Pogba departure leaves Reds pondering youth future

So there it is, confirmation bar wet ink on a contract, that Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba will move to Italian champions Juventus this summer. United will receive compensation in the region of £300,000, while Pogba will enjoy a huge salary bump to more than €1 million per season on a four-year contract with the Turin-based club.

Yet, with the Reds have willingly sold Ravel Morrison to West Ham United last January, Pogba becomes the second player in the 2011 FA Youth Cup winning team to depart Old Trafford. The departures of two highly talented players in a short space of time may be coincidence, and each for different reasons, but fans will ask questions of the club’s planning and strategy.

Confirmation of Pogba’s move was sent earlier this month by letter from the French midfielder’s agent, Mino Raiola, to United chief executive David Gill. Yet, it is only in the past week that Juve executives have gone public, secure in the knowledge that a deal has been agreed for the talented youngster. Pogba’s contract with Vecchia Signora will kick in on 1 July, the day after his Old Trafford deal runs out.

“We have lured Pogba away from Manchester United, we respected the rules,” Juventus general director Giuseppe Marotta told Corriere dello Sport.

“Pogba, for his own reasons, didn’t intend to renew his contract with United. So we informed the club and we are now waiting for an answer. Talks are well advanced.”

There is no doubt that Sir Alex Ferguson will be disappointed though – if not embarrassed – by United’s failure to hang on to a leading youth talent, having invested publicly in backing the player over the past year. While Pogba’s form has been intermittent for United’s all-conquering reserves this season, Ferguson has been fulsome in his praise of the teenager’s potential.

Meanwhile, the deal represents a major coup for Juve, tempting away one of Europe’s most sought-after young players for a minimal fee, with virtually no risk attached. While the Old Lady has constructed its first championship winning side since Calciopoli, and moved into a brand new stadium, Juventus’ budget is just a fraction of United’s at £167.8 million to the Reds’ £331.4 million. Juve should not be able compete with United on wages.

Yet, Juventus seemingly offers a more attractive proposition, both financially, with the Italians presumably offering more than United was prepared to countenance for a reserve player, and perhaps in terms of football too. After all, while much talk has centred on United’s central midfield over the past year, Pogba started no games for the first team in the season just finished. This despite long-term injuries and illness affecting Darren Fletcher, Anderson and Tom Cleverley.

The Frenchman may find it challenging to break into Antonio Conte’s side where Claudio Marchisio, Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal have formed an effective central midfield triumvirate, but this will presumably mean a loan spell at a Serie B club next season. Ferguson, presumably, could not guarantee that Pogba will play any more games at United.

Back at Old Trafford there remains the question of how Sir Alex failed to persuade Pogba that United is the youngster’s best option. After all, while Juve’s offer is attractive it is not life-changing, especially for a player many believe will make it to the very top. While United is no longer the best paying club in England, the old adage that players don’t need to chase money at Old Trafford, it will find them, remains true. However, United, it appears, was indeed outbid for the player’s services.

Moreover, Ferguson’s while reputation for developing youth is unparalleled, the 70-year-old Scot’s pleas for Pogba to sign a new deal in Manchester fell on very deaf ears.

In context of selling Morrison, who was willingly forced out by Ferguson, United have now lost two of the finest players from last season’s Youth Cup winning side. Losing one was a shame; two begs some very real questions. Moreover, years of work helping Pogba to develop greater range in his game since the player joined in controversial circumstances from Le Harve in 2009 have effectively been wasted – a player polished for Juve to enjoy.

There is no guarantee of successful development of any of United’s other young stars either. While the club’s reserves won the FA Premier Reserve League North, Play-off, and the Manchester Senior Cup in the campaign just finished, it is unlikely any of Warren Joyce’s side will break into the’ first team next season. Many will play in the Championship on loan, but history tells us that Ferguson will be thankful if just one makes it at United as a regular first team player. Morrison and Pogba were seen by many, at differing times, as ‘sure things’.

Then there is the question of where, exactly, United now ranks in the market for football talent. If the club is unable, or unwilling, to sanction fees and wages for the very best players, and cannot hold onto youth, there is a real possibility of United being squeezed out of the market at both ends.

After all this isn’t an esoteric question. Financial fair play, market economics, and United’s huge debt, each mean that identifying, developing and polishing young talent is a major priority for Ferguson and his coaching team. Losing one of the best prospects to a European rival makes for a very uncomfortable view of the future.

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Comments

  1. spider says

    It might be the case that Pogba was offered greater wages and more playing time at Juve, but I think his agent may well have had a say in it. There was talk that he wanted a fee of a couple of million for getting the contract done, which is obscene for a reserve player getting a new contract, but not so much as an agent fee for essentially a free transfer, hence Juve were prepared to pay Raiola what it took to get the deal done, United wouldn’t be held to ransom. Either way it’s disappointing that we have wasted time, effort, money on a player who has ultimately given us nothing.

  2. BennyH says

    Just think how many times this season Ferguson has lied about Pogba’s playing time this season. So many times he talked about how “Pogba would definitely have a part to play” in the upcoming game, and sometimes he didn’t even make the squad.

    Every time he’s come on – Stoke immediately comes to mind – he’s looked brilliant. Every inch the United player.

    Imagine being Pogba – or Cleverley for that matter – and seeing Giggs start ahead of you, Scholes wheeled out of retirement, the Ji-Sung Park and Rafael axis of doom…

    This season, Pogba should have stepped up, but he’s simply not been given a chance. I can’t blame him for leaving at all.

    • John says

      He was given chances and he was poor.

      He along with Morrison demanded massive wages,and neither had kicked a ball in the premier league.

      Morrison it is said will never fulfill his potential,as he he prefers stealing and getting in trouble with the law.

      I doubt either of these two will make it in the game now.
      They wanted short term gain financially,now they have it and will drift into obscurity.

      Welbeck on the other hand is a sensible lad who comes off a decent family,he has prospered and is now with the England senior squad.

      I doubt Pogba will be missed,and all the regrets will be his.

  3. Darius says

    I agree with Benny. I think the real poor performance in the 2011-2012 season has been SAF and his mismanagement of Berbatov and Pogba, as well as poor tactically in Europe and versus City, Blackburn, Crystal Palace and Wigan.

    As with any proofessional, with age comes errors whether you are playing or managing. Deep down I think he will realise his own weaknesses this season and will correct them going forward, being the great man he is.

    G G M U !!

  4. eltricolor2014 says

    Playing time? SAF catered and praised Pogba so he could stay but it didn’t mean Pogba was a starter. Once we were out of Carling and the FA Cup, SAF was not ever going to start Pogba, he’s just not ready for PL, maybe in Italy and God knows La Liga but not the PL. And let’s be honest, $1 million a year for a reserve player? Hey, if I was 18 y/o and played for Chelsea or L’pool and was offered $1 million to play for Juve, I would take that in a second. Honestly, Man United isn’t in Pogba’s heart, good riddance to any player that doesn’t want to be at your club.

  5. kenny yoan says

    i agree with some point with benny.first notice that we’ve lost others young players not so far ago.
    rossi,pique,shawcross then fergie try to resign these players or its just rumours.i think should think about it,that youngsters are not getting enough playing time
    in the first team.
    what i mean is we have petrucci tunniclife and all those talented youngsters in the reserve ready to break in
    hungry to play,for trophies
    never too young to play
    gigss is an example and scholes too
    the latest sorry i have to say fabregas,he start a a very young age also young chamberlain
    we should trust them more

    • John says

      Don’t forget some of these lads do not reach the standard,showing promise is one thing delivering the goods is another.Pique was unable to settle at United,he wanted to get back home,in Ferguson’s words,when its like that there is nothing you can do,you have to let the lad go where he will be happy.Fair comment

  6. Cohentana says

    I’ve got a different view on this, simply because Fergie said a few weeks ago that a deal had been struck with Pogba and his agent. He said it’s up to the boy now to decide.

    My view is that Pogba’s wages were matched, but the agent probably had to agree for far less. Mino therefore has been applying massive pressure on Pogba to join his mates at Juventus, who are prepared to pay Mino a large signing on fee, in the knowledge that in a couple of years time they could sell Pogba for at least ten million,regardless of playing time and Mino would earn again with another sale.

    It’s simply not in Mino’s interest for Pogba to remain at Old Trafford, because players stick around there for years. Pogba is young and is being force fed tons of Italian bullshit and promises. He is a dream come true for Mino. I really don’t think Pogba would move if Mino wasn’t his agent. And Pogba probably innocently only signed him up initially to negotiate a new contract, and then a seed was planted. Easily done to a teenager.

    Juventus and Mino are going to clean up with Pogba. They simply cannot lose.

    • Jim says

      I think you’ve nailed it mate regarding the agent’s role. Of course the agent was agitating to get a transfer, it’s generally much more lucrative than being a party to negotiating a new contract at the existing club. Don’t know if I agree with your second claim that Pogba only moved because of the agent who exploited an impressionable teenager. That’s mere specualation/conjecture, but I agree the agent generally would have been acting against United’s interests in playing hard ball with how much money went into the agent’s coffers!

  7. says

    Yeah, I surely agree this has something to do with the agent
    Jus why a 19 year old has someone like Mino as his agent is curious. He represents two of the most arrogant well paid players, Ibrahimovic and Balotelli, who aree established however. Despair not United fans. Our reserves won the treble, with the Keane brothers, Petrucci and Tunniclife reallly looking the part

  8. dozer says

    Nah Pogba wanted to leave so good luck to him. He didn’t seem the dramatic disrespectful type. It wouldn’t be right for United to offer these sort of huge wages, United would have if they had thought it was worth it.
    They paid a huge amount to buy Rooney at 18.

  9. Marty says

    Not interested in a player that doesnt want to plasy for Man Utd. The only way is down for a player that leaves Utd. I’m not sure he was as good as everybody made him out to be anyway. I’ve seen a lot of him at Youth and reserve level – goes missing a lot in games. Nice flicks and tricks but no way near the level he needs to play for Utd yet. If you cant trust the greatest manager ever in the game then you have no business playing in a team he manages.

  10. Jumping Jesus says

    I agree wholeheartedly with the article. He should have been given more game time. A gamble perhaps but in the end we won nothing and the player left anyway

  11. Gary says

    Totally agree – Pogba probably thought that if I can’t make it into the first team when up against Giggs Scholes Park Carrick – when will I ever get in. If I was him I’d be pissed off too – United giving youth a chance in the first team is more myth than fact.

  12. says

    If he is gud,he shud av proved it n d carling nd fa cup,bt nw he wants 2 leave,so let hm go.up united,soldier go,soldier come, but we need hazard nd kagawa

  13. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Morrison has been exposed as nothing but trouble… great looking talent… but the off field discipline of a crack addict… just couldn’t behave himself!… Shame!

    Pogba, on the other hand, seems like a driven young lad, that just wants to play football…

    Why Ferguson didn’t play him is debatable… he wasn’t the only player that Ferguson had to find game time for.

    For me, the big question is… why was this kid, who everyone rates so highly, allowed to run his contract down?

    He should have been tied down to a 5 year deal 2 years ago.

    Whose fault is it that he wasn’t?

    • Shyam says

      You cannot sign a under-18 player for more than 2 yr deals…Heard it somewhere..United and Ferguson always had reputation of bringing in talented youngsters and making them world-beaters…So if Pogba want to leave whose loss is that??…The agent is the culprit in this without doubt. Pogba want to stay otherwise he would have signed for Juve long ago. This has been dragged on for 6 months coz Pogba cant make up his mind and agent have his eyes set at the 2m on offer from Juve while Utd wont want to be held ransom and dont want to set a precedent in the academy players. This is the same agent who manages Ibra and Balotelli.

    • John says

      He wasn’t good enough to play in the premiership,full stop.But at 18 years old and never having played in the premiership he wanted a million pounds a year.

      The agents fill these kids heads with rubbish,decent parents will advise their kids against such people.Not everyone has good parents unfortunately.Thanks God Welbeck listened to his parents.

  14. Mike Larry says

    Can’t wait to see the back of this joker. He’s barely played for the first team and is already demanding a bigger salary. On your bike son.

  15. Gopher Brown says

    He joined us in somewhat shady circumstances, ditching La Havre and a certain future for us, and now he’s left under the same cloud.

    He’ll have fun in Italy with its poor track record on racism; crumbling, empty stadia; and its lack of opportunities for young players.

    There does seem to be a lack of youngsters being integrated into the squad here though. Fryers got a few games then totally disappeared, Will Keane got 5 min against Blackburn to disappear again, with our severely limited budget, at the moment the focus at youth level seems to be on winning the youth cup etc, when the real focus should be on getting the youth players ready for first team action. Having a team with some academy graduates helps maintain our identity.

    • Gent says

      “He’ll have fun in Italy … and its lack of opportunities for young players.”

      Yeah. like at Man. Utd. these days, we are giving much more playing time to the young lads!

      We had a dead midfield all season and still we didn’t play him at all. We should at least tried him, much more than we did.

  16. ChrisW says

    It can’t be about money. The wages Juventus are supposed to be offering Pogba are not that big and it was massively to our advantage financially to sign Pogba up to a new contract. He’d be worth many millions right now if he was signed to an adult contract. I’m sure the club would pay a lot to make him sign and it must be incredibly frustrating for them that he just won’t do it.

    Pogba must have really fallen out with Ferguson to be so determined to leave.

  17. bman says

    Juve’s midfield is far better than ours, so this is not about playing, it’s about money. I’m not judging either way, we simply don’t know the hard facts. But it’s fucking disappointing that the two big wonderkids in recent years — morrison and pogba — have now fucked off. The big question I think is whether the youth system actually works from a financial point of view? Would we be better off just forgetting about it and buying youngish players when they prove themselves elsewhere?

  18. baggio365 says

    bman said:
    The big question I think is whether the youth system actually works from a financial point of view? Would we be better off just forgetting about it and buying youngish players when they prove themselves elsewhere?

    thats the real madrid model isnt it.

    i think we should differentiate youth players as british and foreigners. generally the british ones, we have groomed for years.

    its only been in the last 10 years that we have started searching the globe to steal away young talent from other academies. rossi, pique, pogba and the twins are probably the most famous ones we have signed up. the difference between the twins and the other 3, is that the twins walked straight into the first team squad when the joined us, while rossi/pique/pogba all did time in the reserves/youth teams. for various reasons those 3 didnt get significant playing time for us in the first team, and they have now left. they were all very highly rated, and rossi and pique have both had very successful careers in spain.

    maybe what we should be doing, is to stop pinching foreign kids from overseas academies. all well and good to buy them once they have made the initial breakthrough and we want them in our first team (like ronaldo), but we shouldnt be flooding our youth team with these players, for whom we pay significant compensation for poaching the players and significantly higher wages than other youth players. they clearly dont have the patience to wait for game time, they dont have real loyalty to Manchester United, and they are happier to move to greener pastures if they think thats better for them professionally and financially. Fergie, and clubs all over, only really started doing this after watching arsene wenger work his magic with cesc. and we all know how that ended.

    • ForeverRed says

      Baggio – I think you make an excellent point here. I’m sure there are others who can pull up the detailed stats on the number and ‘origin’ of those that have broken into (and held a place in) the 1st team from the academy, say over the last 5 years. My sense is that it’s not very many to start with (Cleverley, Welbeck, Evans, Gibson(!)… others?) and hard to remember many from overseas (as you say, Rossi, Pique …others??). Certainly at the very least, a more informed analysis than mine would make interesting reading. Whichever way I look at it, the academy looks very exciting, but has too frequently disappointed where it really counts – providing the steady influx of top players for the 1st team.

  19. ForeverRed says

    I guess none of us know what’s really happening behind the scenes, but it’s certainly frustrating if we lose another talented player, especially in a position where we’re so weak at the moment. Baffling. IF it is largely about the agent’s cut of the deal and Utd’s unwillingness to sacrifice principles, I personally think in this case we should be looking at the bigger picture. I hate us being held to ransom by anyone, but if at the end of it we get to keep a future world class CM for 2-3M in agents fees, it will certainly be a lot cheaper than buying someone else to replace him.

    Think about the 17M for Phil Jones & 18M for DeGea – and they were no older than Pogba and arguably, barely more seasoned when bought. On a purely pragmatic basis, what difference is it to Utd paying e.g. Blackburn that money for Jones vs a fraction of it to an agent for Pogba? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like agents’ influence in the modern game, but there are many things in football that are in another world for the majority of us these days. And that doesn’t change the fact that what most reds fans care about is watching exciting young players being part of a successful Utd team.

    So to the bigger picture, how are Utd as a club ultimately better served? Principles are vital to the point that the club is stronger and better for them. But if our competitiveness is being eroded, and we can’t hang on to our best youngsters then in my mind there has to be some flexibility, albeit on a case by case basis, if the result is a stronger team.

    Of course, Fergie might genuinely think Pogba won’t make it, isn’t worth the trouble, or has the wrong mentality/attitude etc, etc. Fair enough – he certainly knows a lot better than me. But if so, why hype him up? As I said, it’s all very baffling and frustrating when we’re going to have to pay at least 15M+ (+ agent’s fees) to bring someone else in for this role. And, we’re going to need a couple of them to boot!

  20. ja says

    The biggest disappointment for me was seeing the team sheet for the Palace game. Park, Gibson and Diouf instead of Pogba, Morrison and a young forward such as Keane. United deserved to lose that game and ultimately Pogba.

  21. wiuru says

    Think his head was turned long before the Palace game ! Anyway if he is off the best of luck to him .Im certain United will ensure errors on its part in the handling of this young lad , are not repeated .Morrison was a car crash waiting to happen .

  22. shauno says

    This has nothing to do with money, the Glazers or even the agent etc. It has everything to do with the individual and his patience. From what I’ve seen of Pogba he is no way ready for first team action on a regular basis. In my view he wouldn’t be worth a million but like I said it’s not money that’s made him move. He thinks he ‘s ready, he wants first team Juve have given him a package that represents that and they are in the UCL. He didn’t want to stay. How many top class youth have we lost to other teams from our youth set up? Potentially one. I’m not bothered.

  23. Denton Davey says

    He might step and be as good as the hype BUT he might not – only God knows. He looked promising in his cameo against Stoke but he came on after the result was decided in a match in which Stoke hadn’t tried to compete so it’s hard to know what to make of his ability/progress based on that example.

  24. sheesh says

    Difficult one, this.

    The player’s clearly been listening to his agent far too much than is good for him. We can’t cry too much because we poached him from Le Havre and are now getting a taste of our own medicine.

    I understand that we’re not like Arsenal, who get young players on top wages before they’ve even proven anything (e.g – look at players like Walcott, Ramsey and Oxlade-Chamberlain), whereas we prefer to wait until a player has established himself before we reward him financially.

    Pogba himself didn’t see to be too unhappy about lack of playing time when he said that he wanted “to eat all of the cake” (i.e – get more first team action).

    Only Fergie himself will know whether we were right not to bend to the demands of the agent and only he can judge whether a player has done enough to start calling the shots when he hasn’t really achieved anything yet. Massively talented, yes, but he hadn’t started regularly playing in the first team – and only Fergie judges whether you’re ready

  25. Just1n says

    danniitronix said:
    Its obviously the fault of the Glazers.

    Hey mate. I know you taking the piss. Can’t blame the parasites for everything. Poor management imo.

    Like Alf says, this kid was so highly rated yet he was allowed to run his contract down. Fucking stupid whoever is responsible for that. Wonder if there is a decision not to renegotiate youngsters contracts unlesss in the last year….?

  26. sheesh says

    Just1n said:
    Hey mate. I know you taking the piss. Can’t blame the parasites for everything. Poor management imo.

    Like Alf says, this kid was so highly rated yet he was allowed to run his contract down. Fucking stupid whoever is responsible for that. Wonder if there is a decision not to renegotiate youngsters contracts unlesss in the last year….?

    Even though the club left things far too late, to the extent that we look pretty stupid, they must have been pretty confident that he would re-sign.

  27. DeadRevel says

    This is what I was saying about our transfer policy.

    If it’s all Glazernomics (ie: about maximising profit) then keeping Pogba and potentially selling him at a later date would make much more sense financially.

    Look at Demba Ba / Papiss Cisse. We could have signed them then sold them for a profit if we wanted to. Glazernomics is not to blame for everything.

    • says

      DeadRevel – caveat to that thesis though is that if United did match Pogba’s Juve wage then there’s half a dozen other players in the reserves who’d also deserve that, since he was far from the best performer this year.

      • DeadRevel says

        Doesn’t the loan club pay the wages? In which case if Juve loaned him out he wouldn’t get paid a big salary for 12 months would he? apart from the initial transfer fee, which is relatively small.

        He would be promoted to the first team at the latest a season later so he would then be paid a first team salary, at United or Juve, thus preventing the problem of other reserve players wanting more money. If I’m wrong, feel free to correct me.

        Considering how we wasted millions on youngsters Bebe, Obertan, Diouf, and how we paid English premiums for Jones, Young and Smalling, doesn’t this sort of contradict ‘Glazernomics’?

        Stingy parasites they may be, but as long as they are making money surely they couldn’t care less who we signed and at what age?

        I think Ferguson has more influence on our transfer policy than some people think.

  28. marlon says

    Maybe I’m just blind or stupid, but whenever I saw him play he never looked that special. Maybe I just expected more after all the hype, but other than the fact that he was big (people seem to mention that a lot) and scored the odd long shot (so did Gibbo) I didn’t see much. To be honest of the reserves I saw play with the 1st team Fryers impressed me the most. I don’t watch the reserves though so my knowledge is very patchy here.

    Agree with DeadRevel that it makes no financial sense to let him go like this. That’s why I doubt he left for the money. If you don’t have United in your heart, there are plenty of other reasons to leave (admittedly a few more in the Glazer era).

    Ed – wages at any club aren’t just based on merit – more based on who has the power – in this case obviously the Pogba camp held all the power with his contract running out. Isn’t Ashley Young one of our top earners now? I don’t think his wage matches his ability (in comparison to his teammates). These days if you want something badly enough, you’re going to get ripped off. It’s interesting United didn’t think he was worth the gamble. I’m sure we could of made him an offer that would’ve changed his agents mind.

    • says

      Marlon – all fair points. This is very much a market, and I guess my feeling on it is summed up in the last para. If United’s isn’t able/willing to pay the market rate at both ends of the market then we’ve got a problem. United looks at two things – wages to revenue ratio and wage spread. The first effectively presents Ferguson spending more than 50% of United’s turnover on wages. The second stops outliers at all levels – although Rooney is a bit of an exception.

  29. Stevie D says

    Frustrating and baffling. Two adjectives used by many commentators which probably describe this whole situation.

    IMO, it’s most likely a combination of greed, along with pressure from Mino Raiola as to why Pogba has gone to Juve. As pointed out already, Pogba is French and feels no loyalty to United, which you would possibly get from British youth. So it would be hard to turn down a million quid a year for an 18 year old kid who has no great loyalty to us. Especially if there was pressure from his agent.

    However, SAF obviously highly rates Pogba, evident by his very public backing of the youngster. Which leads to the baffling nature of this predicament. Why was the contract of such a bright prospect allowed to run down? I can’t really see any answer to that, other than a sheer cock-up. He should have been tied down a couple of years ago to avoid this situation.

    Was it United’s ‘principles’ of not wanting to pay his agent? Not sure they argument holds up, as we’ll have to pay another agent a hell of a lot more now if we want to sign a top CM, on top of a big transfer fee. This is not a good operating model, especially in the era of Glazernomics. It makes much more sense, financially, to sign Pogba and take a gamble on him, rather than throw tens of millions at another foreign player who is an even bigger gamble.

    Pogba is unlikely to play more first team games at Juve, in fact he would probably get more game time at United. Unless his agent and Juve have made him a load of empty promises in this regard! So I can’t see ‘first team football’ as the reason.

    The only plausible reason really is that Juve offered him more cash, and he accepted it. His agent obviously took a bigger fee as well, so nudged Pogba in the Old Lady’s direction. As Ed pointed out, United felt they couldn’t match the money from Juve, or it would set a bad precedent regarding the rest of the youth team, who would be all demanding equal pay.

    It’s frustrating to see a talented and promising player leave. It’s baffling why this situation was allowed to unfold in the first place.

  30. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    We may never really know… it could even have been something very petty…

    Such as Pogba having a bit of a strop, and someone pointing out that he’s done nothing yet, to be making any silly demands… Pogba spits his dummy, and off he goes.

    This is why players who are worth keeping, should never be allowed to run their contracts down like this… what a ridiculous policy… if Ferguson had known last year, that Pogba would be leaving this year… how much could he have sold him for??? It wouldn’t have paid for Hazard… but it would have been a fair bit more than £300k.

  31. AnantaxAnantax says

    No strong opinion on Pogba. Seems a shame but really no idea whether he’s good so cant really judge

    However, imho, ManUtd should de-emphasize the youth/academy system and buy more established players. We are a team that will alwyas be in title contention. To properly develop young players, to give them the game time they need, the continuity they need, is very hard to do as every match is importnat for us (esp noting we lost the title on goal difference!)

    Leave the developing to other clubs!

  32. DeadRevel says

    “It wouldn’t have paid for Hazard… but it would have been a fair bit more than £300k.”

    Well if we already had 20MIL in the transfer kitty, then the additional fee we got for Pogba might well have topped it up enough to buy a top player.

    Frustrating.

  33. marlon says

    On the whole agent fee issue – didn’t Bebe’s agent get a big % of that transfer fee. Not sure United have any ‘moral’ problems with paying agents. Maybe its a personal thing with Raiola.

    • says

      Marlon – Mendes ‘owned’ 30% of Bebe’s economic rights so got 30% of the fee. This one’s particularly odd because less than a week before he wasn’t even the player’s agent. Dodgy, very dodgy.

      There was a time United published agent fees – remember, after the ’99 questions’ letter from the Coolmore Mafia in 2004 when Fergie was suing them. Ah, the good old days when Fergie stood up to owners/directors instead of rimming them.

      • says

        Ed: who are you to question the pleasure that Fergie gets from “rimming” directors? It’s obviously far greater than the pleasure of winning the League or Champions League or beating City. They may not look like anythging but they may have hearts of gold (or pockets weighed down with it or whatever).

  34. steggo says

    Am I alone in finding the word “lured” rather seedy and inappropriate. But then again it was spoken by a club with a history of match fixing etc etc in a league that has a (current) history of match fixing etc etc.At least the money grubber didn’t go to Citeh.

  35. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Aye… and apparently, Antonio Conte has been brought in for questioning.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  36. SpudiatorSpudiator says

    Anantax said:
    No strong opinion on Pogba. Seems a shame but really no idea whether he’s good so cant really judge

    However, imho, ManUtd should de-emphasize the youth/academy system and buy more established players. We are a team that will alwyas be in title contention. To properly develop young players, to give them the game time they need, the continuity they need, is very hard to do as every match is importnat for us (esp noting we lost the title on goal difference!)

    Leave the developing to other clubs!

    Couldn’t disagree more. To dismiss the emphasis on youth development would be to abandon the club’s traditions completely, United have always had a tradition of promoting youth, and the most successful managers (Sir Matt and Sir Alex) have both strongly upheld that tradition. I don’t think it’s a coincidence. Liverpool used to have a great tradition for youth development, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that their leanest times, success-wise, have coincided with the increasing disregard for that tradition.

  37. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    marlon said:
    Apparently we are offering Powell £20,000 per week. How much did Pogba want?

    Fuck Pogba… he plays elsewhere now… Powell is the future…

    ffs…

  38. Just1n says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Fuck Pogba… he plays elsewhere now… Powell is the future…

    ffs…

    yep, a future player who is going out on loan.

  39. Sidsidney says

    Can someone tell me when Pogba is actually going to leave? Will it be on the final day of his contract?
    Because the cunt is still here, and the longer he hangs around the more I think he’s bluffing

  40. Herbie Simms says

    Man United are not playing modern style football and SAF because he is 70 years old now is still using these outdated tactics and we are paying the price. Have you ever communicated with superstar players from Barcelona or Real Madrid on Facebook or Twitter? If you did, they will tell you the same thing Iam telling you and they will honestly tell you why they did not choose to sign for Man United. Read why Hazard choose Chelsea over United. Look why Liverpool are now interviewing 39 year-old Brendan Rogers for Manager after just interviewing 41 year old Martinez. Look at the young Bilbao manager. Look at the style of football that Bilbao, Swansea and Wigan are playing. We are not going to attract any superstar players unless SAF changes our style of play or he retires. FACT! Players will go to Arsenal because they play the style of football today’s footballers want to play. Man.City are not going to make it big because players are only going there for the money. Every man for himself. Man.United will always do well in the EPL because we play as a team, but we will continue to fall short in the Champions League until a new manager comes in. Brendan Rogers would be a good future choice for United but we will need a Guardiola or the Bilbao manager.

    • Gabagool says

      What utter rubbish.
      Have YOU communicated with Barcelona “superstars”?
      Hazard went to Chel$ki because he and his agent are greedy twats. Are you trying to say that Chelsea play modern attractive football? Jesus wept…

  41. says

    Petrucci, Cole, Lingard, Tunnicliffe. Players that actually want to be here and don’t act like utter twats (Ravel). Scholes and Giggs both retire at the end of this season probably, they’ll step up to the first team squad.

    Nick Powell > Eden Hazard.

  42. Just1n says

    Commenter said:
    Man United are not playing modern style football and SAF because he is 70 years old now is still using these outdated tactics and we are paying the price. Have you ever communicated with superstar players from Barcelona or Real Madrid on Facebook or Twitter? If you did, they will tell you the same thing Iam telling you and they will honestly tell you why they did not choose to sign for Man United. Read why Hazard choose Chelsea over United. Look why Liverpool are now interviewing 39 year-old Brendan Rogers for Manager after just interviewing 41 year old Martinez. Look at the young Bilbao manager. Look at the style of football that Bilbao, Swansea and Wigan are playing. We are not going to attract any superstar players unless SAF changes our style of play or he retires. FACT! Players will go to Arsenal because they play the style of football today’s footballers want to play. Man.City are not going to make it big because players are only going there for the money. Every man for himself. Man.United will always do well in the EPL because we play as a team, but we will continue to fall short in the Champions League until a new manager comes in. Brendan Rogers would be a good future choice for United but we will need a Guardiola or the Bilbao manager.

    the Bilbao manager is 56 years old but don’t let that fact piss on your parade.

  43. marlon says

    Swansea are not one of the most attractive teams in the PL. They keep the ball a lot like Barca, but unlike Barca, they do it to defend. Half the time the ball is played around their back 4. Boring. Chelsea’s win in the CL has been seen as a victory for defence over attack after the victories over Barca and Bayern. How much did their most creative player (Mata) contribute in those 3 games?
    You’re talking out of your arse.

  44. Herbie Simms says

    Brendan Rogers is today the manager of Liverpool.
    Don’t doubt my intelligence, I coach a young under 14 team that have been undefeated in all competitions for three years and one of my players is a girl. Four players from my club are now playing in England. Jonte Smith at 17 years old scored 25 goals this season for Crawley Town.
    Today, Stoke City signed my 17 year old goalkeeper. Crawley Town was also promoted. My under 14 plays a new style of football and we are successful because other teams are yet to figure us out. Tactics and style. All this old fashioned football that United is playing is long gone and Fergie needs to go with it.

  45. sheesh says

    Word on the street* is that Pogba now wants to stay at United. He has apparently been put off from moving to Juve because of the match-fixing scandal. Could be bollocks, though.
    *Twitter
    Edit – This is the guy who claims Pogba is staying: http://twitter.com/#!/FootyAgentITK
    He has come out with some absolute pearlers

  46. DamnedUnited says

    Aw man, i was hoping he’d go. It would be funny to see Juventus relegated (AGAIN lol) once he signed up with them.

  47. Herbie Simms says

    Italian teams are in trouble for match fixing and the Juventus coach has been arrested for questioning by the police. Has anyone questioned how we lost at home to Blackburn, lost to Wigan and blew a 4-2 lead at home against Everton? The girl in my team is only 10 years old, playing with boys under 14 and she has been scouted by schools in USA and Europe. Just want to let you know that Ryan Giggs and Swansea coach Adrian Tucker are coming to my club to conduct coaching clinics for under 8,10,14 and 16 age groups. This will be the second time that Giggs has come to Bermuda. This is just fantastic! Remember, Bermuda is juat a small paradise island, population only 60,000 people and its great that our young players are good enough to play in the English leagues. 19 year old Nahkie Wells scored 12 goals for Bradford City this season and he came from my club. Now Reading and Charlton have sent their scouts to check him out.

  48. definitely not tommyTommy says

    herb is my fuckin hero.

    Fergie’s tactically out of touch. It all makes perfect sense, that’s why we’ve been either champions or runners up in the premiership and the champions league almost constantly for four years.

  49. marlon says

    Tommy said:
    herb is my fuckin hero.

    Fergie’s tactically out of touch. It all makes perfect sense, that’s why we’ve been either champions or runners up in the premiership and the champions league almost constantly for four years.

    Don’t forget this guy coaches a 10 year old girl. And he’s intelligent. How many of us can match that?

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