- Apr 24, 2019
I agree he was a lot more talented than people often gave him credit for but the better long balls than Toni Kroos is a stretch. Kroos is arguably the best most accurate long passer in the history of the game as well been the best short passer since Xavi retired.I wouldn't take Rodri over Pogba.
There are plenty of matchups in international football in which he made Kroos, Modric, KDB and many others considered the best of their generation look ordinary let alone Rodri.
If we are talking about just ceiling there hasnt been a more gifted midfield player than Paul Pogba in the last 8 or so years. I'll stand it by it and nobody will convince me otherwise.
His contemporaries are judged through a different lens, their stinker games are ignored while their top games are over lauded while for him it was the opposite. Its that simple. the English commentators are also part of the reason. He would put a chance on a plate for Zlatan, Rashford, Lingard or Lukaku on the regular without the commentators saying a word while they would salivate over the aforementioned players for the doing same actions.
He is also the only midfield player in history Ive seen get compared to different players with widely differing attributes. Like Ive seen him blasted for not working hard in defence like Kante, not controlling a midfield like Pirlo and not scoring like KDB. How does that make any sense??
It took me some time to find the answer because it confused me for a long time but I have concluded the answer is as follows:
People dont hold them to the same standard they held Pogba to because they cant do it all like him.
I mean why dont you critize Rodri or Kroos for not sliding in through balls to strikers. Yet Pogba would play in the same CM position as them in a pivot and register higher through ball numbers.
Logic would dictate if they were better they would register the same amount of through balls. They dont because they cant. Its that simple.
there was a graphic showing after he returned from surgery during covid that can be verified that no midfielder had done more through balls in the PL in the 2019/20 campaign. He also played the same CM role in France's Euro 2021 run and was top of the pile for through balls registered.
He did the Pirlo role in his first season here pulling strings while laying chances on a plate at the same time. You lauded Pirlo for how he controlled a game but you didnt critisize him for not laying chances. Why? Becuase he wasnt able to. You judged him on one thing. But you attacked Pogba for not creating chances and getting onto the end of them at the same time.
Objectively speaking there is no way that one can conclude he was a flop for Manchester United. Just look at this Goal article.
But Paul Ince and Paul Scholes were attacking him and said he doesnt give a shit so he must have been shit.
There was also a similar article a year earlier that came out when Mourinho was tearing the dressing room apart and the club was in a toxic situation that he was in fact topping most midfield metrics not only in the team but accross the whole league. Ball winning with a bunch of ball winners. chance creator with a bunch of chance creators. Most dribbles completed with a bunch of wingers like Adama Traore. Its kind of crazy.
I personally think Kroos football IQ is another level to Pogba the guy is a genius but I understand he doesn’t have the dribbling ability. Passing wise though I’d take Kroos all day long he’s ridiculously good playing that deep lying role.
He’s about as good as anyone who’s ever played a deep midfield role. I could never say that about Pogba as much as I liked watching the guy here.