Manchester United’s 2-1 victory against Leicester City last week saw Paul Pogba as the match-hero. The Frenchman was also given the captain’s armband during the outing, and questions arose whether this would be the precedent for the rest of the season.
Manager Jose Mourinho clarified the act by later stating: “Last season he was captain a few times. The captain is [Antonio] Valencia. He is not here.
“Pogba is one of the options [when Valencia is not here]. It’s his third season, he’s come through the academy and knows the club well. He is a good example in the dressing room.”
Now, Paul Scholes, an erstwhile staunch critic of Pogba, has weighed in on the choice of him being named as captain.
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The Manchester United legend remarked (via Metro): “Captain’s armband? I thought that the minute we signed him he should have been made captain. Give him some responsibility as a young player. I don’t think there was a standout person to be captain in that team and I just thought it was ideal for him. Hopefully, he can keep that now.”
Well, Mourinho clearly didn’t have the same plans, but Scholes seemed to disagree even there: “He started okay on Friday but I don’t think he was anything special. But if he can thrive with that extra responsibility then he should keep the armband.”
In retrospect, the Englishman’s comments do seem to have some logic to them.
However, one also has to consider the fact that the captain’s position in club football often tends to be a mostly symbolic gesture, and whether or not one wears the band has little to do with the leadership skills portrayed on the pitch.
Recent seasons at United have shown several such instances, with players displaying great maturity. But if Pogba does stay put at Old Trafford, surely the band isn’t too far off?