Should I stay or should I go? – The Paul Pogba Confusion

Manchester United are facing uncertain times, they have lost two home games including the game against Tottenham. United were mauled against Spurs and a scrappy win against Brighton which in all fairness should have ended a draw. The transfer window was nothing good to write about. A disaster according to some, shambles according to others. The consensus is that Edward Woodward has messed up another window and set up another manager to fail. This ramshackle of a window has made the team spirit brittle. Many players are now questioning the board for their approach and more importantly intent to challenge for titles. If you think this was not enough problem in itself, there is an even bigger problem. Paul Pogba seems to be keen on a move abroad as the next possible destination for the World Cup winner.

A rocky start and unstable environment

Its been a shaky start to the season for Manchester United. Two home losses before the international break is not the kind of endorsement one would be looking for. Paul Pogba himself hasn’t been great or his performances worth mentioning. He has looked jaded, and dare I say he has been woefully short of form. Explified in giving away a weak penalty in that game against Tottenham. The two-week international break has also thrown a few curveballs with reports of team instability and an unhappy dressing room. Although these have been dismissed by both Bruno Fernandes and Scott McTominay.

All this begs a question is this end game for Pogba and his Manchester United journey? Before the summer transfer window had started, he had proclaimed his commitment to the Theatre of Dreams. Pogba exclaimed how happy he was to be part of the project put together by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. His outspoken agent too had given indication of Pogba having the urge to extend his stay in Manchester. But a very horrible transfer window and some uninspiring results seem to have caused a change in stance in the Pogba camp.

Paul Pogba – a vital cog for Ole

Pogba is seen as one of the biggest contributors to take Man United to the next level. He has a view and ambition to challenge for major honors in the near future. Since the sacking of Jose Mourinho in December 2018, Paul Pogba has been seen as one of the main voices in the dressing room. Having worked together in the youth set up both the manager and the player command huge respect for each other. Both have said they have a good bond and understanding about each other’s needs. When the last season resumed after lockdown Pogba formed a vital partnership with Bruno Fernandes. Combining with Matic, they gave the United fans a dream midfield combination to think about. The initial few matches suggested that the duo have hit off well. But the understanding and the interplay has tapered off as the season progressed.

Pogba has come back after battling COVID-19 before the start of this season and without a proper pre-season. He has not got to clock the required miles in his legs to get going. Pogba also commands the respect and admiration of many in that Manchester united dressing room. He is seen as one of the senior members of the team. Solskjaer needs a fit and hungry Pogba to start firing on all cylinders and in the process make the team great once again. United have crucial games coming up not only in domestic competitions but also the prized UEFA Champions League.

ED Woodward’s cost of failure

The less spoken about this transfer window the better it sounds on a personal level. The transfer window was complete shambles by every stretch of imagination. Ed Woodward has failed the club, its fans and the manager without adding the top priorities that were expected at the close of last season. The failure to land defensive reinforcements has seen the team already concede 11 goals in 3 games.

Last year United had one of the best defensive records in the EPL. The players too seem to be distraught at the way the board has treated the club. Especially by not backing the manager who against all odds led them to a third-place finish. They had finished same points as Chelsea but when you look at the London based outfit they have out spent and shown ambition to create a new team all together and make a play for the title. Ed Woodward’s petulance with money has cost United 8 years of progress. This could be yet another season where the best club in the world could be languishing in the abyss of mediocrity.

No Aim = No Paul Pogba?

The shambles behind the scenes seemed to have caused Pogba to think twice about his future with the club. The player is perfectly entitled to want to leave the confused cluster that is now Manchester United. The failing board and faulty direction since Sir Alex and David Gill left has resulted in this chaos. The reluctance to invest and show ambition towards the future seems to the reason for the player and his camp to reassess their stand for their future. The current campaign might still get better with some sturdy performances and displays. The additional lure of Champions League football should make the players pull up their socks and pull the team out of the slump with Pogba being the conductor in the beautifully synchronized orchestra

Pogba bound abroad?

The last few weeks papers have linked the player to a possible shift to Spain with Real Madrid and possibly even Barcelona being touted as a potential destination for the talented Frenchman. The delay to sign a new contract can also see possibly him leave on a free in 2022 after being signed by United on a then world record deal will certainly be an egg in the face for the board especially Ed Woodward. If they let Pogba leave it can have a negative effect on the morale of many and you could have a situation where many of the players will reconsider their future in this great club. Ed the time is now to do the wise thing for the future, of both Manchester United as a club and a future institution for many to admire.

Author: Ashwin