While it is not the best of times for Manchester United fans, the clouds of distress currently looming over Old Trafford might be about to get darker. If reports are to be believed, Paul Pogba’s continued attraction for Real Madrid could inadvertently spell doom for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s future at Manchester United.
The Frenchman recently drew attention for all the wrong reasons when he expressed his desire to play for Los Blancos yet again.
However, a move to the Santiago Bernabeu is highly unlikely soon as Real Madrid are not interested in breaking the bank for the Frenchman any time soon. While Pogba’s dream might remain unfulfilled, his comments could spell the end for Solskjaer’s tenure at Old Trafford.
The Norwegian is under tremendous pressure after a disastrous start to the new season that includes a shambolic 1-6 defeat at home to Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur.
While Solskjaer strives to put the season back on track, the Manchester United hierarchy might be forced to read between the lines in Pogba’s comments. And the message that his French midfielder unwittingly conveyed does not work in the Norwegian’s favour.
Pogba’s comment indicates Solskjaer’s lack of authority in the Manchester United dressing room
It is understood that Pogba’s recent expression of desire to play for Real Madrid might raise questions about Solskjaer’s authority in the dressing room. The Manchester United hierarchy might get the impression that the Norwegian is not the commanding presence that is required in the United dugout.
And that could force the decision-makers at Old Trafford to go to the man they had considered at lengths before handing the permanent job to Solskjaer – Mauricio Pochettino.
The Argentinean has stayed away from football management since being sacked from the Tottenham job midway through last season. There are unconfirmed reports that Pochettino is waiting on the Manchester United job, but the United hierarchy are aware that the Argentinean will not be available forever.
As such, with Solskjaer’s reign betraying signs of an impending rot, Manchester United could be tempted to lure Pochettino as his replacement soon.
Solskjaer has always defended Pogba since he took the job at Old Trafford and still wants to build his team around the Frenchman. However, the Norwegian’s tendency to overlook Pogba’s repeated courting of Real Madrid does paint a poor picture. The Frenchman has been a passenger in the Manchester United team of late, with his habit of blowing hot and cold hurting the team every week.
But Solskjaer has stuck with his man so far, consistently picking Pogba in his Premier League starting XI even though the Frenchman has struggled to contribute on the pitch. Sadly, the Norwegian’s faith in the player has not been repaid.
Instead, Solskjaer’s treatment of Pogba has only projected the Norwegian’s inability to deal with a problem with an iron fist. And unless he finds the courage to take some drastic decisions both on and off the field, Solskjaer might have to pay the price for not nipping the “Pogba” problem at Manchester United in the bud.Published 13 Oct 2020, 00:07 IST