Manchester United could not win two games in a row to start the 2019-20 Premier League season. Despite dominating most of the contest, The Red Devils settled for a 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton at Molineux this past Monday.
However, one thing that stood out was that Manchester United could have won this match. But Paul Pogba couldn’t score from the penalty kick, in a play that could have changed the outcome of the game. The France international missed from the spot in the 68th minute on Monday when the game was already 1-1.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he had no problems with Pogba taking the spot-kick in this match.
“There are two takers,” the coach said after the game on Monday. “It depends on them. How sure they are to take it and score. When there are two, the more confident of the two takes it and Paul has already scored some, so I don’t have a problem with players saying, ‘this is mine’.”
Changes WILL be coming, though…
Marcus Rashford had taken and converted in their hammering of Chelsea the week before, but the Frenchman stepped up after he spoke with his teammate, having won the penalty himself at Molineux.
Now, according to The Sun, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made his decision, and the Englishman will be responsible for dispatching from 12 yards going forward, though he hasn’t announced that publicly yet.
For what is worth, Rashford has a better track record and can also deliver on crunch time. The best example came last season, when the 21-year-old scored from the spot during stoppage time against PSG in Paris. United would’ve been eliminated had Rashford missed. But he defeated Gianluigi Buffon with the poise and maturity of a veteran player.
Not the first “maturity” issue regarding Paul Pogba
It has been mentioned that Paul Pogba might have a maturity issue. And while that might not be true, it’s worth exploring that idea. This is not the first time Pogba fails to perform on the clutch for The Red Devils.
During that same tie against PSG, he didn’t even play in the second leg after he was sent off in the first match following a red card shown on stoppage time. In other Champions League matches, Pogba often looked as if he wasn’t motivated. And the same thing happened during the Premier League games down the stretch.
Was he unhappy? Maybe he simply can’t be the leader from the squad? Either way, something needs to change. And removing Pogba from the penalty-kick duties seems like the first step in the right direction.