Non-conformist? Pogba is a champagne footballer in a beer tavern
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Being unique can be one of life’s great blessings, but it often doesn’t feel that way.
It definitely isn’t desired at secondary school, where each difference is a perceived weakness and the need to conform is all-consuming.
Increasingly, it’s not desired in the Premier League either. As the gegenpressing pioneered by Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund became the tactics du jour, hard running replaced laid-back skill as the major requirement of an elite footballer.
Witness Jose Mourinho bundling Juan Mata out of Chelsea at the first opportunity in 2014. Witness Christian Eriksen floundering in Italy. Witness the sad decline of Fortnite’s Mesut Ozil.
Paul Pogba would seemingly fit neatly into this category too. Despite possessing all the qualities to dominate games, he can often appear to drift through matches with the distracted air of a bored schoolchild watching a leaf blowing in the wind.
But Pogba has always been more than this. The World Cup winner is a lithe joy of a playmaker, technically brilliant and capable of match-winning contributions that appear out of nowhere.
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