Solskjær Needs To Toughen Up Or Pogba Needs To Go, (Or Both)!

Posted: August 24, 2019 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
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The latest pantomime involving Manchester United was played out at Molineux. It was the 67th minute and United were awarded a penalty.

No problem. Step forward Marcus Rashford who has never missed a spot kick. Indeed his last effort was well struck past Kepa of Chelsea only the previous week, so his confidence was high.

But wait, who’s this muscling in on the act? It’s the pantomime villain or Paul Pogba as he is also known. He wants to take the kick and, as the senior player of the two, he will get his way. He did and he missed. So what went wrong?

Well, there are a couple of possible reasons for this fiasco. The first is to believe Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s rather weak excuse that he designated both players as penalty takers and let them sort it out. This is highly unlikely as Solskjær is a great believer in the Sir-Alex-Ferguson-way-of-doing-things and we can guarantee that this would NEVER have happened when HE was in charge.

The second is that, having won the penalty, Pogba decided he wanted to take it and, even as designated taker, Rashford bowed to his seniority.

Whatever the reason the penalty was saved and United left with a point. The miss did not necessarily cost the team two points as, had the spot kick been scored we don’t then know how the game would have panned out. Wolves may have scored three for all we know.

But it still left a nasty taste in the mouths of Manchester United supporters. The player taking the penalties is usually decided pre-season, as are the second and third choice takers, who may be called upon in the event of injury or substitutions etc.

So to see two players have a discussion about who is going to take the penalty is rather alarming and wouldn’t have filled the rest of the team, never mind the fans, with lots of confidence.

Why then is Solskjær continually defending Pogba? Not that Pogba did anything particularly wrong other than fail to score the penalty. But in other things as well. Solskjær refuses to see any wrong in the Frenchman’s behaviour or statements and it is one of the few things on which he has remained consistent during his short stint at Old Trafford.

With others, for example, he has spoken with a tongue more forked than a fork. Alexis Sánchez, for example, was going to play lots of games this season according to the manager. That was a week ago and now we hear he’s being loaned to an Italian club.


Lukaku made a miraculous recovery from injury shortly after arriving in Milan

Romelu Lukaku went all the way to Australia and China and didn’t feature in one game. This was due to injury according to Solskjær. It was a minor injury but it kept him out of EVERY game on the tour. He was then, eventually, transferred to Inter Milan where he made such a remarkable recovery from his injury that he was immediately able to score four goals in a friendly match.

The question really is: Is Solskjær in charge of anything at United other than team selection?

He may have a say in who the club buys but everything else seems to be above his pay grade.

He obviously didn’t know what was going on with Sánchez and, to an extent, still doesn’t. The same can be said about Lukaku. If he is to be believed about the transfer window, then he got two of his requested signings through the door. He didn’t, however, get the much needed midfielder, or a right winger or a replacement for Lukaku. So he has still gone into the season short in some aspects although early signs suggest that the team, overall, is better than last season, (in truth, taking Young, Smalling and Jones out of any team is bound to improve it).

In conclusion, Pogba does need to leave the club if that is what he wants and maybe should still be sold for even considering leaving.

Solskjær needs to take a few more leaves out of Fergie’s numerous books and most certainly needs to toughen up considerably.

  1. RedMe says:

    SAF would never have re-signed Pogba, he knew why he let him go in the first place. So the sooner Pogba goes the sooner we will improve.


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