Friday 18 October 2019

'The club should try and sell him next month' - Man United great believes Paul Pogba's time is up at Old Trafford

Manchester United's Paul Pogba
Manchester United's Paul Pogba
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Former Manchester United midfield general Paul Ince has urged Jose Mourinho to end his war with Paul Pogba by forcing through the sale of the club's record signing next month.

Paddy Power ambassador Ince believes United manager Mourinho should not recall Pogba to his team after dropping the French World Cup winner from their last two matches against Arsenal and Fulham.

United's performances have improved in the absence of their £89m midfielder and Ince has told us that the flaws in the make-up of the 25-year-old have been exposed since his return to the Premier League in the summer of 2016.

"Pogba has shown time and again that cannot be trusted to be given a role in the United team that involved any defensive responsibilities and on that basis, I would say Mourinho has come to the conclusion that the club should try and sell him next month," begins Ince, who won domestic and European titles with United in the early 1990s.

"It sounds ridiculous to say this about a footballer who cost £89m and won the World Cup last summer, but the reality of what we have seen from Pogba at United suggests he is not up to job of filling a role that requires him to track back and do a job for the team.

"You don't have time to dally on the ball here and teams now know that Pogba can switch off and do a silly flick at the wrong moment that will get his team into trouble. In the last two or three games he has played, Pogba has been losing the ball in bad areas and United have been punished for it.

Paul Ince is a Paddy Power ambassador
Paul Ince is a Paddy Power ambassador

"After his awful display at Southampton a few weeks back, Mourinho had to look at that and he decided he has to pick a team without him for the last two matches and I agree with that decision."

Ince had a spell in Italy with Inter Milan after he left United in 1995 and he suggests Pogba may be better suited to the more sedate pace of Serie A, with Juventus rumoured to be plotting a bid to bring their former player back to Turin.

"It was easier for him in Italy," claims Ince. "Juventus were winning the Italian title every year and maybe he could get away with the odd bad game, the odd mistake here and there, but that won't work in the Premier League.

"I played in Italy and I can see why Pogba would fit in there. The speed of their game is slower, you can lose the ball and not get punished for it, but there is an intensity to the Premier League and that makes it special.

"If Pogba gives the ball away in a dangerous area against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, there is a good chance Liverpool will score 10 seconds later and that's why Mourinho can't risk playing him in that game.

"You don't have time to dally on the ball here and teams now know that Pogba can switch off and do a silly flick at the wrong moment that will get his team into trouble.

"Mourinho might play Pogba against Valencia in the Champions League on Wednesday night in a game that doesn't matter too much to United, but if he picks Pogba to play against Liverpool on Sunday and he goes to sleep at a crucial moment, his team will not get away with it."

Ince went on to suggest Mourinho should carry some of the blame for what appears to be a fractured relationship with Pogba, yet he believes the player has used his influence at Old Trafford to try and manoeuvre his manager out of a job.

"No one is bigger than Manchester United, but Pogba has tested that theory this season," he added.

"It doesn't take a genius to work out that the relationship between Mourinho and Pogba has affected his performances. It has also affected the fans, who I believe are turning against him and you could sense that when he came on against Arsenal.

"There was no big cheer when he was thrown on for the final few minutes of that game and it suggests to me that the fans are tired of the soap opera around Mourinho and Pogba.

"It has been like Coronation Street with those two. One of them says something in the media and the other one giving a cryptic message in return on social media. It's been pathetic, but that's the way these two seem to communicate with each other.

"They have wasted so much energy going at each other that Mourinho has not managed to get the best out of Pogba, or worked out how to build a team that will win games on a consistent basis playing with a bit of style.

"The manager can't spend his life trying to keep one player happy and pandering to him. If Pogba is not training well or performing well on the pitch, Mourinho has to make the decision to take him out of the team.

"If he is going to continue to be a problem on and off the pitch, Mourinho has to move on without him because he has another 23 or 24 players that also need his attention."

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