Roy Keane laid into Paul Pogba before Manchester United’s defeat by Arsenal – and the Old Trafford hero was ultimately proven right.
Pogba has faced criticism for his performances this season, with the French World Cup winner finding himself on the fringes of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first-team squad.
But the former Juventus star was given the chance to impress on Sunday when Solskjaer handed him a start in the Premier League showdown with the Gunners.
Before the game, Keane questioned Pogba’s ability, accusing him of lacking “spirit” and “fight” while also claiming he doesn’t do enough to warrant being a regular first-team player.
“Pogba’s performances over the last few years for United to me haven’t been good enough. It’s as simple as that,” he told Sky Sports.
“We talk about energy but you need more than energy in midfield for Man United. You need creativity. You need lads with a bit of character and heart.
“And Pogba hasn’t done enough, I think it was Bill Shankly who said years ago, ‘sometimes with players they turn up and you don’t know what you’re going to get’. Pogba is like that. That is no good to you if you want to win league titles.
“For all Pogba’s talent, he should be in the team, but he doesn’t do enough. He doesn’t do the other side of the game.
“He doesn’t show enough spirit, enough fight. He has talent but that’s not enough to play in midfield for Manchester United. You need a bit more than that.”
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And, ultimately, those three predictions were correct as Pogba endured a nightmare afternoon at Old Trafford.
The midfielder was forced to apologise for the “stupid mistake” that cost Manchester United and helped Arsenal end their 29-match winless Premier League run away to big-six sides.
Solskjaer’s 100th match at the wheel ended in a disappointing defeat at Old Trafford, where the Red Devils started a top-flight league season with four winless matches for the first time since 1972-73.
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal punished United, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s spot-kick sealing a 1-0 win on Sunday.
It was the Gunners’ first league win at Old Trafford since 2006, gifted to them by Pogba’s needless penalty-box challenge on Hector Bellerin.
“We know it’s a poor performance,” the midfielder told the BBC. “Myself, I cannot give a foul away like this.
“I thought I would touch the ball but I didn’t. (I) cost us the goal today with the penalty. Like I say, details. We have to do better, the team, myself, it starts with me.
“I felt like I touched him a bit, I knew I was in the box, I shouldn’t have given a penalty away like that.
“Maybe I was a bit out of breath, it made me do this stupid mistake. I will learn from that, I’m not the best defensively in the box, I can work on that.”