Graeme Sourness

Hoof The Ball

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Souness, in 1984

“There is tremendous enthusiasm for football, as there is on Merseyside, but it expresses itself differently. When I first arrived to sign for Sampdoria there were crowds cheering me in the streets.

“People stop me in the street and wish me good luck. Nothing is too much trouble and we have encountered nothing but the most wonderfully friendliness.

“In Liverpool our fans were wonderful, but in the city as a whole there always seemed to be an underlying bitterness. I experienced it in other cities, too, but it seemed worse in Liverpool than anywhere else.”

“Perhaps it was because some people are jealous of the money successful footballers can earn, when so many of them are out of work.

“During the last year or so I hated getting out of my car in Liverpool for fear of someone shouting abuse at me.

“I hardly ever went to watch Everton play, but that last time I did, a youth stood next to me and spent the entire match mouthing obscenities. It was bad enough for me when I was by myself, but imagine how you feel if you have your wife and kids with you.

“The Liverpool club were fantastic to me and we had some wonderful times. They are a great club and will go on being great. But just ask yourself, where would you want to live and bring up your children if you were given the choice – Merseyside, or here?”
 

Irwin99

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I know as fans we (quite rightly) defend our own players but it always amazed me that people couldn't see what Souness was getting at with Pogba regardless of what their own personal opinions were of the player. Souness, like Roy Keane, comes from an era where a midfielder's most basic requirement was not to lose possession cheaply and to also set the standard for workrate and commitment. Also those types of midfielders were supposed to really do a bit of everything to a very good standard, even if they didn't quite reach the very top heights in some of those attributes.

It's pretty fecking obvious why he didn't rate Pogba and yet people refused to see it, preferring to make it seem like he was just bitter or something worse.
 

Red the Bear

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Well I guess I'm kinda vindicated about my opinions of him, he still has some daft opinions here and there but to call him some of the things we as a fanbase did was a bit over the line I think.
 

Red the Bear

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I know as fans we (quite rightly) defend our own players but it always amazed me that people couldn't see what Souness was getting at with Pogba regardless of what their own personal opinions were of the player. Souness, like Roy Keane, comes from an era where a midfielder's most basic requirement was not to lose possession cheaply and to also set the standard for workrate and commitment. Also those types of midfielders were supposed to really do a bit of everything to a very good standard, even if they didn't quite reach the very top heights in some of those attributes.

It's pretty fecking obvious why he didn't rate Pogba and yet people refused to see it, preferring to make it seem like he was just bitter or something worse.
And that's the way it should be honestly, there's still room for the flashy kind of player but every team could use a player like them two.
 

Joel Miller

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Now, his views on Ukraine is what tickles me. He's passionate about Ukraine being independent (and existing) but he's fine with England running his own nation. Just seems weird.
I’ve read (and heard) a lot of crazy stuff from Nats over the last decade but even by typical standards that is a rather twisted comparison. I was agreeing with almost everything you said until you dropped that clanger at the end!
 

RedRover

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I know as fans we (quite rightly) defend our own players but it always amazed me that people couldn't see what Souness was getting at with Pogba regardless of what their own personal opinions were of the player. Souness, like Roy Keane, comes from an era where a midfielder's most basic requirement was not to lose possession cheaply and to also set the standard for workrate and commitment. Also those types of midfielders were supposed to really do a bit of everything to a very good standard, even if they didn't quite reach the very top heights in some of those attributes.

It's pretty fecking obvious why he didn't rate Pogba and yet people refused to see it, preferring to make it seem like he was just bitter or something worse.
Firstly, whether you like him or not, he's qualified to have the opinions he has. He was, by all accounts (and like Keane) an absolutely top class player with the medals to prove it.

He's exactly right about Pogba. However much talent you have, the best players put the work in and he lacks that. His attitude is at best questionable and when things get hard he goes missing. Whether he could have been the player he thinks he is is a different, and more difficult question to answer, but I'm not surprised that he'll end up back in Italy.
 

RedRover

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And that's the way it should be honestly, there's still room for the flashy kind of player but every team could use a player like them two.
At the top level the days of being able to carry any player, however good, who doesn't work are long gone, especially in midfield.
 

Chesterlestreet

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It's pretty fecking obvious why he didn't rate Pogba and yet people refused to see it, preferring to make it seem like he was just bitter or something worse.
Well, yeah - I won't dispute that. It was always feckin' obvious why Souness didn't rate Pogba.

And it had nothing to do with his haircuts or whatnot - that has always been a cheap shot at Souness as far as I'm concerned.

However...

His default stance on a player like Pogba is utterly predictable - and not necessarily correct: he was moaning about his lack of "work rate" even when he was playing as a purely offensive midfielder, and he did seem - at times - obsessed with having a go at Pogba.

And...the latter (him having a go at Pogba) was clearly appreciated/encouraged by his employers. It became part of his "persona" as a pundit - to what extent he, himself, was aware of this is another matter, but it was - on the whole - artificial to a considerable degree: it was designed to create reactions.
 

Thistlesoup

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I know as fans we (quite rightly) defend our own players but it always amazed me that people couldn't see what Souness was getting at with Pogba regardless of what their own personal opinions were of the player. Souness, like Roy Keane, comes from an era where a midfielder's most basic requirement was not to lose possession cheaply and to also set the standard for workrate and commitment. Also those types of midfielders were supposed to really do a bit of everything to a very good standard, even if they didn't quite reach the very top heights in some of those attributes.

It's pretty fecking obvious why he didn't rate Pogba and yet people refused to see it, preferring to make it seem like he was just bitter or something worse.

Rashford's getting the same indulgence now.

His latest PR trash coming from his team today is that Blind 'convinced him' to stay to work with Ten Hag.
Aren't we all so blessed. We get another season of him strolling around for 90mins and then putting up a tweet or Instagram post of some load of banalties written up on notes on his phone.

But "Oh SIR Marcus Rashford" etc.

Too many losers and punks have been indulged at this club for a while now.
 

Red the Bear

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At the top level the days of being able to carry any player, however good, who doesn't work are long gone, especially in midfield.
I still think there are exceptions, it certainly worked well in the national team for pogba and this one is a bit more tenuous but both modric and kroos seemed to have lost their legs but they still managed to perform.

Also pogba himself did very good in juve when pirlo and vidal bore most of the workrate.
 

cyberman

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Well, yeah - I won't dispute that. It was always feckin' obvious why Souness didn't rate Pogba.

And it had nothing to do with his haircuts or whatnot - that has always been a cheap shot at Souness as far as I'm concerned.

However...

His default stance on a player like Pogba is utterly predictable - and not necessarily correct: he was moaning about his lack of "work rate" even when he was playing as a purely offensive midfielder, and he did seem - at times - obsessed with having a go at Pogba.

And...the latter (him having a go at Pogba) was clearly appreciated/encouraged by his employers. It became part of his "persona" as a pundit - to what extent he, himself, was aware of this is another matter, but it was - on the whole - artificial to a considerable degree: it was designed to create reactions.
Problem with Souness is that he criticised Paul for not doing things that players in his position aren’t supposed to do. I always remember he kept having a go at Paul for not running on after a pass to get at the back 4 when he was deployed as a deep playing midfielder. Paul not doing that wasn’t on Paul but how the manager set the team up.
Ray Houghton has a bad habit of doing that as well. They talk as if players have free range to go and do what they want on the pitch.
 

Chesterlestreet

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I always remember he kept having a go at Paul for not running on after a pass to get at the back 4 when he was deployed as a deep playing midfielder. Paul not doing that wasn’t on Paul but how the manager set the team up.
Yes - Souness would/will generally have a go at Pogba for not playing like his own idea of a CM. Regardless of what his actual role was.

Sometimes that would be right on the money (because Pogba - for United - frequently played like an actual CM, and he often displayed huge flaws in that role) - sometimes it wouldn't be on the money at all (because Pogba was playing a different sort of role - but Souness didn't see that, or didn't like that).
 

RedRover

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I still think there are exceptions, it certainly worked well in the national team for pogba and this one is a bit more tenuous but both modric and kroos seemed to have lost their legs but they still managed to perform.

Also pogba himself did very good in juve when pirlo and vidal bore most of the workrate.
I think International football, could, sometimes be the exception. It's less intense, in my opinion than the top level club game and often sides are not evenly matched.

Italy is also less intense in terms of the speed of play, and I think the game has changed since he was there anyway. The best sides in Europe generally press and you get less and less time on the ball.

I personally just don't think he's as good as people thought he was. He seems constantly to slow down the pace of the game when he gets the ball, when the best players, especially in the PL, look to speed it up.
 

Red the Bear

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I think International football, could, sometimes be the exception. It's less intense, in my opinion than the top level club game and often sides are not evenly matched.

Italy is also less intense in terms of the speed of play, and I think the game has changed since he was there anyway. The best sides in Europe generally press and you get less and less time on the ball.

I personally just don't think he's as good as people thought he was. He seems constantly to slow down the pace of the game when he gets the ball, when the best players, especially in the PL, look to speed it up.
I agree with the many points that you raise, it would routinely infuriate me to no end to see him not release the ball and dilly dally on it so much that ended up conceding possession.

Just trying to say that there could be exceptions if your truly world class(pogba seemed to keep it much more simple for his national team for example).
Messi demonstrated it in 2018 i reckon where he didn't really have much of a workrate but almost hot his team a treble .
 

Stacks

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I know as fans we (quite rightly) defend our own players but it always amazed me that people couldn't see what Souness was getting at with Pogba regardless of what their own personal opinions were of the player. Souness, like Roy Keane, comes from an era where a midfielder's most basic requirement was not to lose possession cheaply and to also set the standard for workrate and commitment. Also those types of midfielders were supposed to really do a bit of everything to a very good standard, even if they didn't quite reach the very top heights in some of those attributes.

It's pretty fecking obvious why he didn't rate Pogba and yet people refused to see it, preferring to make it seem like he was just bitter or something worse.
Well, yeah - I won't dispute that. It was always feckin' obvious why Souness didn't rate Pogba.

And it had nothing to do with his haircuts or whatnot - that has always been a cheap shot at Souness as far as I'm concerned.

However...

His default stance on a player like Pogba is utterly predictable - and not necessarily correct: he was moaning about his lack of "work rate" even when he was playing as a purely offensive midfielder, and he did seem - at times - obsessed with having a go at Pogba.

And...the latter (him having a go at Pogba) was clearly appreciated/encouraged by his employers. It became part of his "persona" as a pundit - to what extent he, himself, was aware of this is another matter, but it was - on the whole - artificial to a considerable degree: it was designed to create reactions.
Problem with Souness is that he criticised Paul for not doing things that players in his position aren’t supposed to do. I always remember he kept having a go at Paul for not running on after a pass to get at the back 4 when he was deployed as a deep playing midfielder. Paul not doing that wasn’t on Paul but how the manager set the team up.
Ray Houghton has a bad habit of doing that as well. They talk as if players have free range to go and do what they want on the pitch.
Because Pogba is black
 

RC89

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Textbook revisionism on the Pogba front. We all know why he didn't like Pogba, but that still didn't explain his obsession with him.

What he said about Pogba was correct. However, he'd almost look for any opportunity to talk about him, many times where it wasn't relevant at all. There were times when Pogba was actually one of our better players on the day but he'd still make it a personal mission to somehow criticise him. It became a running joke even amongst his punditry colleagues.