FOOTBALL

Souness hits back at Pogba: "Put your medals on the table"

Paul Pogba claimed he did not know who Graeme Souness was, prompting a response from one of the midfielder's biggest critics.

Put your medals on the table - Souness claps back at Pogba jibe

Graeme Souness has responded to an apparent jibe from Paul Pogba by telling the Manchester United midfielder to "put your medals on the table".

Former Liverpool captain Souness has been an outspoken critic of Pogba for a perceived inability to make the most of his talent.

The ex-Scotland international recently claimed in the Sunday Times that Pogba would be "an absolute doddle to play against" because his attitude is to be "the star of the show".

Last month, Souness used Everton midfielder Andre Gomes' return from a serious ankle injury to question whether Pogba had worked hard enough to recover fitness following his own ankle operation.

Speaking to the UTD Podcast about his critics, Pogba said of Souness: "I didn't know who he was, really. I heard he was a great player. I don't stay and listen to what they're going to say after a game, and why they've done this."

Souness urges Pogba to put his medals on the table

In response, Souness said on Sky Sports on Tuesday: "I'm happy with that. The oldest saying in football comes to mind: Put your medals on the table."

Souness enjoyed a hugely successful career, winning five league titles and three European Cups with Liverpool among a host of other trophies, while Pogba's second spell with United has been comparatively lean.

However, the France international won the World Cup in 2018 and claimed eight trophies with Juventus, including four Serie A titles, before winning the EFL Cup and Europa League with United in 2016-17.

Speaking about critics in general, Pogba made it clear he pays them little mind and is only concerned with the views of his team-mates and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

"I guess they miss me," he said when asked why there is so much scrutiny on him even when he is out injured. "When I watch a game, I like to watch a game, not the comments. When you're a fan and when you know football, you don't need someone to tell you what's happening.

"When I hear people putting my name out, 'Paul is doing this, Paul, Paul'... I really want to know why. During my recovery I can be somewhere else, but I'm just doing my recovery and I hear my name again.

"If you score one goal or you scored a hat-trick, you know you played a good game, or sometimes you can score a hat-trick and play a bad game, and you know yourself.

"When you're really a football fan, you know yourself if you played well or you didn't play well, and you don't need someone else to tell you.

Let the critics speak says Pogba

"If they want to speak, they're allowed to speak. That's their job. For me, it's their job to speak. They've been talking and I'm used to it now. I'm really used to it, so it doesn't bother me.

"Obviously, it is always good to hear the good stuff and better to hear that than the bad stuff. Like I said, when you play football, you hear stuff, but you know yourself, you know your manager and know your team-mates and know what you want. The rest is just talk and selling stuff. I think people like it.

"I'm someone who watches football and stuff, but I don't stay and listen to what they're going to say after the game and why they have done this. I like to focus on football.

"As a football player, you will get criticised, judged, some people like you, some people won't. You can't love everyone. Life is like that - you have different tastes and everything.

"Criticism in football will happen. The manager knows, you give your best, you give everything on the pitch, that's all that matters."