In Manchester United’s 2-0 victory against Chelsea, Paul Pogba put on a show. Displaying why he is the world’s most valuable midfielder, the Frenchman delivered an assist to Ander Herrera and even bagged a goal of his own.
In a match that more closely resembled a Lion tormenting a baby gazelle, Pogba was the brain behind United’s ferocious potency.
Pogba’s current problem, however, lies in his struggle for respect from much of the football community. This uncertain situation has deep roots in Mourinho’s criticism of the player that characterized their two and a half years together. With Mourinho refusing to cater to Pogba’s abilities and Pogba refusing to cower to his manager, the two characters sowed the seeds of United’s inevitable collapse.
After Mourinho’s sacking, however, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer decided to let Pogba off of his leash. In the short period since Solksjaer’s appointment, Pogba has been the best player in the league. In 12 games under the Norwegian, Pogba has scored 9 goals and notched 6 assists. It has not just been his offensive game that has improved, however, as his tackles and interceptions (per 90 minutes) are up from 1.07 and 0.56 to 1.86 and 0.68.
His current form comes as a refreshing reminder of all that the French midfielder has achieved. At the age of 25, Pogba has won 4 Italian Championships, the Europa League, and the World Cup. Not bad.
Yesterday, Pogba showcased his own TED Talk on why he is so damn good.
First, Pogba delivered a perfectly weighted ball across Chelsea’s box and onto the head of Ander Herrera. Pogba’s vision, which identified Herrera’s run, along with his ability to form such a pass marks his caliber as a top player.
In the second goal, Pogba conducted the move’s inception and finished it off with a header inside the box. The video below shows him dishing the ball forwards to Marcus Rashford before charging deep into Chelsea’s territory, muscling in front of Azpilicueta, and hammering the ball past Kepa.
Both of these goals were manufactured by different elements in Pogba’s toolbox. His vision, awareness, and technicality are unparalleled among midfielders in the modern game. If he continues at his current pace under OGS, there is no limit to what this 25-year-old Frenchman can achieve.