Whilst I’m the first to admit that all is not well with the good ship Manchester United and there are many issues to resolve, I do think that we could alleviate the pressure by allowing Paul Pogba to leave our football club. This isn’t some knee-jerk reaction or a sledgehammer to crack a nut scenario. I do actually think it would help us where it matters, out on the football pitch.
It really does appear that from top to bottom, the football club isn’t harmonious at all. From the lecherous owners across the pond to the inept and misunderstanding board, to the manager and his staff and the players themselves. There is certainly a discord and none of that harmony and family feeling, that a certain Sir Alex used to champion. I have had many a sleepless night wondering why this is all so. There is no quick fix whatsoever, but I have come up with a notion that could help us on the pitch. Sell Paul Pogba.
By stating my wish to sell Pogba, I’m not exonerating the manager or any of the underperforming players but after two seasons, I just don’t think he suits our team or the Premier League. I don’t doubt that he has talent and that he can win games for us. What I do doubt is his ability to do it on a more consistent basis. Further to that, I think he is now causing us a huge problem by us pandering to his needs.
Since Pogba returned to United, we are constantly being told that we should play this way or that way to get the very best out of him. Well in that time we have tried playing this way and that way to get the best out of him. No matter what we try we never see his best. We have tried different formations, different players to try and balance the midfield for his benefit and yet we still can’t find the magic formula to help unlock Pogba’s potential. We have tried big strikers to play the ball into. We have tried fast strikers to play the ball in behind and none of them work with Pogba.
We are constantly being told that he needs to dominate the ball to get the best out of him. That’s the problem, we keep giving him the ball and ignoring everybody else. He can’t play quick one-touch football, he needs far too many touches, and most are just for pure indulgence and don’t benefit the team at all. Those touches invariably cost us possession as he is dispossessed so many times in each game. He can’t play at a high tempo which would undoubtedly benefit our forwards. We play the ball to him and then play stops whilst he does his thing and allows the opposition to get back behind the ball.
Yes, he has had some decent games for us but I would say it’s a one in five average for a good game and a one in fifteen average for what I would describe as a heroic game. He cost us £89 million and there hasn’t been any return on the investment so far. We’re still trying to deal with the Pogba problem. He had a good World Cup and that enhanced his value again, nothing he has ever done in a United shirt has improved his stock in world football. I would sell now and make a slight profit whilst the market is buoyant, and we won’t lose out on what we paid for him.
He played well for France, but International football is a lot slower than the Premier League. He played well for Juventus, but Serie A is a lot slower than the Premier League. He is too readily closed down and doesn’t have the skill set to hold players off and turn defence into attack. He can’t play at the tempo required to dominate the midfield in the Premier League. We have tried so many things to get the best out of him and his style just isn’t suitable.
His goal scoring record is poor for a midfielder given that much license to roam. His assist record isn’t great either, considering most opportunities are supposed to come from him dominating the ball. I did read a stat that he has been involved in a higher percentage of goals scored than any other United player. We’re not a prolific team goal wise, so that’s a damning fact in my view. If Pogba was delivering, we’d score a lot more.
I know we can’t replace him this year’s window, but I think he holds us back. Sell now and let our other midfield players flourish by being allowed to play their more natural game and not playing to Pogba’s game. We have pandered to his needs for too long now and even giving him the armband hasn’t worked. He doesn’t play like a captain and certainly doesn’t interview like a captain. He’s has a deviance and has his own agendas, that will always hold back the team he is supposed to be leading.
I know many will not agree with me and still have this romantic notion that Pogba can have the sort of season for United that De Bruyne had for City last season. I just don’t see it, one plays at a high tempo and the other can’t. One plays for his teammates and the other doesn’t. Many will say that Jose is the problem and he can’t get the best out of him. I don’t think there would be many managers out there who get more out of him in the Premier League. So, we can sack the board, sack the manager, change all our playing staff but I still think that Pogba would be a problem.