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Former Manchester United coach defends struggling Paul Pogba, says he’s been ‘weighed down’

The Paul Pogba acquisition has been an absolute nightmare for Manchester United, as the club paid an £89 million ($115 million) transfer fee in 2016 to bring back the player that once departed in 2012,

Pogba has never lived up to expectations, buying time with excuses such as having to learn new systems under new managers, which is fair, but at some point, the player needs to step up and become who the team paid them to be. Otherwise, they’re subject to be held accountable for their poor play.

And that’s what’s happened with Pogba, who has been drawing a lot of criticism for underperforming over the past year or two.

But one of his former coaches has come to his defense.

Manchester United former goalkeeping coach Emilio Alvarez blames the role the team has put the team in, saying he’s been “weighed down by the responsibility” bestowed on him by the club.

“I don’t know but I do know that he is a footballer with all the talent to play at any club in the world,” Alvarez said, in speaking to AS. 

He continued:

“Physically he is incredibly gifted. Where he has problems is the area of the demands that come with being a star signing. At United, he was weighed down by the responsibility and the pressure of being a multi-million euro signing. He was anxious to show his level.

“I stayed with him after training and did extra work. I can tell you that he has incredible dexterity, talent and is incredible athletically. His success depends on his head.”

We’re not buying this. Inheriting additional responsibilities comes along with the territory of making superstar money, and Pogba simply has not lived up to expectations.