Solskjær says expectations for Pogba cannot be unrealistic
‘we know that we can’t get Roy Keane, Verón, Scholes, Giggs and Cantona in one player’
United’s Paul Pogba: “He gives his absolute everything for the club every week.” Photograph: EPA/Peter Powell
The Manchester United manager has high expectations of the Frenchman, but believes it is unrealistic to think the midfielder can be a composite of the best attributes of that quartet, with whom the Norwegian played with for the club.
“He expects a lot from himself as well,” Solskjær said. “We expect a lot from him, but we know that we can’t get Roy Keane, Verón, Scholes, Giggs and Cantona in one player. It’s hard. He’s a top, top player.
“We do expect a lot from our players, and we have high hopes this season. Hopefully we can be consistent and challenge when we come to April and May, and Paul plays a big part in that.”
“We can all see Paul was disappointed when he missed the penalty. He doesn’t deserve this [criticism]. When you sign for Man United you become a Manc. Once a Manc, always a Manc.
“He gives his absolute everything for the club every week. He’s got so many qualities. We’re seeing different qualities from Paul this year compared to last season, and he’s a leader in the group. I expect the fans to be behind him.”
He also expects Pogba to take another spot-kick. “I’m sure you’re going to see Paul Pogba score a pen for United again.”
After the penalty miss Pogba was the target of racial abuse on social media, and Solskjær indicated the issue was a societal problem. He said if he were playing now he would not be on Twitter. “But I do read social media – I need to read sometimes what you lot [journalists] are writing and sometimes you just have to turn a blind eye to it.
“You don’t have to read it. When I spoke to Paul I didn’t get the feeling that he struggled with it. He’d not been sat down reading a lot. Some, and I think Paul is one of them, get stronger from criticism. I enjoyed criticism but when it gets personal and when it gets to race then it’s a different thing.”
Solskjær does think it can be of use. “There are so many good things on Twitter, the coaching sites, the analysis sites and discussions on football. I had been out of football after [managing] Cardiff and it was a good way to keep me updated.”