Paul Pogba moaning about toxic atmosphere at Man Utd is nothing new but Luke Shaw comments suggest problem runs deep

HEARING Paul Pogba complain about the toxic atmosphere at Manchester United is nothing new.

Every time he goes away on international duty is like Groundhog Day for the French media having to sit through more of Pogba’s tales of woe.

Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba have taken a pop at Manchester United in recent days

Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba have taken a pop at Manchester United in recent daysCredit: Getty

Shaw has declared he hasn't enjoyed playing at Old Trafford this campaign

Shaw has declared he hasn’t enjoyed playing at Old Trafford this campaignCredit: AFP

But it seems that it’s not just United’s £89million record signing who has grown disillusioned with life at Old Trafford.

Because full-back Luke Shaw has also taken the opportunity to have a pop at the joyless demands of playing for football’s biggest club.

Speaking after scoring for England in Saturday’s 2-1 win against Switzerland, Shaw said: “It’s always important to feel wanted and everyone needs to be happy.

“A big part of football is the enjoyment and it’s hard to have that when you’re losing and not playing well at club level.

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“This season hasn’t been good at all and it’s been hard to enjoy it.”

So maybe the United problem runs much deeper than the permanently unsettled Pogba, who has once again been chewing the ears of anyone who will listen to his complaints.

Asked whether playing for France feels like a breath of fresh air, the former World Cup winner declared: “Totally.

“There have been difficult moments at Manchester United and I needed this break to regain my energy and confidence.

“Sometimes when I wasn’t playing for United or the results weren’t there, coming here with France gives me a boost.

“It’s been a difficult season because there have been a lot of events between the change of coach and my injury. 

“The season is not over yet but it almost is because we don’t have any more titles to play for and it’s sad that for the last few years we haven’t won anything.”

Those comments came just days after he had moaned about his lack of a defined role at United and the confirmation that he had not enjoyed the past five trophyless seasons.

So it is beginning to look likelier than ever that he will be walking away from Old Trafford as a free agent for a second time when his £290,000-a-week contract expires at the end of the season.

Interim manager Ralf Rangnick said the other week that he did not mind Pogba playing to put himself in the shop window if it meant the team doing well.

But that has simply not been the case since the Frenchman returned from the three-month thigh injury sustained while on international duty in November.

In fact United have won only three of their ten games with Pogba back in the team and have been knocked out of the Champions League and FA Cup as well as dropping to sixth place in the Premier League.

Pogba has declared playing for France has been like a breath of fresh air

Pogba has declared playing for France has been like a breath of fresh airCredit: AFP

Yet Pogba insists that there is still a chance that he could extend his stay at the club and says: “Nothing is decided on my future.

“I could decide tomorrow or I could decide during the transfer window. I just want to come back and finish the season well.”

At 29-years-old, Pogba should now be in the prime years of his career. Yet it is becoming increasingly apparent that he is never going to replicate his form with France in a United shirt.

Since winning the Europa League and EFL Cup in 2017, his only successes have come with his national team in the World Cup and the Nations’ League.

Two weeks ago his house was ransacked by burglars who struck while he was playing for United against Atletico Madrid while his children were at home with their nanny.

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And the fact that he didn’t even make the starting line-up for that match, which was arguably United’s most important game of the season, suggests that even Rangnick has given up trying to get blood out of a stone.

Now it seems that a parting of the ways will be best for everyone. If only to spare us the constant grumblings.


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