Paul Pogba’s parting comment to Manchester United proved Roy Keane was right all along
Roy Keane’s legacy at Manch’ester United is shown on a banner in the Stretford End. The ban’ner has three faces and the word “standards” next to th’em. Paul Pogba’s will be that of a free-spirited midfie’lder who rarely reached those standards.
Paul Pogba’s parting comment to Manc’hester United proved Roy Keane was right all al’ong
Whether he liked it or not, he g’ave his critics a lot of reasons to say bad things about hi’m when he didn’t do well. His late agent, Mino Raiola, o’ffered the player to United’s rivals, Man City, in Janua’ry 2018 and said the Frenchman’s time with United was “o’ver” in 2020. In July 2019, Pogba said in public that it wa’s “time for a challenge somewhere e’lse.”
The Frenchman always had a lot of suppo’rt from the United fans, but his last game at Old Traff’ord was filled with chants of “F*** off Pogba” from a b’ig part of the crowd.
This week, Pogba told UNINTERRU’PTED that finding happiness would be important for hi’s next move. This seemed like a jab at how he was trea’ted at United towards the end.
“All I want is what’s best for m’e. He said, “I’m thinking about everything, taking my tim’e, and just wanting the best. I want to play football, alw’ays be myself, and enjoy what I do.”
“I have to like what I do or I w’on’t be able to do it well. I don’t want to have bad thou’ghts. We can lose games and trophies, but you still hav’e to be happy and have fun. That’s what I wan’t.”
Even though it’s great that Po’gba puts his own health and happiness before football, his com’ments do make me wonder what drives him if winning trop’hies isn’t the main thing.
It makes people think of Keane, B’ryan Robson, and Eric Cantona, who are all shown on the “s’tandards” banner at the Stretford End. All three of them wo’uld give up their own lives for the team.
“I don’t think Pogba has done well eno’ugh for United over the last few years. “That’s all the’re is to it,” Keane, a club legend, told Sky Sports two ye’ars ago.
“We talk about energy, but for Man Uni’ted, you need more than just energy in midfield. You ha’ve to be creative. You need men with some personality an’d heart.
“He doesn’t have enough fight or spi’rit. Even though he is talented, he is not good enough to pl’ay in the middle for Manchester United. You need somet’hing more.”
People will always think of Keane, Robs’on, and Cantona as the best United players. Not only we’re they all very good at what they did, but they also h’ad the kind of ruthless winning streak that was needed at a cl’ub of that level. In recent years, United has had play’ers who were just as good as or even better than the trio. How’ever, no one has ever been able to match the trio’s tech’nical skill and priceless standards.
Instead, Pogba became the face of a te’am that was better known for how well it could sell its’elf than how many trophies it won, and his comments th’is week, no matter how sincere or well-intentioned they wer’e, show that United haven’t had much drive for almo’st a decade.
To paraphrase the famous basketball coa’ch John Wooden, a person’s legacy shouldn’t be measured b’y what they do, but by what they could have don’e with the skills they had.
In the case of Pogba and United, th’is legacy should be so much more than it i’s.