Manchester United midfielder booed off in pre-tournament friendly should lose place to Corentin Tolisso says one critic
Paul Pogba wants to be the Napoleon of the France team at the World Cup .
But the Manchester United midfielder’s leading role is under threat — and his career is in danger of making a retreat from Moscow.
French football’s most expensive player was booed off when substituted during a pre-tournament friendly with Italy.
Former Marseille player Eric Di Meco claimed Pogba was still playing only because of his reputation, and that Bayern Munich midfielder Corentin Tolisso should patrol the centre of the park.
“Some players have two bad games and you no longer see them in the France team,” Di Meco said.
“He has almost unlimited credit — and it is no longer possible.”
Boss Didier Deschamps responded by claiming Pogba was “indispensable”, but also urged him to raise his game in Russia.
Yet the 25-year-old expressed his frustration at his role in the team.
“I can play on the right, the left, as a holding midfielder,” he said. I feel comfortable but it’s not like I have always been given the best chance to succeed.
“It’s like you saying to me, ‘I will give you this house but you won’t have the keys.’
“There are things that don’t depend on me, there is also the team. And then if I don’t make the difference, people will say I’ve not had a good match.
“I’m a No.8, and I should be judged like that. ‘Paul has to be the boss.’ Yes, people on the outside think that, me too. But it is not only about me.
“I want to take the reins of the team but for that to happen the team has to be set up the right way.”
At least he has the support of his team-mates.
Kylian Mbappe said: “He is a midfielder, not an attacker. We’re not asking him to score every match but to bring his physical presence, his vision.
“I have the feeling that whatever he does, people say he should always do more. We should admire the player he is.
“We are lucky he is French.”