Pogba: time for United to be brutal

Author: Doron

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A few quick thoughts on Pogba given the papers have quotes from his agent today saying that United want him but there are other interested clubs and ultimately his future is totally unknown.

The fact he (Pogba) might even be impatient is annoying. He’s 18 and has no right to think he should be playing in the first team. More often than not he’s been poor for the Reserves this season. He’s not good enough to be regularly involved in the first team at the moment – or at least done nothing to suggest that he should be included ahead of other Reserve team players. The odd fleeting bench appearance is fine as he clearly has potential, but others – Cole, Lingard and Petrucci in particular, have been better than him this season and should really be ahead of him in the pecking order. The only thing that might keep Pogba ahead of them is his superior physique.

There’s nothing humiliating about not being in the first team yet. He’s 18 and has already had more first team exposure than Scholes, Butt, Beckham, Fletcher and Gibson had at the same age.

Pogba’s got plenty of great qualities but they’ve not been seen regularly enough this season. He should be dominating Reserve games by now if he’s as good as we’re lead to believe, but he does that infrequently. He still needs to fill out and has so much to learn and improve on.

If he thinks he should be playing regularly in the first team now then he should leave and try his luck elsewhere – it may well work out for him in someone else’s first team this soon but United have no need to rush through someone who really isn’t at the right level yet.

The few occasions I’ve met him he was polite and very grateful to be at United. I’ve no doubt he likes being at the club and in the few interviews he’s given he’s always been very positive about his future at United. He’s clearly being very badly advised – when you’re 18 and someone keeps telling you that you should earn big money and be in the first team, you start to believe it after a while. I can’t blame the club for apparently taking a hard line on this situation, they don’t need to be played around by an 18 year old and his agent.

The ideal situation is clearly that he signs a new deal – it shouldn’t be big money but should definitely work in some clause whereby if he progresses at a quick rate that his wage could increase proportionately – at least it’s an incentive for him. He has to be patient, work hard and maybe go on loan for the last few months of this season and/or the first half of next season.

To another club, Pogba may be worth much more than he is to United. Weekly wages of 40-45k have been thrown around in the papers with Juventus most often linked. He may well be worth that to them but he isn’t worth that to United, not yet anyway hence why an incentive based contract with the potential for a high wage seems most sensible. Yet, if a club is willing to offer him a tasty wage package then could you blame him for leaving? At 18, you don’t want to have to be making monetary decisions but big money is a huge lure, probably more so than if he was older.

Bottom line is it’s no failure on United’s part if he leaves. This is the age of hyping up youngsters too early and big money – once United cave in and give one unproven youngster a big deal, the rest will follow or at least feel entitled to demand a similar wage. We don’t need to go down that dangerous path and it’s pleasing to see that clearly the club agree.

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17 Comments on Pogba: time for United to be brutal

  1. Downhill ,once you go Pogba….So listen to your sleazebag agent…by the way Italian football excels at racism………The best club in the world for giving youth a chance is United…..Biggest sign of a ‘little’ man is thanklessness…..And that is you………P.S….the agent will dump you ..when your imminent short career will crash and burn………….Goodbye and Good riddance

  2. Having read his agent’s words on Sky I was actually quite relieved at their aparent tone; to be honest it seemed as though both parties were positive towards a stay at United, and would only deal with potential offers from other clubs if there was no agreement between the player and the club.

    However what did scare me was that this agent is the same guy who looks after Mario Ballotelli! We all know what a nutcase he is, and how little he seems to respect and value his time at his present club (he did the same while at Inter). It’s not necessarily fair to judge a player by the calibre of his agent (or indeed, the calibre of his agent’s other clients), however it is food for thought on the influence this agent my have on Pogba’s mentality and stance on where he feels he should be playing.

    This does make me wonder though: surely United should plan their contract lengths with the better (or rather the ‘more hyped’) youngsters more carefully. If they had, for instance, offered Pogba renewed terms 18 months ago, say, for a 5 year deal, then A) the player would be bound at the club over a period of time where he would be able to prove his worthiness of a first team slot, and B) the amount they could have offered him would’ve likely been worth less than he’s asking for now. I’m no expert on football contracts but surely they could have planned better for someone who’s been talked about for the last few years, and we would not be stuck in this situation where an as yet unproven “prodigy” is asking for terms beyond his present value?

  3. While he might not have dominated in the reserves I think the few appearances he’s made for the first team this year haven’t left him looking out of his depth at all.

    I think it could be argued that against Stoke he looked the strongest of any of the Utd midfield and at the very least was a performance that erred closer to ‘Lets try this out again soon’ rather than ‘Disaster – back to the bench with you for the rest of the season’.

  4. @Christopher – to be fair he came on in a game that was won, against a team who’d given up. Yes he did well but 20 minutes of good first team football is nothing really. Did very little in the Carling Cup when he played

  5. As Evra once said about himself, Pogba should go to a Church every morning and thank God for giving him the chance to play for United.

    If he does not feel that way he should fuck off to wherever he wants!

  6. Well, considering what his agent has been quoted saying, it’s not necessarily a question of higher wages but more likely a question of playing time. I can’t believe people keep missing that point – everyone jumps the bandwagon and assumes (for instance on the basis of something The Sun – for crying out loud – has written) that it’s only a money issue. It’s too simplified to state that really and even though it makes it easier for fans to blame only Pogba based on this assumption, the situation is in all likelihood more nuanced.

    The agent says this in The Independent:
    “It is a precarious situation,” Raiola said. “It is difficult at the moment. Manchester United want him. It is up to the boy to make some decisions.” Asked if there were uncertainties about whether his future lay at United, Raiola said: “Not from our side but that is a question to ask Mr Ferguson.”

    To me, this sounds like there could be two factors involved: money and playing time (obviously, that would be most players’ perspectives/demands). However, the next quote does seem to clear things up a bit:
    On the teenager’s absence from the squad to play Ajax, Raiola said: “It is never nice for the player not to be in the squad. It is the same for [Mario] Balotelli [whom Raiola also represents.] We must keep our minds cool and heads cool. Some things are good. Some things are not good [in this situation].”

    From these quotes, it sounds like a lack of playing time could be the main issue (again, it’s obviously not clear-cut) – and I for one can understand why he’s a bit reluctant to agree anything. Giggs has extended his contract one more year, Scholes could go down the same road, then there are Anderson, Cleverley and Carrick who are all ahead of him in the pecking order (as of now, justified of course). So when will he get a look-in? And how patient can we expect him to be? Any United-fan would probably wait a decade and I can understand people saying “if he can’t wait, he should just leave”. But then again, he’s a foreign player and he hasn’t played at the club from he was 12-years old (like e.g. Cleverley and Welbeck). We can’t expect foreign players to automatically become die hard fans of the club. They want playing time, and that was also the case for players like Pique, Rossi, and latest it has been the case for Macheda (again, I’m not judging whether United did the right thing or not).

    On a broader perspective, the club must try to work out how we deal with young non-British players. We have a lot of them at the club at the moment (more than ever, I think), and we face a real task of trying to make them wait while other clubs come knocking on our door. The plan of loaning non-British players out to other clubs hasn’t worked as well as it has with British players (for instance Macheda, Rossi and King) so how do we approach the situation when trying to make them wait? It’s a difficult task that’s for sure, and we still haven’t been able to really bring through a non-British talent the last ? number of years (maybe someone can enlighten me on this), which is a bit of a shame, I think. After all, the young foreign players know the club and the English game much better than the “established” foreign buys of say 20- or 21-year old.

    Lastly, whilst I do agree with Doron that Pogba in games has been over shadowed by the likes of Petrucci and to a lesser extend Lingard, I do find it odd how people sometimes believes that you have to own every youth or reserve game to really stand a chance (I’m not claiming you think that, Doron). Often it is like that, of course, but I have seen Fletcher, Anderson, Gibson, Macheda, and Fabio play reserve games without really dominating anything, whilst at the same time they were brilliant (or at least better) for the first team. Sometimes, the extra push is what you need to really flourish – to play with better players and to get that extra motivation.
    Pogba could be one of those players, or maybe he’s not. But let’s hope he’s the former and that he stays – it is all the more pleasing when a youth- and reserve player reaches the very top 😉

  7. @jm,
    U make a fair point about his playing tiome really. but I think one thing we need to cleaer up is that if saf let’s pogba play week in and week out because of a stalling contract. It would still open a floodgate towards the other youngsters.
    Think about it, if others, say, for example, will keane. If he sees pogba doing this, and it works, then, he will do the same and if saf does play him, then the season would go in fail. Not many youngsters have enough qualities yet. They are good, but lack experience, and might cost us the match.
    Another point, is, if saf does a wenger and let youngsters jus run up to the pitch unexperienced, then, if the boy fails, the boy and the club would be criticized. Media will blow on him just like what they did in the beginning of season with DDG. It would jus write off their confidence, and might never step up again. .not many people have the mentality to be able to step forward again once their confidence has been crushed down. I think what saf is trying to do is let youngsters merge in the first team, bit by bit. Bt, jus in the wrong time, as pogba’s contract Is ending soon.
    I don’t know,, buts these are jus my opinions.
    Anyway, I think we need to trust fergie on this. He knows the clubs finance, what we need, and most of all, he sees the players everyday, and know their personality well, so he will know what needs to be done.
    In fergie we truust!

  8. Pobga exudes loads of confidence in his play and i am sure will add another dimension to united. While we all agree he is still a tenderfoot to first team football, i feel Pogba could easily fit in considering the premiership’s physicality. United’s midfilders at times lack confidence in their play and age is catching up with most of them so Sir Alex should consider introducing youngsters the Barca way. Agents need to advise responsibly not just misleading players. Rio should talk Pogba out of the idea to leave.

  9. First of all the influence of the Agent definately has a bearing on this whole protracted contract saga; although Pogba himself has the final say on the whole matter as quoted by the agent himself that the boy has some important decisions to make. The stance from the club is excellent and should be commended in the sense that they are trying NOT to set a precedence with the youngster otherwise there would be anarchy at the academy level especially since there are quite a few promising youngsters looking at how this whole saga is being played out. I believe that the club opened a pandora’s box by allowing Rooney to hold the club to ransom; and the other agents begin to see the angle for exploiting the whole situation.

    Anyway, if the tabloids are to be believed and the club has issued an ultimatum to Pogba and Fryers to sign their contracts within the next 24 hours of risk not playing for the club again; then I fully support this decision cause the club and manager has to show some leadership in the handling of these contracts especially to the other promising youngsters as well as their opportunistic agents.

    As for Pogba; he should feel priviledged to be on the bench of the first team at such a tender age of 18 cause the likes of Scholes and Giggs are also warming the bench on certain games cause the manager must be give the perogative to play any player that he feels would add a tactical advantage in any given game rather than having to choose a particular player even if he is not suited for the match or is off form e.g. Rooney.

  10. I think he will stay. Figures around 40.000£/week are mentioned to be his demand, but I think thats only speculations. And IF they were to give him that and (lets say) a 4 year contract, that will give him 8.320.000£ + of course a sign on fee. If he developes like it looks like, he will be worth a lot more than that in a couple of years time. Another thing is that if he is going and United have to buy a similar talent, it will cost the club a lot. Therefore its good economy for the club signing him on a relatively expensive deal – we have to remember that the guys at Manchester can count too. And this is not at all a similar situation as to the one with Ravel Morrison. Pogba is a better player, he doesnt bring any scandals with him and he seemingly has very good workethics.

    I think the boy wants to stay and I think he will be happy with a lesser contract than the 40k/week. I am sure that he will be told that his chances will be increasing in numbers the coming season, so why would he go?

    If he goes, then he goes, but I think he will stay.

  11. Juventus fan here, saw the link to this blog posted up with a report on our supposed interest in signing young Pogba.

    I’d like to point out that Pogba will not be getting paid 40-50k a week at Juventus, one report suggested 20k a week and even that is too steep, we refused to sign Lucas Piazon (reportedly the next Kaka, since gone to Chelsea) because he wanted a similarly high amount of pay. Also, his agent Raiola has a habit of bigging up his clients a lot, we recently signed another 18 year old midfielder (Ouasim Bouy) who Raiola has proclaimed the ‘best talent of his generation’. So if Raiola is saying all this stuff about clubs offering Pogba massive contracts I wouldn’t believe it.

    Very interesting views on Pogba btw, don’t know all that much about him so good to get some insight from United fans!

  12. @Louis – thanks for the comment. The piece was written over a week ago hence we were quite inaccurate with any predicted wage for Pogba.

    I think he’s a great signing for anyone purely because of the potential.

  13. @Nameonthetrophy

    Didn’t realise when this was written, my bad.

    Good to hear about his potential, couple of United fans I know seem to rate him very highly. What is his playing style like though? Is he a box-to-box midfielder like Fletcher?

  14. @Louis – erm not really sure who to compare him to. Personally I think his mobility isn’t great, think he can be quite lazy when not in possession. When he has the ball he’s very capable of going box-to-box and he’s clever, sees the right passes, uses the ball well. The coaches at United worked really hard last summer on his defensive positioning.

  15. @Nameonthetrophy

    That’s very interesting to know. Our coach (Antonio Conte) expects maximum effort from all the players in training and matches, so if he were to join us any laziness wouldn’t be tolerated. I think part of the reason Eljero Elia hasn’t been used that much this season is due to his reputation as a lazy player (when at previous clubs), he’s only just begun to be named consistently among the substitutes in the last month or so which to me signals that he’s dropped the laziness. This might be the case with Pogba is he joins us, if your personal opinion on his effort level is correct.

    Would you say that he’s clever in a creative sense, or in the sense that he doesn’t make stupid decisions when he has the ball? Your description of him makes me think of Sergio Busquets, another player who is intelligent on the ball (without being really creative) but not exactly mobile either, although I could just be misinterpreting your words.

  16. @Louis – he’s capable of both being creative and sensible. It’s something he needs to improve on though – he probably tries to be creative too often. Although that may just be him trying to impress.

    Not sure I’d compare him to Busquets, he’s something of a destroyer – Pogba’s certainly got the potential to be more influential when in possession than Busquets is.

  17. @Nameonthetrophy

    Maybe he needs a few lessons from Scholes and Giggs then? 😉

    Certainly sounds a worthwhile prospect from everything you’ve told me. Could learn quite a bit if he joins us with the likes of Pirlo and Vidal in the squad, as well as Conte who was a midfielder in his playing days. Can’t say for certain whether he’d be playing regularly in the first team though, given the depth we have in midfield right now. If he want to leave United due to lack of first team opportunities it wouldn’t make sense for him to join another team (Juventus) who might not give him the game-time he wants. So it might just turn out that all the talk of him leaving is a poor attempt by his agent to force United into offering him a new (and lucrative) contract.

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