Paul Pogba’s form for Manchester United this season has been a source of concern for many, including the fans, who have called for his replacement.
The French midfielder had arguably his worst game in a United shirt when we faced Arsenal about two weeks ago, conceding a penalty with a schoolboy foul in the process, to hand the visiting Gunners the victory.
But over the past week, when Pogba has been on international duty with the France national team, he has seemed a different player, proving crucial in their wins over Portugal and Sweden.
It’s raised concerns over the player’s form, and why he tends to thrive more while playing for the Les Bleus, but only two years ago, United’s former coach, José Mourinho, brilliantly put it all into perspective.
Speaking to ESPN then, just after Pogba had helped his country win the world cup, Mourinho said, “The World Cup is the perfect habitat for a player like him to give his best.
“It is closed for a month, he can only think about football, he is completely isolated from the external world.
“During the regular season you can have a big match, then a smaller match, and you can lose your focus.
“In the World Cup the matches are always getting more important and it feeds the motivation and the concentration of the player.”
The Portuguese added, “Players (like him) really feel the extra commitment with the people, with the country, that extra responsibility.
“From an emotional point of view it even makes them, sometimes, overcommitted. I think it’s a perfect environment for a player like him to fully focus on the job.”
It’s hard to tell where the problem lies with Pogba, to be honest, but clearly, it is up to Solskjaer to find a way to bring out the best in his man.