Samuel Luckhurst writes in the Manchester Evening News: “[Paul] Pogba has become so expendable it must almost be a relief for United he is unavailable for the weekend derby. United have seldom pined for Pogba during his sessions with the physiotherapist.”
The truth is Pogba has become expendable in the sense that squeezing him into the lineup alongside United’s other star players means there’s bound to be an unbalance.
However, he’s not expendable in his talent, otherwise the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, and PSG wouldn’t be interested in him.
I’m sure Solskjaer would rather have Pogba than not, which is why he’s willing to lose the player for free rather than sell him early.
To say it’s a relief he’s not available or that the legendary Norwegian isn’t hoping for him to be fit is a ridiculous statement that ignores the impact he had on derby clashes of the past, such as the infamous 3-2 comeback win at the Etihad a few years ago.
Luckhurst goes on to make the wild claim: “For his club, it cannot be a coincidence Pogba’s turned the tap off since Cristiano Ronaldo returned. Pogba had his nose put out of joint by Alexis Sanchez in January 2018 – the same month his agent Mino Raiola offered him to Manchester City. A big player on bigger wages seems to bring out the Pogbad in Pogba.
Solskjaer has been brave enough to drop Pogba and survive the decision, unlike his predecessor. The best players do not make for the best team at United and Pogba is a casualty of that. Sympathy is in short supply.”
It seems bizarre to suggest Pogba has ‘turned the tap off’ since Ronaldo’s arrival when Luckhurst himself later admits the player has been in good form at the early parts of the season.
The talented Frenchman got two assists on the day Ronaldo scored twice against Newcastle United on his second debut.
Luckhurst just wants to paint Pogba as a money-grabbing player who won’t perform unless he’s the best-paid player, which is actually a horrible accusation that has no factual basis.
If he doesn’t like the United star he’s better off saying that rather than making weird, personal attacks.
Jose Mourinho didn’t survive at the club due to his failure to lead the team to sustained success, not because he dropped Pogba and didn’t survive.
Luckhurst sadly continues: “Yet United are a player-power club that sided with Pogba by sacking Mourinho and then tolerated his public revelling in it on Twitter. They used that platform last week to grant their 29 million followers permission to troll a journalist whose story Pogba denounced on his account.”
Again, Mourinho failed at his job and was fired for that reason, not because the ‘virus’ Pogba made them sack Mourinho. Strange accusation.
Luckhurst then says: “Pogba’s defenders have long attempted to depict criticism of him as some sort of sinister ulterior motive, as if a footballer playing basketball and dancing at a wedding whilst nursing an ankle injury for almost three months is not remotely questionable. Or that his lack of interest in signing a renewal is not a lack of commitment.
Sources say Pogba has not shown any inclination to commit to United, who are not in the habit of communicating a player’s wishes – even when his agent is.”
I’ll admit Luckhurst is a little right on this one- some Pogba defenders have been quick to accuse others of racism rather than having the actual discussion.
However, it’s sensationally stupid to hint the player was faking an injury so that he could play basketball or dance at a wedding.
Is Pogba meant to do absolutely nothing while he recovers? Is it better for him or the club if he stays miserably indoors for three months locked up with nothing to do?
Many fans have admitted the former Juventus man deserves to have won more trophies in his career based on his talent and many feel his time at United has been a waste from a personal point of view.
He’s won just the Europa League and Carabao Cup in close to six years. It makes sense before his last big contract that he wants to think things through.
It doesn’t mean he’s not committed or else Solskjaer wouldn’t play him. He’s never looked uninterested like Harry Kane and is in fact praised for his professionalism regularly.
United fans themselves can’t see when the club is going to win its next trophy yet Pogba is meant to believe staying is a good call and commit immediately.
The club is just as much at fault for not trying to resolve his future earlier and quickly. I have no doubts that if Pogba felt the club finally stopped being a mess and looked to be winning things soon that he would stay. It’s the reason why he signed in the first place.
If anything, the results of the season so far proves why Pogba was right to think things through first and take his time before making a decision.
All in all, you can be ‘Pogba in’ or ‘Pogba out’ and I can totally see the justification in both side’s arguments but to twist things and make up lies, attacking a player to try and trick others into believing what you believe is simply the lowest of the low.
In truth, there are a lot of reasons to keep Pogba and a lot of reasons to get rid of Pogba but at the very least try to keep your arguments civil and base it on some type of factual foundation.