Highlights on Off The Ball

07:00 AM-01:00 PM

Highlights on Off The Ball

Paul Pogba to PSG? | 'He's been given more chances than he's earned'

Paul Pogba and his increasing presence on the Manchester United bench looks like a sure-fire sign...

Paul Pogba to PSG? | 'He's bee...

Paul Pogba to PSG? | 'He's been given more chances than he's earned'

Paul Pogba and his increasing presence on the Manchester United bench looks like a sure-fire sign he's heading for the exit at Old Trafford, and writer Daniel Harris joined OTB AM this morning to tell us why.

The latest twist came this week when Pogba's national team manager Didier Deschamps said the midfielder couldn't be happy with both his gametime and position in the United line-up, after Pogba played just 8 minutes of their weekend win at Everton.

With a Covid-19 vaccine on the horizon, some of Europe's big clubs could be tempted to spend big again, and it could even spell a mid-season move away from the club - with PSG looking the most natural fit.

It would be a sad but understandable end to Pogba's frustrating second act at Old Trafford, but as Harris told Ger and Eoin this morning, he doesn't have many people he can blame other than himself.

"I think that United have been now been waiting four years to see what they thought they were buying. Pogba has been waiting four years to play in a team that will allow him to do what it is that he wants to do. The match has never quite worked, and doesn't look like it's going to work, and it's now the case that when United have a game that they really need to win, Paul Pogba doesn't play.

"At the moment he's generally coming on before Donny van de Beek and I'm not sure that will carry on much longer either, particularly if it looks like he's going to leave. My guess is that he'll probably end up going to Paris and that will suit him better."


Pogba's started just one of United's last four games, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer evidently running out of patience with the Frenchman's lack of impact in big games.

And while Deschamps criticised the position he's been played in when he has been involved, Harris says United have given him every chance to prove himself, in spite of Solskjaer's better judgement.

"The manager's given him every opportunity to succeed, and I think he's given him more opportunities to succeed than he's earned.  He's not played well enough to retain his place in the team, and that's not because the manager doesn't want to pick him. Not picking him is a massive ball-ache for the manager, and nonetheless he still carried on picking him, when what he saw on the pitch didn't really justify that.

"Pogba has disappointed in every possible position he could have played in for United. He's also had some decent games, but he's played as a number 10, the left of a diamond, the left of a three, he's played in a double-pivot, he's played in the right of a three. Where else is there that he could possibly play?

"The problem for Paul Pogba since Bruno Fernandes arrived is that the job of hanging about waiting to do something nice has gone to someone who does it way, way better. Bruno Fernandes's number are miles better than Pogba's ever were, and he'll also put in a shift."


Another concern for United in recent months has been the growing number of stories about teenage forward Mason Greenwood.

The 19-year-old was in sensational form for the club in the post-lockdown period, but reports of a poor attitude in training, and his lifestyle away from football have seen his name scattered across the tabloids for the wrong reasons.

It's drawn comparisons to former United academy star Ravel Morrison, who is now playing for his 11th club in eight years, having been one of England's great hopes in 2012. Harris says the stories about Greenwood are of a slight concern, but noted it's only natural for a young player to need time adjusting to his place in the game.

"I'm quite concerned, but not extremely concerned. Because if we all think back to when we were 19 - I don't know about you - but I know I was something of a moron, without the aggravating features of talent, fame and money.

"So for him to have some difficulties adjusting to coping with his talent, coping with the money, coping with the fame, coping with the pressure, at a time when there's a pandemic on, I'm not staggered by this. And I think the things that he's meant to have done are not dreadful, and I'm sure United will give him everything he needs to succeed.

"The things bothering Mason Greenwood are not on the same level as the things that were bothering Ravel Morrison, and Ravel Morrison still almost made it. I think Mason Greenwood will be ok, but I'm not especially surprised if the stories we hear about him are true. I'd be more surprised if they ended up properly hampering his career, than if they didn't.

"The chances are we'll see Mason Greenwood go on to become everything that Mason Greenwood should be."

Good mornings start with Gillette” The mornings are a moment of reflection, a moment to prepare to feel your best for the day ahead. Starting your day with a shave gives you the confidence to feel at your best for the day ahead, no matter what is in store."

Download the brand new OffTheBall App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

Subscribe to OffTheBall's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.

Read more about

Daniel Harris Donny Van De Beek Manchester United Mason Greenwood Ole Gunnar Solskjaer PSG Paul Pogba Premier League Ravel Morrison Soccer