Andy Cole leaps to Paul Pogba’s defence after France exit

“Watching Pogba – oh my days,” he enthused. “If a midfield player of that calibre is going to take risks, you have to take risks. He’s got people like Kante and believes the back four are going to do things whereby he can make certain decisions in the midfield. For 45 minutes yesterday, I watched him and felt this is a top, top drawer midfield player.

“You can talk about he gave the ball away, but we all give the ball away. Mbappe missed a great chance when he should have gone inside on his right foot – has anyone mentioned that? It’s a Paul Pogba thing, I think. It was definitely a brilliant penalty too – he did everything well last night.

“I think he’ll be bitterly disappointed. Like you said, with the performance he put in as well, I thought he was brilliant. I listened to some of the comments and people were trying to [laughs]… I genuinely believed football was a team game. I genuinely did believe there were 11 players out there. I listen to everyone and the only player who was to blame yesterday was Paul Pogba. I thought he was brilliant: his passing throughout the tournament was absolutely immense; his creativity, his goal yesterday was top, top drawer.

“We can all sit here and pick up on people’s negatives and what they didn’t do. Let’s talk about his positives and what he did do. France have gone out, yeah, and were the better team. But, when it goes to penalties, it’s a lottery and they weren’t good enough on penalties.”


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