Paul Pogba has been told to cut out the tricks and flicks and just keep things simple to improve his performances at Manchester United.
Former England manager Sam Allardyce has told talkSPORT the French midfielder has not improved in the three years since re-joining the club from Juventus.
Meanwhile, Dean Saunders believes Pogba tries too hard to ‘make us clap’ and should instead focus on getting the simple things right to start bringing consistency to his game.
While few can doubt the World Cup winner’s talent and ability, the consistency of his displays and influence on the pitch have been questioned throughout his second stint at Old Trafford.
Pogba’s showing in Sunday’s 4-0 win opening weekend win over Chelsea was a great example – two moments of class from him led to two of United’s goals, including a sublime long-range through ball into two-goal hero Marcus Rashford.
However, there were also times throughout the match where he was sloppy in possession and frustrated his manager and fans.
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And the 26-year-old has been urged to focus on excelling at the simple things during a game and start learning when it’s right to let his creative flair take over.
Allardyce, who was on co-commentary duties for talkSPORT at Old Trafford, said on Sunday Exclusive: “How much has he learned since he’s been at Manchester United?
“Unfortunately for me he hasn’t improved his game.
“We’ve seen the best from him sometimes when he’s playing behind the front two, like at Man City away when he scored two goals. For me that looks like the position best for him, best suited to the tricks and the abilities he wants to pull off.
“Doing in central midfield in a two, it just doesn’t work for Man United and it doesn’t work for him.
“When Pogba plays the ball simply he looks very effective, but when he tries to do drag backs and step overs he’s lost the ball every time.
“He needs to cut it out in the position he’s playing in.
“If he was playing in behind the frontman, then I could understand it a little bit more, but he was causing Man United more problems than he was causing Chelsea on the ball.”
This verdict is shared by Dean Saunders, who says the Frenchman needs to stop pretending he’s Johan Cruyff.
Speaking on Monday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, the former Liverpool and Wales striker said Pogba cannot be considered one of the world’s best players until he simplifies and brings more balance to his game.
He said: “For me, the best players in the world do the simple things well most of the time
“The great players in the world, they still do the same thing but occasionally they make you clap.
“Pogba tries to make you clap every time he gets the ball, for me.
“He’s trying Cruyff turns, trying difficult passes, they’re no doubt he can do it, but there’s got to be times where you should just play one touch, two touch and keep moving the ball across the pitch.”
“The best players do the simple things well most of the time.”
“Pogba tries to make you clap every time he gets the ball.” 👏
“Sometimes you just need to keep the ball moving.” 🤦♂️
Dean Saunders gives his verdict on Pogba’s performance vs Chelsea.
What do you make of this? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/Zm8wTDsZsb
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) August 12, 2019