Anyone who watched Manchester United this year has likely seen the infamous penalty kick in which Pogba takes small shuffle steps in the most drawn out and annoying way previous to striking the ball. For fairness sake, he has done it before playing for Man United. For those of us that are on the fence about this man's worth, it epitomized our thoughts on him and begs the question....does Pogba play too slow? There is no doubt that Pogba is a force to be reckoned with. His strength and balance on the ball are undeniable. His vision on the field is a step above his peers. His overall technical ability is there for all to see. However, Pogba plays too slow for many and it does not fall in line with the speed and sexiness of the English Premiership.
Growing up watching Man United I was able to see counter-attacking genius orchestrated by Sir Alex Ferguson and manifested by the likes of Giggs, Scholes, and C. Ronaldo. I was excited when United secured Pogba from Juventus. I thought..."finally some real talent is coming". I had limited time with Poga as a viewer because the English Premiership was far more popular on Television than Series A. But nevertheless I think any team or fan would be excited if her were coming to their club. So when he came to Man United...my excitement level was high and visions of lifting the league trophy were in my head.
Then the day came when I was able to watch him and truly understand his style of play. The way that I would describe it is as if he wants his time on the ball and he will take it...no matter how much its a detriment to his side. I liken it to a young C. Ronaldo who wanted to show the world all of his tricks...but thankfully he had Sir Alex to guide him and show him that the tricks are great, but the substance and result of his play are what matters most. Unlike Ronaldo who went on to produce perhaps the most direct and fast style of football ever seen on a pitch, Pogba still hasn't learned that playing with speed and substance will produce far more results than holding the ball up while the opposing team retreats to safety. As a Man United fan I have watched in dismay as Pogba has slowed play to an unappealing, unappetizing style that simply isn't congruent with the football United fans are used to.
What keeps us wanting more with Pogba is that every now and again, he will produce a piece of brilliance that not many footballers are capable of producing. We open our mouths with drool coming down our cheek and think..."yes, now I get it...he is capable of greatness". So we tell ourselves that we will give him time, we will give him the leeway that we give all superstar so that they can reach their full potential.
With that said, our minds quickly turn to anger and frustration when after producing a brilliant moment, he goes three games without producing anything and doubt creeps into our heads about the true worth of him to this once great club. We start thinking perhaps we are a better club without him. We watch Salah and Hazard play with speed and energy and think "why is Pogba taking an hour to play the ball"? Time and again we watch as counter-attack opportunities fall by the wayside because Pogba played too slow.
For awhile I blamed Mourinho. If there is one coach I despise the most his name is Jose Mourinho. I absolutely hate the selfishness of this man. I cannot stand his style of play that seemingly is completely counter to that of Man United's historical style of play. But than Mourinho was fired and there were whispers that Pogba and he did not get along. That they clashed on every issue. With Mourinho gone and Ole Gunnar at the helm we were to go back to the great counter-attacking, fast moving side we have always known. But frankly as we witnessed...that simply did not happen. Man United limped to the ended of the season losing to teams at the bottom of the table, playing with no heart, but moreover playing without the speed that we so covet as fans. Pogba has a lot to do with it. He is in the middle of the park dictating play.
At this point there are no excuses....Mourinho is gone. If Pogba stays at United and we start anew...fans will be looking for a more attractive style of play. Can Pogba finally adapt and play with speed or will he continue to play SLOW unattractive football?