Paul Pogba’s recent performances have left a lot to be desired and all have one thing in common: He’s trying to do too much.
When Pogba first emerged under Antonio Conte, his extravagant play and jaw-dropping goals stole all the headlines. He was compared to just about every great midfielder to have played the game. Despite his imposing physique and impressive technique, there’s still one major drawback to the young Frenchman’s game and it has been popping up a lot recently. When in possession, Pogba will often opt for an extra move or two instead of doing the simple things right. In recent games and today especially, this has taken away a lot from the player’s efficiency as a midfielder. It’s now time for Pogba to forget the headlines and the eurogols and start playing like he could.
Standing at 6’2 and 180 lbs, Pogba is capable of overpowering most midfielders in the world. Factor in his incredible technique and you may have one of the most complete players in football on his day. Key word. On his day. Pogba, however, doesn’t always make the most of his physique and overdoes it. At the moment, he’s getting dispossessed 2.6 times per game in the league. Today against Atalanta, the stats show that he gave away the ball twice. For a midfielder with Ballon D’Or aspirations and potential, this is quite frankly too much.
While it would be foolish to shackle the 22-year-old’s creative genius, it’s time Massimiliano Allegri sits down and has a chat with him. With players like Claudio Marchisio and Sami Khedira alongside him, Pogba has two of the league’s most complete players. As a result, the burden of responsibility to do something in the final third isn’t as big as he is making it out to seem right now.
In addition, we cannot forget a certain Paulo Dybala. The former Palermo man has been dropping deeper than usual recently and drives the team’s attacks forward. With Dybala acting in this free-roam role, he often attracts a number of markers taking away some of the attention off Pogba. Not to mention that in Allegri’s hybrid 4-4-2/4-3-3 formation that he often goes with, the former Manchester United man is able to take up dangerous positions out wide which gives him more space to attack.
Moving forward, Pogba, simply put, has to understand his role in the team. Right now, there seems to be some confusion in this regard. When taking into consideration Pogba’s stature and technical ability, you quickly realize that he is capable of dominating most midfielders in the league. Unfortunately for him and Juventus, this isn’t happening on a consistent basis at the moment. It is for this reason that I say the following: Forget about the 100 million euro price tags and comparisons and simplify your game one pass and one play at a time starting with the next game against Sassuolo.