Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has defended Paul Pogba after the midfielder claimed he was out of breath for his penalty error in our defeat to Arsenal on Sunday.
According to Solskjaer, the lack of fitness in the squad due to a lack of preseason is to be blamed.
The Frenchman gave away a penalty for a foul on Hector Bellerin in the second half, and Gunners captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang converted the penalty to secure a 1-0 victory for Mikel Arteta’s side at Old Trafford.
After conceding the penalty that condemned us to our third defeat of the season aginst the Gunners, Pogba took responsibility for his error, but blamed fatigue for his foul on Bellerin: “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 because I was running just before and it made me do this stupid mistake.”
When asked what he thought of Pogba’s excuse, Solskjaer replied: “Any situation you’re a fit lad and Paul knows that exact incident he could have dealt with better and he’s held his hand up.
“But that’s how it is in a game of football. It’s high tempo and intensity. As I’ve said, the fitter you are the more you can do. And that goes for every footballer around the world.”
Asked whether he believes Pogba can fulfil his potential at United, Solskjaer replied: “Every player is frustrated with himself and disappointed after a defeat. We need consistency from every one of our players, that’s what we want.
“Paul’s been going through a difficult period with an injury last season and Covid now, he’s working up to fitness. I think we’ve seen plenty of positives lately so hopefully that can continue.”