Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pogba and Fryers gone: Who is to blame, agents or could United have done more?

Manchester United are smarting following the recent defections of Paul Pogba and Zeki Fryers. After making just seven appearances for the first-team last season, in so doing showing signs of real class, to the consternation of United supporters and surely Ferguson too, Pogba snubbed the club's overtures and instead opted to join Juventus - a move which has understandably upset United. As if that wasn't bad enough, talented defender Zeki Fryers then decided to quit United and join Spurs.

Young players come and go on an all too frequent basis at a club like United and so there's nothing particularly new about that, but this time it was different, because in the case of Pogba,  he has the potential to be a huge star. Pogba could have saved United tens of millions in the transfer market - a fact that makes United's failure to agree a deal all the more baffling and frustrating. The former Le Havre youngster looks to be every inch the central midfield player Fergie's squad so badly needs. United's engine room is short on genuine quality and in Pogba the Scot knew he had someone who could well go on to be a very special player. Pogba's decision to leave is a bitter blow for everyone connected with United - especially in the current financial climate, in which Ferguson finds himself slugging it out with 'moneybags' Manchester City with one hand tied behind his back.

Until the last few weeks of last season, Ferguson had worked wonders and against all odds looked like securing another league title - only for his team to do a Devon Loch and falter in the final stages of the title race, as United gifted the Premier League trophy to Roberto Mancini and his players. The lapses which led to what was an alarming collapse were and still are unforgivable.

So as we headed into the summer to lick our collective wounds it was with the hope that Ferguson would bolster his squad with quality additions and come back ready for next season with the players who are capable of bringing the title back to Old Trafford. Pogba, could and SHOULD have been part of that squad.

The fact that both Pogba and Fryers chose to leave raises many questions.  In the case of Pogba, should United have been willing to meet his demands? Perhaps they were, but we haven't been told the full story, save for a few barbed comments from Fergie about 'lack of respect' - but there's two sides to every story. In the final analysis the club failed to agree a deal and that's a fact, one of the few we the fans' can be sure of.

But did it have to end this way? Manchester United have always been willing to make 'exceptions' for 'special players'. Surely United's decision-makers could see what many observers could plainly see, that is Pogba is going to be twice the player the likes of Anderson will ever be.

In the aftermath of the departures, there has been much debate - the argument that the club had to keep within its pay structure for all of its youngsters has been touted. In the light of what happened, should United now be prepared to make exceptions for special cases like Pogba? The alternative is to risk losing the next really talented youngster - after all there's no shortage of suitors.

Pogba has been labelled as 'greedy' by some fans, but we could say that about many top-flight players, including Rio Ferdinand who it is claimed is worth £40m and yet according to reports, he's balking about signing that new deal.

If we accept the notion that most players are sadly more concerned about money than anything else, it's not that difficult to see why it was easy for Juventus to prize Pogba away from United.

If United needed a reality check, they've had one - if they don't meet the financial demands of the most talented players, as we found to our cost with Pogba, someone else will.


  1. Do you maybe think, that Pogba wasnt actually as good as you are making him out to be.

    Anderson at the age of 19 commanded a fee of 20 million, Pogba at the same age went on a free transfer and you are attempting to suggest that we all know he'll be a better player, what utter rubbish!!! The boy has made 7 odd appearances for the first team and never once did he look anything special.

    If he really had been all that, he would have broken into the team properly and im sure they would have tied him down to a longer contract last summer.

    People get too carried away with what they read in the papers and online, Pogba was a good player for Utd reserves and that is that. He wasn't anything special, imo. I think people are too concerned with the obvious physical resemblences to Viera, whether he reaches that level is entirely different matter.

    At the end of the day if Utd had really wanted him then they would have kept him, i fully believe that. These guys cant attempt to hold our club to ransom, surely you can see that. When guys who have barely featured for the first team start turning around and demanding €20,000 p/w, you have to curb it, otherwise where does it end.

    At the end of the day, if Fergie had of felt that Pogba was good enough to play for Utd firsts, then he would have. He has always given players the opportunities, Pobga obviously wasn't ready. Would you sacrifice the good of the team to adhere to some egotistical 19 year olds self belief, i certainly wouldn't

    1. IMO, yes, Pogba was worth keeping - I would have done pretty much anything to have kept him. That's what concerns me. Ultimately, it comes down to an opinion, obviously, we should be referring to Fergie, but I'm not sure that Fergie makes the final decision on money though.

      I fear United have dropped an almighty clanger.

  2. I totally agree with your article, it is really frustrating for me as a Man Utd fan watching Pogba stand out at this summer's U19 international championships, especially given our current predicament in central midfield.

    The problem is, without knowing the full story, you can't make a decision on who is right or wrong. We signed Phil Jones as a 19 year old for £16M and he is apparently on £40k/w. If Pogba was as good a player as Phil Jones surely SAF would have played him just as much. Especially given the fact PJ is a centre back yet SAF was using him in Central Midfield.

    But there’s no hiding from the fact SAF didn’t want to lose him. He gave him many opportunities during the title run in, more than any other youth player had. He also had Rio Ferdinand and Evra talking to him all the time, trying to convince him to stay.

    I think 90% of our youth feel privileged to play for Man Utd, and as SAF says, if you are good enough, the riches will eventually come to you. Maybe they can make more money in the short term by moving to a lesser club, but surely Pogba hasn’t left Manchester United, with the best manager in the past 30 years in charge, a family atmosphere and record second to maybe only Barcelona is developing it’s own players because he thinks he has more chance of extra game time at Juventus.

    Seems ridiculous to most people, but maybe he is a person who doesn’t need stability in his life. A question I would love to ask him is what would it have cost Man Utd per week for you to have stayed.

    1. Thanks for your kind words. I agree with you and especially your comments about Phil Jones and his deal, you are bang on.

      I also believe you might be right about Pogba leaving to get more game time - we simply don't know why he left, but I'd love to know the answer to that...


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