Football | 1 week ago
Unbelievable Paul Pogba stat shows the stingy margins between him being lauded as world class
...and the grief he's taken so far this season

Paul Pogba is a good player.

They don't lock you up for statements like that.

The Manchester United midfielder - yes, midfielder - has turned a bit of a corner in the eyes of certain media outlets of late but, in actual fact, he's been pretty damn good for most of the season.

Paul Pogba's only problem is that you don't generally pay in excess of £80m quid for pretty damn good. The only times it has been done before, that sort of moolah was thrown about for Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale - for returns that are more obvious. Returns that can be broken down more easily into numbers.

But Paul Pogba is a midfielder.

He's not a scorer of 50 goals a season but what he has brought to United this season has been pure class.

In every single game without fail, the Frenchman does something that opens up the match. He can take a player on, he can dink a pass up and down as if he had deliberately ricocheted the ball off some sort of ceiling and he can spin on a shoestring. Everything he does drips with effortless beauty and having that sort of player in the middle third causes a mechanical advantage and disadvantage - that imbalance is how anyone scores goals. You find a mismatch - Pogba finds it.

During Zlatan Ibrahimovic's relative barren spell, he missed big chances laid on a silver platter for him by his team mate. They were actually mashed and heated for the Swede and served with a glass of wine as well but he refused to gobble them up. Had he done so, United under Mourinho would've revolutionised a lot sooner and so too would the perception of Paul Pogba.

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But his own record has never been as a goalscorer. Price tags shouldn't change that.

His stats have been grand but, even at Juventus, they weren't unbelievable. Not his scoring stats anyway.

2012/13 - 37 games, 5 goals.

2013/14 - 51 games, 9 goals.

2014/15 - 41 games, 10 goals.

2015/16 - 49 games, 10 goals.

His record this season is already similar to his last in Italy. He has struck the net 6 times in 27 appearance for Manchester United in the 2016/17 campaign but here's the worst of it all:

He's actually hit the woodwork more times than he's scored.

Paul Pogba has hit the woodwork 7 times for Manchester United this season.

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Seven times.

Had he scored just one more of those, he'd already have a better goal to game ratio than he did in his last season at Juventus. Tuesday night was no different. Another game, another inside of the post cracked from the midfielder.

Seven times now, Pogba has watched his efforts deflect off the woodwork as goalkeepers watched on helplessly.

Who Pogba hit the woodwork against (result)

  • Watford (Lost 3-1)
  • Stoke (Drew 1-1)
  • City (Won 1-0)
  • Spurs (Won 1-0)
  • Sundeland (Won 3-1)
  • Middelsbrough (Won 2-1)
  • Hull (Won 2-0)

They still won five of them. And he's still being praised now anyway. He could already have 13 goals for United this season - but these are the inches.

He'll be alright though. Because Paul Pogba is a good player.

Catch up with this week's episode of Football Friday Live which includes a bumper Manchester United v Liverpool preview

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Manchester United, Paul Pogba, Hull City