Why would Barcelona want Paul Pogba after this? The problem isn’t going away, it’s getting worse.
Pogba wants Barca. The feeling is mutual.
But you must question their judgement after this uninterested display from United’s record signing.
Yes, Pogba has won the World Cup. What’s for sure, he strolled around the London Stadium with the air of a man who believes his own hype.
Self-confidence is one thing. But when things aren’t going your way, then graft. Or at the least look like you care, keep busy.
There was a moment when the Frenchman chased down Declan Rice as if his life depended on it to win the ball back.
For just a few seconds Pogba forgot the persona. So infuriated that Rice had the temerity to take ball off him, he made it his business to get it back.
So you can do it, Paul. You do care. Therein encapsulates United’s frustrations.
The raw materials are there, no question. But the application — at least right now — is absent. Brilliant one moment, abject the next. A flick over his head to evade Mark Noble and Pablo Zabaleta was sublime.His no-look pass that rolled out for a goal kick just 30 seconds later was not.
The animosity between Pogba and Jose Mourinho is clear. The tension between them will remain — there’s too much water under the bridge for a reconciliation.
That is bound to affect performance. Yet United and their supporters deserve better than what they are getting.
Pogba (right) should have taken this game by the scruff of the neck. But he was on the periphery. It was a teenager in Rice and 31-year-old Noble who ran the midfield.
There were concerns from Manuel Pellegrini that Noble, given his age and miles on the clock, lacked the legs to remain consistent in the Premier League.
But the decision to deploy youthful Rice and Pedro Obiang next to him in the engine room has given Noble a new lease of life. He had a role in two of West Ham’s three goals. Rice is likewise looking more impressive with every week. It’s hard to think of another 19-year-old in England as advanced.
No wonder England are trying to persuade him to switch allegiances from the Republic of Ireland.
By the time Noble played in Marko Arnautovic for the third, Pogba was off the pitch — or put out of his misery, depending on how you look at it.
Ironic cheers greeted the Frenchman’s substitution.
A pat on the back from Mourinho greeted Pogba as he departed, though there was hardly a glance in the Portuguese’s direction from the player himself.
If Pogba has his way, he won’t have to look at Mourinho much longer. The feeling is mutual.