Almost every league in the world has been suspended, the entire planet is on high alert and still Graeme Souness cannot shut up about Paul Pogba.
In the latest instalment of this pretty much one sided spat, everyone’s favourite/least favourite grumpy Scotsman had a dig at Pogba after the Frenchman let slip that he “didn’t even know who he was” when he arrived in England.
From a purely statistical standpoint Souness edges this category, with his 73 league goals giving him a slight lead.
However, you’d be foolish to bet against Pogba overtaking this total when his career comes to an end. The Frenchman has already scored 68 times in all competitions and is blessed with ice-cool composure in front of goal.
His propensity for converting penalties – in spite of his completely ridiculous run-up – and his knack for smashing home the occasional free kick is further evidence of Pogba’s superior scoring credentials.
Admittedly, Souness would not be able to get away with half of the tackles he used to put in during the 1980s today. For whatever reason, lunging at the opposition at shoulder height to “let them know you’re there,” is frowned upon now.
Joking aside, Souness is leaps and bounds ahead of Pogba in the tackling department. Back in his heyday, the Scotsman struck fear into the hearts of midfielders everywhere – with the mere threat of a big tackle often enough to force the opposition into relinquishing control of the ball.
Pogba in contrast, averaged just over one tackle per game in the Premier League last season – and even less in Europe.
Though he is well known for his love of a big tackle, Souness’ more graceful attributes should not be ignored.
The midfielder was capable of breaking the lines with some inventive dribbling and an explosive turn of pace.
Despite this, Pogba shades this category. His close control is freakishly brilliant and this, combined with his dominating physique, make him one of the most unique dribblers in world football.
If football had its own dictionary, it would only be right that the entry for leadership was just a photo of Graeme Souness.
He skippered Liverpool through one of the club’s most successful ever periods, inspiring his teammates with each complete midfield performance.
Captaincy has change a great deal in the modern game and Pogba could yet prove to be strong, leadership material. No way he’s getting his picture in the 90min football dictionary though. Well, unless it’s next to ‘dabbing’ of course.
Five First Division titles, three European Cups, three League Cups, one Scottish Premier Division…the list of Souness’ honours goes on and on.
As we touched on before though, Pogba’s trophy cabinet is also pretty impressive. Four Serie A triumphs, two Coppa Italias, an EFL Cup and one Europe League. There’s plenty of time for him to catch the former Middlesbrough man up as well.
For now though, Souness wins this category.
This one is very easy to decide. Pogba’s won a World Cup with France and Souness is Scottish – so he has not.
However, the ex-Blackburn boss did play in a few high profile tournaments for the Tartan Army. Souness appeared at the 1978, 1982 and 1986 World Cups, though he experienced very little success.
Pogba would have been in line to add to his international medal collection this summer, before coronavirus forced Euro 2020 to be postponed.
Here’s Graeme Souness lifting his third European Cup.
⚽️ The Liverpool midfielder also won the European Golden Boot in 1981.
He was named in the PFA Team of the Year 4 seasons in a row.
gbsct And won 5 league titles with Liverpool. pic.twitter.com/whPQllaZrx
— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) April 14, 2020
There are many different ways to judge a the value of a player. Statistics, blind
All valid suggestions and all approaches that we have taken into account when deciding that overall Graeme Souness – as downbeat and unreasonable as he can sometimes be – deserves to be considered a superior footballer to Paul Pogba…for now at least.