| 17.1°C Dublin

bold claim If Pogba performed like that every week, he'd be as big a Man United legend as Eric Cantona

French ace’s stunning display against Leeds makes his lazy days grate all the more

Close

Paul Pogba (left) gets the better of Luke Ayling of Leeds United at Old Trafford

Paul Pogba (left) gets the better of Luke Ayling of Leeds United at Old Trafford

Paul Pogba (left) gets the better of Luke Ayling of Leeds United at Old Trafford

If Paul Pogba could perform consistently at the level he produced against Leeds yesterday, he would be as big a legend as Eric Cantona at Old Trafford.

His display in United’s sensational 5-1 opening day win against Leeds was world class with a capital W, as he confirmed once again what a wonderful talent he is.

Pogba served up four assists, could have scored himself and produced a midfield performance as complete as you will see all season.

That’s what Pogba can do and it makes the days when he looks uninterested and gives the ball away for fun more frustrating.

Part of me wonders whether Paul plays like the genius he can be when his agent is in his ear, saying there might be a big-money move on the horizon.

With just one year left on his contract, that has to be possible before this month is out.

Close

Mason Greenwood celebrates his club’s second goal.

Mason Greenwood celebrates his club’s second goal.

Mason Greenwood celebrates his club’s second goal.

Yet I can’t get my head around idea of a footballer turning his talent on and off like a tap.

In my eyes, there is no bigger club in the world than Manchester United, he is getting paid huge wages and the fans who support this great club have a right to expect each player who is given the privilege of wearing that shirt to perform at their very best in every game.

Yet roll the clock forward to mid-November when the transfer window is closed and United have a game against Watford and you wonder whether that focus and appetite will still be there from Pogba.

We have seen him produce performances like this before for United, but then a few weeks later, he loses focus and lets the fans and his manager down.

Paul needs to appreciate what he has got at United and if his agent is saying he can go ­elsewhere now or next summer, he should tell him he’s happy at a great club and in what could be a great team because that was a hell of a start for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side yesterday.

You could see from the off that they were up for the challenge against a Leeds side that came to Old Trafford with the intention of having a go and trying to win the game.

When Luke Ayling produced his wonderful 48th-minute equaliser, United had some questions to answer in a season when they need to mount a push for the Premier League title.

Well, they came up with all the right answers in a sensational display that saw Bruno Fernandes confirm his class with three brilliant goals.

Close

Luke Ayling celebrates his goal with Stuart Dallas.

Luke Ayling celebrates his goal with Stuart Dallas.

Luke Ayling celebrates his goal with Stuart Dallas.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Scott McTominay was fantastic in midfield, Mason Greenwood took his goal so well and when I looked at the bench, it reminded me a little of the other Manchester team who have been doing so well of late.

Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial came on for United in the second half, with Raphael Varane waiting in the wings to come into the side after his move from Real Madrid was confirmed yesterday.

It is a great array of talent and as a result, Solskjaer is under pressure to deliver as United manager this season.

Yet this was just the start he needed and now the expectations will explode as United have set their standards at a high level right from day one.

Honestly, I would still suggest it is too early to start talking about United as title contenders as they still have plenty of hard questions to answer in the defensive third.

I’m a big fan of Harry Maguire and he offers so much to the team as a leader, but I still worry about teams with nippy forwards running at him and exposing his lack of pace.

We also need to see whether this new United team can consistently beat the lower ranked sides in the Premier League, as that has become a bit of a problem for them in recent years.

Solksjaer’s side have done well against Man City and Liverpool of late, but then they slip up against teams in the bottom half of the table and you just can’t do that if you want to be title contenders.

What will help them this season is the return of fans because Old Trafford is an incredible stage to perform on when those United fans are in full voice.

I watched Brentford’s game against Arsenal on Friday night and it was just wonderful to see people back in the stands and the same was true in Manchester yesterday.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Top Videos





Privacy