Sunday, June 16News That Matters

Frank Lampard feared meeting Man Utd star after criticism

Frank Lampard concedes he was worried about meeting Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba having criticised him on TV.

Being one of the biggest players in world football, Pogba’s performances are often assessed in the media and he has been criticised for his below par displays in recent years amid the club’s struggles.




Lampard was one of several pundits to have given his honest view on the player when the former Chelsea player was working in the media before moving into management.

He has now opened up on the difficulty he found in going from a player to a pundit and having to speak his mind, conceding he ‘felt terrible’ after criticising Pogba.




Speaking to Gary Neville on The Overlap, Lampard said: ‘It was challenging because I think you have an in-between period where you still feel like a bit of a player and you’ve still got some mates in the game.

‘I’d like to think that I’m a decent person. I remember saying some things about Pogba in the first year in a couple of games, saying some things as a midfield player.

‘When I came out of it and actually met him, I walked into it, you know, like you’re kind of ‘oh I don’t want to bump into him’. I felt terrible.

‘I don’t know whether you get over that or not. But I think you have to be honest. You can’t sit on the fence and you have to say it straight.’




However, Pogba has been out of the spotlight in recent weeks as he recovers from injury and missed United’s clash with Arsenal.

But, the France international’s contract situation continues to cause debate as he is yet to sign an extension on his current deal that ends next summer. But, United legend Paul Ince is convinced he’ll leave the Red devils at the end of the campaign.

Asked if he thinks Pogba will sign a new contract at Old Trafford, Ince said: ‘I don’t think he’ll sign; I don’t think he’ll sign whoever the manager is, that’s my honest opinion.

‘I think as a free agent the world’s his oyster. And I can see him going abroad somewhere, we see a lot of top players going on free transfers, so I can see him going somewhere else.




‘On his day he’s world class, but to play for Man United you can’t just be on your day once in a blue moon, you’ve got to be seven out of ten every week. That was the minimum.

‘To be a Man United player, you had to perform week-in and week-out, and we’ve not had that from Pogba apart from at the start of the season where he was outstanding, but since then, he’s kind of fallen away.’

   

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