RYAN GIGGS knows how to sort out the Paul Pogba problem — KICK HIM!
That is how the players in Giggs’ Manchester United heyday used to sort out team-mates who they thought were getting a bit above their station.
Even Cristiano Ronaldo got booted when he tried to showboat on the training ground.
French World Cup winner Pogba declared he wanted to leave the club for a new challenge this summer.
And when asked how team-mates would have reacted to that in his day, Red Devils legend Giggs was straight to the point.
He said: “Kick him in training. But that doesn’t happen any more, you are starting to lose that.
“Now I’m not saying you kick everyone – but that was how Ronaldo got better.
Now I’m not saying you kick everyone – but that was how Ronaldo got better
“Paul Scholes would kick him if he took too many touches.
“Suddenly it clicked that you can’t keep dribbling ‘or else I’m going to get kicked’.”
It is this type of ‘old school’ tactic that helps keeps cocky players in check that Giggs believes Premier League champs Manchester City might miss now influential captain Vincent Kompany has left.
Giggs said: “I saw an interview with Kompany at the end of the season.
“And he’s a bit old school and was asked about the week ahead of their last game at Brighton.
“He said: ‘Sometimes I have to give a player a kick!’.
“And I was thinking City might miss that this year!”
As it stands, Pogba will start the new season at home to Chelsea tomorrow, although fans remain split over whether manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should have sold him in the transfer window.
Real Madrid want him but cannot match United’s £180million valuation for a player they paid a then world-record £89m for three years ago.
Giggs believes it would be a massive blow if Pogba was sold, as it would leave a gaping hole in the team.
The Wales boss said: “I think the fans are split. Some fans say ‘let him go’ and some recognise the quality he has got and if he does go there will be a big void.
“If you get rid of all the players and you haven’t got quality to replace them, then that is difficult as well. So it is a tough job for Ole, that balancing act.
“Ronaldo said he wanted to go and then did an extra year.
“Whether that is going to happen or not, I don’t know.
“But if Pogba goes now, there will be a massive void in midfield where I think we are already short.”
GUNNAR BE PATIENT
Giggs claims his old pal Solskjaer can build a new, exciting era – but fans and the board will have to be patient.
And the Welshman cites Jurgen Klopp at bitter rivals Liverpool as an example of what can be achieved given time.
Giggs said: “Klopp wasn’t brilliant overnight but I think what you’ve seen from him is improvement every year.
“It was a gradual improvement and I think, as a United fan, that’s what you want to see.
“I’m not saying we’re going to win the league this year but if you start seeing improvements and a shift of culture with players you want to go and watch…
“We’re maybe not going to win every game but you will see players who want to play for the club.”
Indeed, in new, young 21-year-old signings Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James, Giggs can see the future shaping up well under Solskjaer.
The former winger is also impressed with academy products Mason Greenwood, 17, and 19-year-old Tahith Chong.
Giggs admitted: “In two or three years, some of them are going to be top players.
“We all want Ole to be successful but even if he isn’t, I think he will leave the club in a better state than when he took over, which in itself is a job.”
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Fellow Class of ’92 star Phil Neville believes United’s fans will get behind Ole in his first full season as gaffer.
He said: “If they see something happening on the field they like, they will give the players, the manager and board 100 per cent support.
“Forget about winning leagues for now, that will be a by-product of what happens now.”
Ryan Giggs and Phil Neville were speaking at the launch of a new five-year sponsorship deal between Talk Talk and Salford City, the team they are part-owners of with the rest of the Class of ’92.