Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has responded to Patrice Evra’s claims that Paul Pogba is harshly treated by some of the club’s former players working as pundits.
Pogba has often been a bit of a divisive figure in his time at Old Trafford, having arrived with the reputation of being a world class player during his time at Juventus.
In fairness, we’ve never quite seen that form from the France international in his time in the Premier League, and it’s led to some criticism of the player from some high-profile figures in the media.
Evra thinks the criticism can go a bit too far sometimes, saying in a fan Q&A, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News: “I think some of the old legends can sometimes go in too personal on him, which I don’t like. He’s a great guy.”
Chadwick feels, however, that it’s only natural for a talent like Pogba to attract attention when he’s not at his best, as that’s part of the territory when you’re one of the top talents and biggest names in world football.
“I think players like Pogba come under the microscope a bit more because they are world, world class players,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside.
Paul Pogba hasn’t always been Mr Popular at Manchester United
“If you’re the big name in the team and you’re not performing, you’re going to be picked up on it more than some of the lesser players. If you’re a Cristiano Ronaldo, a Lionel Messi or a Neymar, it’s more noticeable when they’re not playing well because they’re top players.
“So I think it comes with the territory a bit, when you’re Paul Pogba and you’ve excelled at World Cups, won the World Cup, when you’re not performing at those levels it does get picked up on. Obviously every player wants to be loved and praised, but it’s a case of earning it and it’s up to you to perform at the highest level to receive that praise.
“I know I’ve watched games when he’s played incredibly well and the pundits on the television have given him the praise he deserves. When he doesn’t play well he can get a bit more criticism, but he’s one of the top players, and it’s more noticeable when one of the top players hasn’t played well.
“I don’t think it helps that Pogba’s agent comes out and says things, it looks bad for the player, but that’s his representation and that’s the way it goes.
“When Pogba’s at his very best he’s right up there with the very best in the team, but his consistency hasn’t been what you’d expect.”
It has sometimes seemed like some of the criticism aimed Pogba’s way goes a bit far and can be overly personal, with Graeme Souness well known for seeming to have a bit of an agenda when it comes to discussing the former Juventus man.
Chadwick feels that’s just the nature of punditry in order to make for good viewing, but he also made it clear he didn’t think footballers should be judged for what they get up to off the pitch.
“There was obviously a bit of a spat with Graeme Souness, but I think it’s … when you’re a pundit on the TV, you need to have a strong opinion because that’s what keeps you there. It makes news, and that’s what the media’s all about,” Chadwick said.
“I think footballers should be judged for what they do on the pitch. I don’t think there’s been too much of that off-the-field stuff, apart from stuff from his agent. But obviously footballers should be judged for their football, not for their haircuts or what they wear.”
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