‘You don’t want to give anyone an excuse’ - Solskjaer applauds Pogba’s social media restraint

Comments()
Getty Images
The caretaker manager has no doubt of his star man's efforts, but thinks it is good that the midfielder has taken steps to shield himself from critics

Paul Pogba’s apparent decrease in social media use has pleased caretaker Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, as it means the midfielder has opened himself less to criticism.  

The midfielder has been criticised by media in the past for a variety of off-the-field issues, including his social media use, as a sign he is not serious enough about the game. 

It is a situation that has become less of an issue in recent weeks as United have not lost in the league since Jose Mourinho was sacked, with Pogba leading the Red Devils resurgence. 

Pogba has scored nine goals and added six assists under Solskjaer and ahead of the club’s match against Liverpool, Solskjaer is happy to see Pogba and his team-mates not opening themselves up for criticism by appearing to not focus on the upcoming contest. 

"Paul has always been a larger-than-life character. He has a fantastic family, but you don't do yourself any favours," Solskjaer told media. 

"You don't want to give anyone an excuse really so, of course, you don't go to the Brit awards this week. 

"We know leading up to the other game against Liverpool there were stories about players not being focused. It is not about that. We know they are focused, we know they are doing their best, but he does help himself by toning it down a bit and that is just Paul being Paul.” 

Paul Pogba Manchester United 2018-19

Pogba did not feature in that first Liverpool match, which was a 3-1 defeat at Anfield that saw Mourinho sacked following the contest. 

Not getting off the bench was the culmination of the midfielder finding himself on the outside looking in on Mourinho’s final lineups in the Premier League, but Solskjaer suggested there may have been other reasons for him featuring less. 

"Knowing him he wants to win, he wants to be the best,” Solksjaer said. “You would be surprised by the number of minutes he's played. Apart from David [de Gea] and maybe Nemanja [Matic] he has played the most minutes for us in the league. 

“There was a perception that Jose left him out all the time. Maybe he does not have the energy to do it. Who knows?" 

Pogba has also been slammed in the past for focus on his appearance, with the accusations again coming down that he does not put the same effort into his football. 

But Solskjaer takes a different stance on the matter, believing those things make Pogba happy, which in turn makes him more productive. 

"He is a leader in training, he is a leader in the dressing room," Solskjaer said. 

Article continues below

"Players are allowed to be themselves. He spends a lot of energy being a leader on and off the pitch. If you want the nice car, different haircut. 

"I can't do anything about my grey hair, but it is not a problem that have whatever haircut you want. It has never been a problem with Paul. 

“I remember when he was 16 he wanted to feel good. If you feel good you will play well." 

Close