Paul Pogba has expressed his chagrin at the prospect of missing Manchester United’s pivotal clash with Manchester City this weekend through suspension.
The Frenchman went over on Hector Bellerin’s outstretched leg during the 3-1 win over Arsenal last weekend and duly received his marching orders from referee Andre Marriner.
He will miss Sunday’s Manchester derby as well as clashes with AFC Bournemouth and West Bromwich Albion.
And Pogba, speaking soon after starring during a 2-1 win over CSKA Moscow, was clearly disappointed at missing such an important game but emphasised the importance of looking forward rather than back.
“I have complete trust in the team,” he said. “Even if I’m not there, I’ll be there watching the game, giving positive energy, and hopefully we’re going to win.”
“It’s a big derby and the atmosphere is going to be big. We want to win, we need to win as well. They need to win because they know that we are behind and we are closing and closing. We are still eight points behind, so with an eight-point gap we cannot win the league. We are still behind.
“But if I didn’t believe that [United can catch City], I’d stop playing football now. I’m very disappointed because I really want to help the team and wanted to be there for this derby. We’re all playing football to play those kind of games and, unfortunately for me, I won’t play. That’s destiny.
“I say ‘destiny’ because I cannot go back in the past. You have to think about the future, the present, obviously, and then after it’s the future.
“I didn’t really speak after the game – I didn’t have time – but I think Hector, I know him as well, and I would never give him a tackle like this. Unfortunately for me, I thought he would put his feet in and he was in a position that was a disadvantage for me, so I did it.
“It looks very bad, but the intention wasn’t like that. They had the decision, the referee, got the red card and that’s football.”
Some of us let the smallest things eat us alive. If I were told 9 good things and one bad thing, the latter would always dominate my mind. This is a grim and indeed prevalent handicap for most of modern civilisation.
But such is not the case with Pogba. The Frenchman’s outlook towards life doesn’t allow for one particular event to get him down. His only direction is forward, and that ebullient mindset translates into a true spectacle on the pitch. He is an entertainer, an aggressor, a pure technician, and most of all a beaming presence. Everything feels that much brighter with him on the pitch.
How costly will his absence be on Sunday?