'Irritating beyond belief': Garth Crooks reluctantly praises Man United midfielder Paul Pogba
BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks praises Paul Pogba despite holding reservations about the Man United midfielder
Garth Crooks has praised Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for sticking with Paul Pogba after Manchester United’s 3-1 win against West Ham United at the London Stadium on Saturday night.
The France international produced a subdued performance for the opening 60 minutes at the London Stadium after Tomas Soucek broke the deadlock in the first half in the English capital.
The introduction of Bruno Fernandes and Juan Mata at half-time transformed Manchester United’s performance as Solskjaer’s side looked to find a route back into the Premier League clash.
Pogba levelled for the visitors after Fernandes teed up the club-record signing to finish past West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski before Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford sealed three points.
The World Cup winner has struggled to produce his best form in the 2020-21 Premier League campaign, while Fernandes has cast a shadow over the 27-year-old.
While the BBC Sport pundit admitted that he finds the Manchester United number eight extremely irritating, Crooks begrudgingly praised Pogba for his goal.
“I felt somewhat compelled to put Paul Pogba in my team of the week on the basis that if I had left him out readers would have said that I have a problem with him,” Crooks told BBC Sport.
“Well, that’s because I do. The France international is irritating beyond belief. For an hour his performance was awful and then, out of nothing, he produces the most wonderful finish.
“I would have brought him and Greenwood off at half-time. Which rather explains why I’m not the manager of Manchester United.
“After a dismal first half, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer showed calmness and courage when it seemed all around him were in a mild state of panic. Solskjaer certainly believes in this group of players.”
The Manchester United midfielder has scored two goals and has made two assists in 13 games in all competitions in the current campaign.
Pogba secured a return to Manchester United in an £89m deal from Serie A giants Juventus in the 2016 summer transfer window.
The French midfielder has only managed to win the Europa League and the League Cup since his return to Manchester United.
Manchester United will host Manchester City in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Saturday.