Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Arrivederci, Paul Pogba

photo by Crystian Cruzvia PhotoRee

And good riddance.  As this space has consistently pointed out in the past (see Hargreaves, Owen) if you're not inclined to wear the shirt of Manchester United any longer, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

I don't profess to be an expert on the skills of the young French midfielder.  In fact, the only true opportunities I had to see him play came just this past season when he made a few cameos for the senior squad, after impressing at the reserve level.  Sure, I saw flashes of what made Warren Joyce and the reserve team afficianados whet their lips with anticipation, but I also saw a young player that still needed time and room to grow into his game.  In essence, I saw a product which showed great potential, but was far from finished goods.

But Pogba apparently disagreed, and rather than learn his trade at right hand of one of the proven masters of bringing young football players up through the ranks (see Ronaldo, Cristiano and Beckham, David), chose to cast his fate toward Turin.  While I wish the young Frenchman no harm, I find fault with the way that he chose to conduct himself throughout the last several months -- apparently signing a contract with Juve quite some time ago, yet refusing to acknowledge his plans to David Gill, Sir Alex and the rest of the United management team.
Pogba signed for Juventus a long time ago as far as we're aware.  Which is disappointing.

I don't think he showed us any respect at all, so -- to be honest -- I'm quite happy."
-- Sir Alex Ferguson
In essence, Pogba displayed an utter lack of respect in making his move to Juve -- playing United along while already having a deal in place with the Italians.  And make no mistake: respect is a big thing to Sir Alex. 

The Scotsman makes certain his charges are crystal clear that playing for United is a privilege and not a right.  To pull on the red and black kit is a badge of honor, and not a choice to be taken lightly.  We glean this little insight from a  prior epidode in which a certain English striker threatened to leave United -- and was told by Sir Alex that if that was indeed his choice, he should at least remember to "respect the club."  No player is bigger than the club, and certainly no player that disrespects the club is going to be missed by anyone associated with United -- least of all Sir Alex. 

Which the Frenchman obviously forgot or didn't care about in his youthful rush to make a mark -- any mark.  Time will tell if United fans will place Pogba in the extremely small camp of players who have left the team and gone onto greener pastures (a rather lonely island, truth be told, populated solely by Gerard Pique in this writer's estimation), or whether he will be yet another young player who overplayed his hand and overstepped his boundaries and will look back on his move with a fair amount of regret later in his career.

While Pogba may end of regretting his move, United fans will not -- there will always be players who will value the opportunity to play for the Reds highly -- which is more so than Pogba apparently did.

This is farlieonfootie for July 4.

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