Paul Pogba far from ‘world class’, says former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen

Former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen has criticised Paul Pogba’s work ethic following a disappointing display by the midfielder against Arsenal at the weekend.

Pogba gave away a penalty – which was converted by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – as United suffered a 1-0 home defeat by the Gunners on Sunday, and Meulensteen, an assistant coach to Sir Alex Ferguson between 2007 and 2013 and youth coach for the Red Devils before that, was far from impressed by the France international’s showing.

“You can have all the talent in the world, but it’s about hard work, and it’s hard work that brings that quality to the surface,” Meulensteen told Stadium Astro.

“For me, he hasn’t worked hard enough. I can see it all the time: It’s too slow, it’s laboured and there is no urgency about it, and other teams can capitalise on it.

“He is a very talented player. Everyone keeps talking about him: ‘He’s world class, he’s world class.’ I would never use ‘world class’ so easily, because I know players past and present and they deserve the accolade of being world class. In my opinion, Paul doesn’t deserve that in any shape or form, because I don’t think he’s lived up to expectations.

“I don’t think we expect too much of him, because of the player he has been and the trophies he has won. We need to expect even more from him, but that only comes from working hard. 

“That then rubs off on other players – not working hard does as well, because they start to question those performances.”

World Cup winner Pogba will hope for the opportunity to prove his quality at Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League on Wednesday, though his performance against Arsenal could well see the 27-year-old drop to the bench once again. 

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