Premier League: Paul Pogba's unique 26-step penalty run-up for against Everton almost results into disaster
On Sunday, when Manchester United were playing against Everton, Paul Pogba took 26 steps to hit the ball from the spot. Jordan Pickford saved the shot first time, but couldn't do much to stop the rebound.
It's difficult to keep Paul Pogba away from the limelight. Off the field, he's a smooth-dancing, Instagram-posing, hairstyle-changing PR bonanza, whose antics are daily fodder for tabloids around the world. On the field, he's a genius midfielder, a World-Cup winner with France and, if dressing room videos are anything to go by, a player to whom leadership comes naturally.
It isn't surprising then, that when it comes to taking penalties, Pogba adds some spice to it. On Sunday, when Manchester United were playing against Everton, the Frenchman took 26 steps to hit the ball from the spot. Jordan Pickford saved the shot first time, but couldn't do much to stop the rebound off Pogba. United coach Jose Mourinho, his teammates and fans were probably glad that Pogba didn't take another 26 steps to hit the rebound.
Twitter users were quick to point out Usain Bolt would've finished a 100m race in the time taken for Pogba to take his penalty.
— HENRY MUFC (@united_disciple) October 29, 2018
According to a BBC report, Pogba has a history of taking such penalties. He takes an average of 18.4 steps for each penalty. Footballers have their own style of taking a penalty, but going with Pogba's history, it's high time he changes his style. Because two of his last five penalties were saved.
"I always try to destabilise the goalkeeper. Maybe they know how I take penalties. Maybe I should practise to change it, if the keepers know my step," Pogba said after the game.
Mourinho, too, is of the opinion that Pogba needs to rethink his style. "The thing I like is the desire to take it. I don't like Mickey Mouses, fragile players who are afraid and go: 'I don't take penalties.' I don't like that.I like the player who says, 'I want to take it' like the Crystal Palace player Luka Milivojevic. He missed against Everton and today they get two penalties [against Arsenal] and he wants to take.
"Paul is like that. Can he improve? I think he can. The goalkeepers know his running, they don't move and they are waiting until the last second for his decision so he has to learn from that but for me the most important thing is he wants to go again," Mourinho said.
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Pitch-invading fans will be slapped with at least a year of ban from English Premier League clubs' home and away matches, agreed the clubs.