‘Last year we didn’t win any trophies and I felt empty’: Paul Pogba opens up on his anguish at Manchester United’s lack of silverware as he targets FA Cup and Europa League glory with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has admitted the club’s failure to lift a trophy last season left him feeling ’empty’ as he spoke out about his critics.
The Frenchman enjoyed a successful campaign on a successful level in 2018-19 as he finished as the club’s top scorer – firing in 16 goals from the middle of the park from 47 appearances, but he wasn’t able to inspire the team to silverware as they finished sixth.
The Red Devils look set to go three seasons without a trophy if they do not win the Europa League or FA Cup this term and Pogba admits he and the team are hungry for another triumph.
Paul Pogba has reflected on a trophyless season for United in 18-19 which left him ’empty’
Speaking before their 2-0 away win at Crystal Palace on Thursday, he told BT Sport: ‘There is a positive pressure on us and we want to win the last three games.
‘We want to win the Europa League, the FA Cup. Last year we didn’t win any trophies and I felt empty. We just have to keep working to get there.’
The last trophy United won was in Pogba’s first season back at Old Trafford in 2016-17 – as they lifted the Europa League to help the club return to the Champions League. They had also won the League Cup in the same season under Jose Mourinho.
The club struggled and finish sixth, although Pogba finished the campaign as their top scorer
He lifted the Europa League in his first season in 2016-17 and says the team want more success
Pogba, who has played 151 games for the club since he re-signed from Juventus for a then-record of £90million – and he has faced plenty of criticism from fans and pundits who believe he has not lived up to the mark.
But the World Cup winner insists he does not listen to the negativity, although he has high expectations of himself too.
‘I’m blessed,’ he added. ‘I’m so happy to be playing football. It’s my job to be out on that pitch.
‘I play for Man United and people are always going to speak. The first person to criticise me is me.’
Pogba has enjoyed a revival during the restart but insists he does not listen to his critics
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men returned to winning ways against Palace thanks to goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial to keep themselves in the running for a Champions League spot.
They had stumbled on Monday night as they were held 2-2 at home to Southampton after Obafemi’s equaliser deep in stoppage time, but they bounced back at Selhurst Park – with Pogba playing the full 90 minutes to continue his comeback after an injury hit campaign.
He has played 16 games in all competitions for United this season, with 12 starts and just one goal in the Premier League.