Paul Pogba flew to Miami on Wednesday, to enjoy some holidays with his family, but he promised to remain in contact with Didier Deschamps and, when the dust has settled, to have a heart to heart with the France boss about why EURO 2020 went wrong for Les Bleus, according to L’Équipe.
The 28-year-old already established himself as a key member in the dressing room at the 2018 World Cup, but he has furthered that reputation in recent weeks, becoming the most consistent go-between for the staff and playing squad. He has also participated heavily in tactical discussions with Deschamps and his assistant Guy Stéphan.
He was not only the individual chiefly responsible for motivating his teammates, but for giving his opinions, whether the staff asked for it or not, followed it or not, on what is missing, style of play, relationships with the squad and takes initiatives.
It was Pogba who went to see Deschamps the day after France beat Bulgaria 3-0 on 8the June following Olivier Giroud telling the media that he was a little frustrated about not receiving the ball regularly enough, the Manchester United man suggesting that he would like to be at the press conference the day after.
A little earlier on in the afternoon, Pogba met with Kylian Mbappé in an attempt to calm the PSG man down.
At the end of normal time in the match between France and Switzerland, Pogba had a heated discussion with Deschamps. It did not have anything to do with Adrien Rabiot berating him for losing the ball at the start of Switzerland’s move to score the equaliser. Pogba was moaning to the manager about the lack of effort from the French attackers and the feeling that the midfield was being abandoned – he was insisting on coming up with a fix.
Even though Pogba is not the only player who exchanges with Deschamps in particular, he has become key – he was one of the players who Deschamps discussed the possible move to a back 3 with.
The day after the 1-0 win over Germany, it was with Pogba that Deschamps spent a long time talking in the following training session. When his teammates headed into the dressing room after the session, Pogba stayed out on the pitch to listen to his manager, as the duo appeared to discuss tactical positioning.
Pogba was stunning going forward, with his long passes, the quarterback role, his strikes from outside of the area, but his defensive game was lacking – vs Switzerland, he did not make a single interception, whereas Kanté managed 6. When Pogba lost the ball in the final seconds of the match vs Switzerland, Mario Gavranovic capitalised.
But Pogba is going to be a key element as Les Bleus move forward towards Qatar 2022 – no doubt.