017/18 campaign with his club; United finished 19 points behind Premier League champions Manchester City and lost 1-0 to Chelsea in May’s FA Cup final.
But after regular criticism of his style, effort and even his choice of hair colour, the former Juventus midfielder has spoken out. “Nobody can tell me how to play,” said Pogba in quotes carried by the Independent via France Football. “I’ve always been like that. When I’ve won, I’ve won being like that. That’s my style of play. You’re not going to criticise a [Lionel] Messi when he walks on the pitch. He puts three goals in and you will say ‘ah but he is walking on the pitch?’ No.
“You cannot tell me how to play. Nobody can tell me how to play. If I’m here today, it’s like I am. Nobody told me how to be. It’s my football, that’s all. Whether people like it or not.
This is the defiance that you’d want to hear from a player that was the target of an unfair amount of ire in the second half of last season, and after struggling to make his mark for United after the turn of the year, Pogba will surely be looking to impress on the world stage. A positive World Cup experience in a side that has also flattered to deceive over the last few years should do him a lot of good before United reconvene for what will surely be a huge season, with Jose Mourinho’s side needing to challenge for the Premier League after City’s runaway success.