Manchester United & Paul Pogba
In the Mail on Sunday and Sunday Times this weekend, two journalists tell Man United to sell Paul Pogba this summer.
Should that happen, one suspects Pogba would also be pretty pleased.
During a recent PR trip to Japan with Adidas, Pogba dropped the bombshell many had thought might come.
The French World Cup winner openly admitted he’s looking at a new challenge.
Pogba’s message was clear: he wants to leave Old Trafford.
Sir Alex Ferguson would have sold Paul Pogba – Sunday Times
According to Sunday Times reporter Jonathan Northcroft, Sir Alex Ferguson would have sold Paul Pogba.
Northcroft included the following quote from Sir Alex in his piece:
“I sold players who tried to undermine my control,” wrote Sir Alex Ferguson. “The truth is, I just could not afford to have our club revolve around either the outlook or health of one or two people.”
In the meat of the article, Northcroft broke down how Pogba’s stats weren’t incredible in 2018-19.
Half of last season’s goals were penalties. Only one was against a top six-side — Chelsea in the FA Cup — as were only two of the assists.
He was also just outside of the Premier League’s top 10 in creative metrics such as through-balls, passes and touches of the ball.
He was joint eighth with Jamie Vardy, one below Callum Wilson, for total goal involvements.
Jesse Lingard & Paul Pogba – Mail on Sunday
A slightly different approach to analysing Pogba was presented by Olivier Holt in the Mail on Sunday.
Instead of relying on stats to break down problems with Pogba, Holt indicates that the likes of Pogba, and Jesse Lingard, are fuelled by misguided motivations.
The suggestion was made that Pogba is only at Old Trafford for financial gain:
The cycle runs like this: United fail to qualify for the Champions League and so find it hard to attract the best players in the world. The only elite players who consider them are the ones who are coming for the money.
Dragging Jesse Lingard’s SnapChat video into his narrative, Holt made the following observations:
Lingard decided to give us a video tour of the apartment the players had shared on their trip, he wandered into one room and captured his friend, Jamal Branker, face down and gyrating with a pillow.
Branker’s name may at some point pass into United legend as rhyming slang but the sight of him attempting to have sex with an empty bed seemed like the perfect analogy for a club wallowing in its impotence while the conquests are being made elsewhere.
(Pogba) is just the latest example of the difference between perception and reality that is crippling United. They might still possess commercial might but on the pitch their reputation is tumbling.