Manchester United And The Pogba Lesson

Football has so many strange sides, unexpected things often happen and people make moves that could be shocking and unbelievable. However some things in football will forever remain lessons and sermons for clubs, football managers and players.  In May 2012 Manchester United made one of the greatest blunders in football by allowing one of their finest youngster leave the club on a free transfer. Usually when a player refuses to commit to a club they let him train alone and that was the case with Pogba. Paul Pogba at age 19 felt he was ready to take on the greatest challenge of his life by filling in the shoes of Manchester United legend, Paul Scholes. However Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson felt at that time Pogba was not ready to play regular soccer, he demonstrated this belief by fielding a right back in the person of Rafael Da Silva in midfield position against Blackburn Rovers in the last game of the year in 2011. The young Pogba sitting and watching from the bench was disappointed in the manager’s lack of belief in him. Contract  talks began but Manchester United were unwilling to meet the players wage,  offering a deal that Pogba’s agent Mino Riola felt was derisory and insulting to Pogba’s status as a hot prospect. Sir Alex in his usually confident manner felt Pogba would sign the deal no matter what and that a club as big as United would not have their youngster slip away from them like a banana peel. Perhaps his assessment was wrong and eventually Pogba opted to leave United for Juventus. On the eve of the day he signed for Juve, many Manchester United faithfuls blasted him describing him and his agent Riola as selfish and greedy. Some went on to say that he would never get a game for Juventus; that he wasn’t good enough that’s why the club let him go. Pogba’s response to criticism was to play very well for his new club, scoring long range goals and spreading good passes.  Juventus won the Scudetto and Pogba’s name was sung by the “Old lady” fans. It wasn’t just a one season wonder as many were expecting, Juve went on to win more Scudettos, Italian Cups and even reached the champions League final which they lost to Messi’s Barcelona. Pogba price in the transfer market was inflating and a wise Manchester United could have swallowed their pride and brought him back at a time he would have cost about £60million but rather the club delayed and were busy contemplating whether to admit their error and swallow their ego but in the end with the arrival of Jose Mourinho, Pogba was made a top priority and eventually Manchester United have paid a whopping £92 million pounds and a basic salary of £250,000 a week to bring him back. Bringing Pogba back was the right move to make but it is probably the worst financial business in football history, buying back a player who was yours for such a fee. The wise men often say, ”You never know what you have until you lose it.” And this is the sermon for clubs that delay in offering contracts or offering poor contracts to people who should earn more.  Some have said, ”Sir Alex Ferguson never makes a mistake” but the return of Pogba will be a blow to his reputation as a good decision maker. Pogba may not be worth £60million but in the end Juventus, Riola and young Pogba have had the last laugh, they can throw their party and drink red wine because they have masterminded the greatest financial profit in football history.


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