Date:5th December 2011 at 7:31pm
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Play Gibson Or Lose Pogba? A Simple Choice.

It’s simple right? Paul Pogba being the midfield saviour we need should easily find a place in front of the awful Darron Gibson?

Whilst John Bains’ blog doesn’t break it down in terms as crude as this, the title says it all and this was the overlying feeling most had.

Pogba is apparently stalling on signing a new contract due to lack of first team chances, something that perplexed many fans.

We’ve all seen Pogba in some capacity, be it the outstanding highlights you can now find of him on YouTube, live in the flesh, the cameos he has made for the first team or at reserve level on MUTV. It is undeniable he is capable of brilliance, we have all seen it but on Wednesday we and he got a sharp reminder of footballing reality.

The game has changed.

In this day and age players are expected to be fully fledged stars by 18/19, it is the reason people were writing off Nani a few seasons ago. Players are no longer afforded time to develop properly because of the emergence of young prodigies who against the odds are able hold their own when thrown into the deep end.

It is then expected that all talented youngsters should be able to do so, completely ignoring the fact that people let a lone players develop at different rates.

There was an expectation that Pogba would be the player to solve our midfield problems. He clearly has the ability, but truth be told in his first team cameos this season he hasn’t displayed this.

Firstly let me say this isn’t a knock on Pogba, it is quite unrealistic to expect an 18 year old to step into central midfield and become some sort of general. It is often stated that the position is one of the hardest positions to play so to thrust all of our hopes onto him is being quite unfair.

I agree with Sir Alex’s tactic of gently easing him into the team, it allows him to become familiar with not only team mates but also the routine. Having him train with the first team, including him in match day squads and travelling parties even if he doesn’t make it into the starting XI or onto the bench serves a purpose (even if it does act as a teaser to us as fans!) and if he does remain with us it will benefit him in the long term.

Now let me explain what I meant when I said he hasn’t given us a true indication of his ability. Against Leeds and Palace he didn’t look like the Pogba that I have seen previously. I don’t mean in terms of him playing inch perfect Hollywood passes or rifling them in from 30 yards. It is more in terms of his mentality.

When discussing Pogba I often state that sometimes he can be quite relaxed especially when he knows he is better than his opposition. I remember specifically against West Ham in the FAYC last season seeing this. He has a confidence in himself that is evident but both of his run outs for the first team have been tinged with anxiety and nervousness.

I won’t be the only person that laughed at the commentator that foolishly derided his shooting ability against Leeds, we all know he can belt them in but nerves got the better of him and the same can be said for against Palace too. 
He wasn’t poor in either game by any stretch of the imagination but at the same time you can see that he is still adapting to playing in the first team.

Some people find it easier than others to step into the first team, Ravel for instance doesn’t seem to be suffering from the same problems as Paul and for me has shown a maturity in his play, including against Palace.

Pogba is just 18, he isn’t going to walk into the midfield and be solve all of our problems but you can see the making of a brilliant player taking place and in a few years I wouldn’t bet against him being a quality player in midfield for us (if he signs a new deal of course).

If Pogba does want to leave because he feels he isn’t getting the first team chances he deserves at United, then perhaps the game against Palace will have opened his eyes a little as to why. The step up isn’t easy and not to say he can’t do it but it isn’t something that happens overnight.

The game against Palace will have opened some of our eyes too, a wonderkid yes but essentially still a kid. There is no rush when it comes to him, Sir Alex has been turning youth team players into first team players since his days at St. Mirren.

If and when he is ready a player as talented as he won’t be held back.


28 responses to “The not so simple Pogba situation”

  1. MUdslinger606 says:

    Here! Here! Darren Fletcher is another case in point as someone who, if given the chance to rediscover the form which untimely injury robbed him of, will go a long way to helping us retain the title. I remember not too long ago, as a 22-23yr old people were screaming to let him go. So it is right that Pogba should get the time to develop that his talent deserves.

    Chudi, a sound analysis as always but really the main reason why this has become an issue of some urgency is because of the lack of dynamism and creative incisiveness of our CM positions. Our games usually pan out with us having the lions share of the possession but played out in front of their 2 lines of midfield and defence. We don’t have anyone in those positions that can put opponents on the back foot like a Silva or Mata can. To bypass opponents we usually play to our strengths and go to the wing but it can get predictable…

    • JonyB says:

      problem is Darren Fletcher has now been crap for 18mnths…… we NEED a player like Pogba to break through because its pretty damn obvious we can’t afford a top quality player!!!!!

      • MUdslinger606 says:

        Fair point on Fletcher but poor form isn’t such a big issue if the underlying problem as I see it is due to there not being a satisfactorily strong CM combo that we can settle on for consistency. It just becomes an issue of getting the right personnel to play together, whether through transfers or bringing younger players through.

        I actually agree with you that we should try to keep Pogba as he looks like he’s got bags of potential but disagree that we can’t afford top quality players.

        Lately, I’ve had more sympathy with the view that we should only spend to get the ‘right’ type of player which seems to me to be geared towards getting top quality younger players in. In that respect we’ve done really well, who would argue that De Gea, Jones and Smalling haven’t been really good bits of business. Frustrating though it is, I more inclined than before to go along with investing cash this way than spends large sums on players who could offer 5-6 years of top level service. Maybe we just haven’t spotted a CM that fits this profile that is available.

        IF we go without trophies this season then it’d wise to remember that we’ve been through lean patches recently and have come out stronger. Remember when Mourinho’s Chelsea clobbered all before it? Since then, we’ve built an enviable record in Europe while winning trophies domestically. However frustrating it is for us fans, these things just take time to put together…

  2. Jaylani says:

    I dont know who is trying to ruin this boy’s future at united. how can he stall a contract up to the last minute. i think they are trying to milk united dry. if he is given a big contract it will set a precedent that if u twist united’s hands u wil get what u want. am afraid that if money is the issue this boy will go to his idol. …vieira….. at city. to them there are no negotiations….u just say how much u want

    • CollyhurstRedArmy says:

      His idol isn’t Viera, no doubt its someone he probably respects, but you just got that from lazy commentators comparing him to viera because hes tall, french, black and plays in midfield. Their styles and personalities are very different

      If saf feels he isnt worth the money than he can go, but he wont get a better manager or better coaching anywhere else. All city can offer him is undeserved riches. Besides he is a great lad and only two weeks ago he was saying how much he loves it at the club. It is his agent after more greedy cash and is using the oil money as a bartering chip.

      Saf knows best here so no need to panic. Anyway, Morrison is the one with magic in his boots. He more likely to make a difference first.

    • RedScot says:

      I think they are trying to milk United dry! Your onto something.I just have that feeling also.

  3. Diablo says:

    Pogba has done nothing to convince me hes the Realdeal, his shooting is awfull and all round play very average,Cleverley is the man! its a pity hes injured though! Pogba and Morrison showed nothing against Palace and did not Stepup!

    • RedScot says:

      Exactly Paul was caught in the headlights, and his head turned bye a unscrupulous agent.He has been offered alledgedly 15k Per week,he is asking for 45k.Shocking.I disagree about Ravel mate he had some great touches and should no fear.As the mentality to be a United player, that Maverick and nuttyness to crack it.Thats what top player have, like Roy Keane, Eric Cantona, Dennis Law.
      We need a bit of excitement, dont we.?

    • Freddy says:

      Your way off the mark with your comments on Ravel ther diablo im afraid.

      Even without considering Ravels impressive performance its not very smart to be judging any 18 year olds on their debut playing with a group of under performers.

      As for saying Pogba’s shooting is awful, that comment alone shows how little you must have seen of him.

      • RedScot says:

        Are You judging the football player or the sad unfortunate childhood?
        Think of George Best hardly the model pro was he?
        Sir Matt stuck bye his off field antics, what I have read, he recognised the talent.Do me a favour and make a judgement between Sir Matt and Sir Alex.Totally different complex circumstances for young players at United to negotiate.
        He is in my opinion what needs cherished and groomed to be the future.As David Gill said in the team building for the future when the Boss departs.( Heaven forbid)

        • Freddy says:

          Is this comment a reply to mine? If so then it doesnt relate to my comments at all.

          I said Ravel was impressive the other night and we shouldn’t be judging an 18 year old off one performance anyway. Where did I mention his personality or childhood?

          If it wasn’t a reply to me then apologies for the misunderstanding.

  4. RedScot says:

    You mean now, Pogba is not a cunt? As per your ‘Pod Cast’ That you allowed to be played on the Busby way.I thought it was well off, the mark, as I wrote on the article, listening to the difficult to hear podcast.
    All I am saying on this I would have challenged Baines on his thoughts on Football Fan cast, I cannnot now sign in, because of the new mechanics.His views where (copied) and the ridicule of Darron Gibson.Do you know the Derry Donkey, has a strike rate of goals to game ratio as Wesley Sneijder? Its a fact, check the stats.
    The manager said its not tricky to understand it, is it. We dont want to put young players on the park to humilate them?.He is thinking of the players good .For the future.
    If your good enough your old enough.The manager views.
    I know for a fact Paul will extend his contract.
    I was keeping a low

    • Chudi says:

      I can’t vouch for everything, its the same as with the blogs I post. I simply offer a platform for people (I’ve had Leeds and City fans on here too) to express their opinions.

      I wasn’t on the podcast so it’s a bit unfair to throw that back in my face!

  5. jonathan says:

    You’re completely on the mark here Chudi. In a general sense, it’s a ridiculous notion to think a talent from Academy level will immediately revolutionize the First Team of an elite club immediately. There’s virtually no precedent for that and even our famed class of ’92 were really making their impact a few years later.

    I really hope Pogba hasn’t let the hype get to his head and can manage with “only” a couple thousand a week in salary until he proves his worth. If he does indeed have the talent then there’s simply no one on earth better to bring it out of him than SAF.

  6. Adam says:

    First of all we shouldn’t forget how we signed Pogba in the first place, so to expect loyalty is unrealistic. Maybe he wants more chances, or maybe he wants more money, we don’t know. I hope he stays but he isn’t ready for the first team. A loan spell in January would do him good.

    • RedScot says:

      I think it was Le Havre, was it not, he is French as well I think.As you say loyalty, its not a Given

  7. RedScot says:

    Drone, some people just have a failure to read! lmao

  8. ricky says:

    i still think gibson can be the answer jus needs to hit the treadmill and get a decent haircut. pogba i think will get lured to ac milan as for ravel, hes gonna be the nxt big thing since sliced bread.

    • RedScot says:

      Ha Ha, well said mate.Beer Goggles know it well.
      Lets shout for the lads in Switzerland against Balsle, or Balllll.
      Stick with the lads, they try their best for our magnificent club.
      I never apply blame to the players(Well Anderson Lol) I can cut to the chase.The Glazers.
      Cmon United, Cmon You Reds

  9. 68Devils says:

    What an 18 year old wants to do with 45k a week!!
    If his agent can get shitty to pay that much by all means bon vovage