Zlatan leaps to Pogba's defence as Dunphy savages Man Utd

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Ibrahimovic hits out at Pogba's critics
Ibrahimovic hits out at Pogba's critics

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has launched a passionate defence of his new Manchester United team-mate Paul Pogba, after he came under fire for his display in Saturday’s defeat against Manchester City at Old Trafford.

Pogba’s world record £89m price tag was always likely to scrutinised if he failed to produce match winning displays from day one at United, yet Ibrahimovic believes those who have sniped at him in the last couple of days will regret their comments.

“All the jealous people who talk about him will swallow all of the words they have said about him,” Ibrahimovic told SFR Sport.

“Now, you have to be realistic, people are putting a lot of pressure on Paul. His transfer created a huge amount of buzz. He will only improve and will get everyone behind him.”

Ibrahimovic went onto issue a typically bullish claim about his relationship with Pogba, as he suggested the French midfielder is keen to tap in to his experience.

“My relationship with Paul is easy: I speak, he listens. Paul is a player with a lot of talent,” he added.

“I didn’t know Paul before and, now that I do, I can tell you he’s someone who works enormously. He really wants to improve and he has a super attitude. But you mustn’t forget he’s young. That’s all I can say.”

Meanwhile, RTE pundit Eamon Dunphy offered up a typically brutal assessment of Pogba, Ibrahimovic and their United manager Jose Mourinho, as he spoke to 2FM’s Game On show.

“Pogba... if you paid £50m you’d think ‘Wow, we’ve made a move here’ but for £100m. He’s nothing,” suggested Dunphy.

“He just doesn’t have a position you can play him in. He’s never done it and I think the harsh assessment of that is that Alex Ferguson was right to let him go because he saw, what I think I have always seen... this guy doesn’t have a game.

“There’s no way you can play him, he does nothing well enough. He doesn’t have a football brain and takes up the wrong positions all the time. I don’t see anything in him and I think he’s going to be a spectacular failure.”

He went on to offer this damning verdict on United’s manager and his star striker Ibrahimovic: “Mourinho may have lost the plot permanently. He bought this guy Ibrahimovic who scored a goal Saturday when the new wonderful goalkeeper dropped the ball at his feet.

“Ibrahimovic won’t be in the team at Christmas. Not in the big games. He might knock over little teams like he’s been doing but he’s not a big game player.

“He looked overweight and tired after 20 minutes. So did Pogba, he didn’t look fit.

"Neither did Wayne Rooney who ended the game with his socks around his ankles which is always a bad sign. He is a shadow of the player he was.

“And this new defender Bailly looks like he’s a headbanger.”

Good to see Eamon has not lost his appetite to get to the point after all these years analysing the game!