Pogba in rubbish company: Neil Humphreys
Being better for country than club puts him on dodgy list
Paul Pogba might be considered the opposite of Donald Trump. He's much better for his country than his club.
President Trump, on the other hand, is much better for his golf club than his country.
But there are similarities between the two. Both Manchester United and the White House have no idea how to handle a rich narcissist who cannot take his day job - or his haircut - seriously.
Pogba gets his hair styled by dragging himself to an expensive salon. Trump gets his hair styled by dragging whatever's left at the back of his neck across the top of his head.
Everyone else is left pulling their hair out.
Pogba's inconsistency remains truly exasperating. He ruled the French midfield against Holland this week, delivering the kind of assured performance that has managers falling over themselves to sign him.
At United, his erratic work has Jose Mourinho just falling over himself.
In front of TV cameras, the Red Devils manager tripped over a red velvet rope at Wembley Stadium.
In fairness, he had just watched England's midfielders against Spain. They kept tripping over as well.
Mourinho managed to laugh off the incident. It's not the first time something red and droopy has made him look silly. He has to work with Eric Bailly.
But Pogba is proving to be Mourinho's biggest banana skin at Old Trafford.
For his country, he displays the style and strength of a sleek Rolls-Royce. For his club, he displays the style and strength of a stale sausage roll.
His schizophrenic performances are partially the work of his dastardly agent Mino Raiola. That man treats players like ageing HDB flats. Even if they're 30 years old, he'll still convince buyers that they'll retain their value.
Raiola knows he holds all the cards. According to the SportsPro 50 Most Marketable Athletes list, Pogba is ranked No.1.
Off the pitch, he's worth millions to United. On the pitch, he's worth a packet of mee goreng.
Pogba clearly wants to join a bigger club than United, like Barcelona. By the end of the season, he could still join a bigger club than United, like Bournemouth.
In the meantime, he's playing a risky game of cat and mouse by plodding along for United while impressing suitors at international level.
Pogba clearly believes this routine will eventually elevate him to the ranks of Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, when it could leave him in the curious company of Jan Koller and Peter Crouch.
When those guys pulled on international jerseys, they turned into superstars. When they turned out for their clubs, they looked like characters from the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Koller is still the all-time top scorer for the Czech Republic. But, towards the end of his club career, he mostly lumbered around the box, tall and bald, waiting for his chance to murder wildlings in Game of Thrones.
For England, Crouch went through an international spell where he scored so regularly he celebrated like a robot. For Stoke City, he plays like a robot.
The lanky striker doesn't score much any more, but he's still useful in front of goal. He takes down the nets after training.
But Koller and Crouch aren't the only "better for country than club" footballers.
Japan midfielder Junichi Inamoto played in two World Cups, but when he ran out for Arsenal, he looked like the club mascot. He rarely made it onto the actual pitch.
The Gunners also had Nicklas Bendtner, a striker who never met a cross he couldn't miss.
And yet Bendtner scored regularly for Denmark and still considers himself the greatest player in his own head.
United should be particularly wary of Pogba joining such a band of inconsistent brothers because they once employed one its most infamous members.
At the 2002 World Cup, Kleberson found his Brazilian teammates with either foot. At United, he struggled to find his buttocks with either hand.
He had less awareness of what was around him than Mourinho surrounded by red velvet ropes.
Kleberson was one of United's worst signings from a list that also included Eric Djemba-Djemba, a footballer so bad he had a double surname so he could be abused twice.
In truth, Pogba will never perform as poorly as Kleberson did at Old Trafford, but then neither would a Teletubby.
He doesn't deserve to be lumped in with Kleberson and company.
The Frenchman will eventually play just as well for his club as he does for his country - the minute he moves to Barcelona.