- Footage has surfaced of Paul Pogba giving an impassioned speech to France players
- The Man United star has been accused of lack of leadership at Old Trafford
- Roy Keane has been an outspoken critic, saying the midfielder does not take responsibility
- But Pogba shows enthusiasm in Nations League final by demanding ‘aggression’
Paul Pogba has shown he has what it takes to be a leader for Manchester United, after footage surfaced of the midfielder giving an encouraging speech to propel France to glory in the Nations League final.
Les Blaes lifted the trophy after a 2-1 win over Spain, in which Didier Deschamps’ men came late on Sunday night thanks to goals from Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe.
But with scores leveling 0-0 at half-time, United’s £89m star Pogba demanded more from his teammates, with a clip from the dressing room showing him digging into the team for his lack of aggression .
France midfielder Paul Pogba was seen giving a half-time speech to the France stars
Man United midfielder urges team to be more aggressive in Nations League final
‘We have to be aggressive!’ He says in a video that surfaced on social media.
‘It starts from the front and goes to the back. We win the ball back and we attack! And yes, we are going to run a lot because they have quality players, but so do we.
We have to handle the ball and hurt them. We have to be aggressive in the second half.
The strategy to hold on to the ball in particular did not go as planned as the Spaniard’s possession with 64 percent was dominated, and Luis Enrique’s side took the lead in the 64th minute of the game through Mikel Oyarzabal to dent France. Made it Expect more silverware to land.
But the team adhered to its gameplan to be aggressive – the 2018 World Cup winners reported 14 fouls throughout the game and earned three yellow cards after the break, including one from Pogba shortly after the game resumed.
His words proved crucial as France came from behind to beat Spain to lift the trophy
Pogba celebrates with teammate Leo Dubois at the final whistle after a super performance
It helped trouble Spain as Benzema equalized with less than half an hour to go after Mbappe’s assist – with the PSG star then the winner in ten minutes from time to ensure glory for France. Won.
Pogba’s speech proved integral to his success as French players lifted the Nations League for the first time. It was a brilliant individual performance from the former Juventus player as he was trapped and helped him keep possession when Les Blais won the ball back.
After the game he lamented France’s slow start in the game, but was happy with how his team had bounced back despite early dominance from Spain.
“We didn’t get off to a good start, we were in dominance and were waiting for the first goal to react,” he said.
Pogba held at Les Blaes for failure to react after going behind Spain opener
He caught up against the Spaniards and helped him keep the ball after winning it back.
‘We know we have to do better. But if that’s the way for us to win, then so be it. It’s always good to win a trophy. We are always hungry for them.
Pogba’s five years with United has been highly scrutinized – particularly by pundits – with club legend Roy Keane often a harsh critic.
Keane has questioned his performance this season – he claims he will not feature in Man City, Chelsea or Liverpool’s starting line-up – and has previously criticized Pogba’s leadership qualities at Old Trafford.
Ahead of France’s Euro 2020 campaign this summer, Keane said Pogba often stepped up and took responsibility for his country, but asked why he didn’t do the same for Manchester United.
Pogba has been criticized by pundit Roy Keane (L) for his leadership skills at Old Trafford.
‘Listen we keep talking about Paul Pogba. There is no doubt that he is a talented boy. I still want more of him, especially when he is playing for Manchester United.
“I think when he is with United, he probably doesn’t take responsibility, maybe there’s too much responsibility or maybe there aren’t enough players around him to take that responsibility,” the Irishman said.
‘I know that with France he is sharing this kind of responsibility with other players around. Maybe in Manchester (he) is too isolated and maybe that’s why he’s feeling more pressure.
‘Obviously there is a difference between the Pogba we know with France and the one we know at United.’
Pogba has personally enjoyed a great start to the season with United – already picking up seven assists, including four in a 5-1 loss to Leeds United.
He has been guilty of somewhat sub-par performances, however, with United losing momentum of late after two draws and losing to Aston Villa in the period.