Just take a look at Arsenal and their bewildering stance Mesut Ozil to see what kind of problem Manchester United may be facing this season.
Mikel Arteta has received a lot of unwarranted praise for his handling of Ozil, the highest earner with Arsenal and whom the club does not want despite his apparent ability. With the German’s contract expiring in June this year, Arsenal made no effort to keep them integrated with the team. He is now outcast and tweets regularly from his desert island while looking for a game here or there. Arteta did not allow this. His decision is final.
You can understandably compare the problem with the United case Paul Pogba The situation, or you can exclude two incomparable. Your point of view may depend on how much you think Bogba can provide united From now until his inevitable departure in June.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer He definitely made up his mind, and came to the opposite conclusion for Arteta about Ozil.
Solskjaer was initially criticized for his decision to keep Pogba in and around his first team. He doesn’t always choose the French player – because he often favors Fred and Scott McTominay’s midfield pivot – but he chooses not to give up the World Cup winner, as Arteta did with Ozil.
Against Aston Villa On New Year’s Day, and on multiple occasions since then Controversial comments from Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola appeared, and Solshire’s approach was proven. Raiola may have angered United by insisting that Pogba leave, amid the interest of Real Madrid and Juventus, but the relationship between Solshire and Pogba appears solid.
“Appears” is the key word here of course. Solskjaer kept all of his catching Pogba firmly behind the scenes. On the field, he used it brilliantly.
The 27-year-old had to settle for a left wing hatch United 2-1 victory over Villa But he seemed undeterred, when he didn’t bother the other less professional players – who knew the exit was in sight – at all.
“We are pleased with his contribution,” Solskjaer said of Pogba after the Villa match. “I think it’s important to put the ball on Paul, whether it’s low on the field or higher in between the lines, I think it made a difference.
“I know he started defending on a large scale but we wanted him to run behind them, catch the ball. His physical presence is important to us. Now Paul is leaner and stronger is getting a performance like tonight.”
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Arteta probably couldn’t have gotten such a performance from Ozil. However, Pogba is quite fit and his dismissal is now testament to Solskjaer’s diplomatic and sensitive handling of the fiery transfer situation, which United is benefiting from in the short term. They are level on points with Liverpool at the top of the Premier League. That probably wouldn’t be the case without Pogba.
None of this means that talk of relocation will disappear. But with Raiola clarifying that he does not believe a January transfer will be possible, along with Solshire’s dealings with Pogba, the rumors will be silenced this month and United will welcome it. Norwegian Emad Diallo confirmed He’ll arrive from Atalanta this month, as pre-arranged, and then add: “But aside from not seeing much of what we’re going to do – we’re always working on the long term, and that’s the big thing, on goals.”
Other expenses from Old Trafford are of immediate concern to United. The likes of Marcos Rojo, Sergio Romero and Phil Jones are doing much less for the first team than Pogba, even though they don’t make much of the headlines.
Manchester United extended their unbeaten Premier League career to 10 matches as they scored a well-deserved 2–1 victory over Aston Villa on New Year’s Day.
The goals of Anthony Martial and Bruno Fernandez accomplished the task as United continued to pressure champions and league leaders Liverpool.
United’s next match against City in the Carabao Cup semi-final will be midweek.
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But the message on Pogba, through June, is clear. He is here to stay. Pessimists might point out that the player’s recent surge in performance is given the summer transfers in mind, or the desire to hit his belt ahead of Euro 2021 with France.
Frankly, that shouldn’t bother United. The end result is all that matters to them and Solshire has shown it a lot.
Pogba almost left the field against Aston Villa with a bloody nose. It was almost his season with United: he was beaten and bruised, nearly derailed before he went, but then he was fixed and sent again to do work for the club.
His United career wasn’t the fairytale comeback many wished for in 2016, but somehow it’s still going strong and with a palatable end in sight.