How much is that Poggy in the window?
The Times‘ Tony Cascarino is not a fan of Paul Pogba. And why would he be? He’s awful foreign and fancy…
February 2018: “An £89m, modern-day midfielder has to be able to play more than one role and, at the moment, Pogba doesn’t seem capable of doing so.”
February 2018: ‘He sometimes gives the impression that he has been there and done that, playing the role of the superstar but not always backing it up. He is only 24 but is one of the most expensive players in history, has won trophies in Italy and England and has 49 appearances for France. Maybe he is caught up in his own hype?’
March 2018: ‘Paul Pogba is very good technically, as strong as an ox and quite quick, but he was making bad decision after bad decision.’
May 2018: “He’s got this swagger when he plays and I do believe he has a feeling like he’s doing Manchester United a favour by being at Old Trafford.”
November 2018: ‘When this game finished last night, and the Juventus players were talking to each other in the dressing room, they would all have said the same thing: ‘This is not the same Paul Pogba who used to play here. He is nowhere near the player we used to know.'”
Oddly, Cascarino has been a little quiet on the subject of Pogba since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer became Manchester United manager in December. The Frenchman has scored eight goals and assisted six more in 13 Premier League games, after all.
That was until Pogba (awarded an average rather than disastrous 6/10 by The Times themselves) had a poor performance against Wolves in the FA Cup. And now…
‘If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gets the Manchester United job in the summer, Paul Pogba will present one of his biggest dilemmas.’
Will he? He seems really quite keen on Pogba. So keen that he made him captain on Saturday…
‘Pogba has done brilliantly since Solskjaer came in but against Wolves on Saturday he reminded me of the in-and-out player he was under Jose Mourinho.’
So after playing 17 games for Solskjaer (‘brilliantly’), he struggled in the 18th and he’s an in-and-out player again? Or an in-and-in-and-in-and-in-and-in-and-in-and-in-and-in-and…we’re bored now…and-out player?
‘He was doing what he liked at times but not affecting the opposition. I don’t know whether the past few weeks are as good as it gets with him. If so, Solskjaer may wish to cash in on him for a lot of money.’
Yes, because if a club breaks the world transfer record to sign a footballer – and sacks the manager holding him back – they should definitely sell him after one poor game following a ‘brilliant’ spell. Excellent idea. Remind us again why Cascarino did not go into management.
‘I would be tempted to replace him with someone he can trust a bit more.’
But maybe he trusts him just fine, Tony. And he probably won’t replace Pogba – a player he clearly rates – with somebody you would trust a little bit more. Because that would be weird.
Perhaps Cascarino is just mad that Pogba is wearing the captain’s armband again. After all, ‘it really helps for your captain to be born in the same country and have a strong connection to the club’ and Pogba really is quite foreign.
The campaign to sell Pogba, promote Scott McTominay and make Marcus Rashford captain begins here.
‘What Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did with Luke Shaw after Wolves defeat’ – Manchester Evening News.
‘Spoke to him’ has never been so disappointing; Mediawatch was hoping it would involve a tent.
Age is nothing but a number
Tony Cascarino on Salomon Rondon: ‘If he keeps playing like this, he could be a £50m striker.’
No he couldn’t. He’s 29.
‘How Gerard Pique lost Sir Alex Ferguson’s trust at Man Utd’ is the headline on the Daily Mirror website. On the football homepage they even throw in a ‘REVEALED’.
The Mirror are professional enough to link to their source for this revelation.
And as it’s international week they clearly do not give a flying f*** that this particular revelation came almost a year ago.
‘Liverpool or Man City? Champions League TWIST to title race revealed – Redknapp EXCLUSIVE’ – Daily Star website.
And what is the twist, dear Harry?
“Liverpool have got a big chance but Man City are obviously favourites now. But Liverpool have still got a chance, I wouldn’t write them off. There’s going to be another twist and turn somewhere, there always is. “
Ah, so what has actually been ‘revealed’ (exclusively) is that a man unconnected to the title race thinks there will be another twist in said title race.
Shoulda woulda coulda
‘Chelsea could sack Maurizio Sarri over the international break as fans demand he goes’ – Daily Express website.
Well they could.
Of course, the worst thing about that educated guess from Joe Short is that it spawns so many more headlines…
‘Chelsea could use international break to sack under-fire boss Maurizio Sarri’ – The Sun online.
‘Chelsea to sack Maurizio Sarri during international break?’ – SportsMole.
‘Maurizio Sarri: Chelsea could SACK under pressure manager ‘over the international break” – talkSPORT.
Excellent, by the way, that talkSPORT chose to put ‘over the international break’ in quote marks as though that was the part that was pure speculation.
Worst intro ever?
‘ANDRE GRAY’S pop star girlfriend Leigh-Anne Pinnock won the X Factor with Little Mix – and now Watford’s supersub is king of the ex-factor.
‘For the third home game running, Gray sprang from the bench to score the winner and shoot down a former Hornets manager.
‘Where Everton’s Marco Silva came a cropper last month, and Brendan Rodgers’ baptism with Leicester stalled at the last gasp a fortnight ago, Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson’s assistant Ray Lewington – who led Watford to the FA Cup semi-finals in 2003 – was in Gray’s firing line this time.
‘It’s a unique feat, and now the Hornets are marching on Wembley in fifty shades of Gray.’
Zany Mike Walters of the Daily Mirror, of course.
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) March 18, 2019
(Because the Wales squad is staying at Hotel Football).
Still, at least the Mirror did not quite sink to the same depths as the Daily Express website:
‘Gareth Bale spotted near Old Trafford – could Man Utd chief Woodward ask him about a move?’
He could. But it would be mental.
The Sun exclusively guessing there. Or should we say 'guessing'? pic.twitter.com/Q7HFWbqiUg
— Football365 (@F365) March 18, 2019
Since when did quote marks mean ‘basically, we are guessing here’?
A couple of hours later…
Maybe drop the 'exclusive', fellas… pic.twitter.com/vbi08k7JzJ
— Football365 (@F365) March 18, 2019
Recommended reading of the day
Jeremy Wilson on Mauricio Pochettino still being best option for Man United.
Sean Ingle on what makes a great manager.