Former Ireland international Gary Breen and journalist Johnny Ward discussed Paul Pogba's desire to leave Manchester United on OTB Football Saturday.
Pogba has made it clear recently that he is hoping to move to Real Madrid and his performances of late have caused many to question his long-term commitment to United.
Pogba, who missed a number of games after testing positive for the coronavirus at the end of August, has not come back in firing form for the Red Devils.
Ward and Breen think that Pogba is not being realistic with his ambitions of playing for Madrid after his recent performances.
“How do you come out [with that] after the performances that he’s produced so far this season?” Ward said.
“I thought he was very, very poor against Brighton and then to come out with this sort of nonsense.”
Ward questioned United’s signings and transfer strategy, but insisted that Pogba should not be in the team anymore.
“Pogba has to go for me,” Ward said.
“I just thought he is in very poor form to say that in the context of Man United and where they are at at the moment.
“[Ole Gunnar] Solskjær just doesn’t seem to have that mental fortitude or that whiff of autocracy to inculcate fear in his players when Pogba is behaving like that.”
Rooney and Ronaldo would never
It has happened before where a headline star wanted to leave Manchester United, however Breen suggested that Pogba’s actions have been damning.
“You hear about him courting Real Madrid,” Breen said.
“Do you remember when for example Wayne Rooney questioned Manchester United and [Sir Alex] Fergusson was, bang, he was on him straight away.
“He said, ‘don’t you ever do that again’.”
He compared Pogba’s desire to play for Real Madrid with that of Cristiano Ronaldo and the manner in which he handled it.
“Also Ronaldo, because we all knew, it wasn’t a secret, that Ronaldo… had a dream of playing for Real Madrid since he was a kid,” Breen said.
“Manchester United were aware of that, but he had done it with such respect, Ronaldo, that he made it known but he never kept coming out with it.
“Certainly his performances week in and week out suggested that he was firing on all cylinders for Manchester United.
“Yes, one day he wanted to play for Real Madrid, but he is taking care of business now.”
Breen agreed with Ward in that Pogba’s current form and string of performances have shown little to no desire to play for Manchester at all.
“You think about those performances of Pogba for Manchester United, and there is even a statement from Real Madrid saying that it is not something they are interested in at the moment,” Breen said.
“I don’t know whether they are saying that to make sure that the price goes down on him, but he has to be careful.
“If you want to make moves from Manchester United, who are struggling by their usual standard, and you want to go to Real Madrid, you have to be performing better than this.”
Not up to professional standards
Pogba’s attitude on and off the pitch in this regard has led Ward to question his professionalism.
“It is so disappointing as a professional,” Ward said.
“One thing with Roy Keane, he would not abide by this nonsense.
“You are paid by a club, you are paid to play for the club, you are paid very well, all your whims are [catered for], you are a pampered professional.
“To be just turning it on and off as he has done, and just literally not shown up in games so often, for me that’s an indictment of his character.
“I just can’t see why he is still there, once he has that in him to basically just not give a damn at times.”