Paul Pogba can rescue reputation by helping United to win over Liverpool
Club and player are set to go their different ways this summer when Paul Pogba’s Manchester United contract expires. Both need a clean break.
Tensions boiled to the surface on Saturday when the inconsistent midfielder was booed and jeered by home fans.
It was an unkind move, but one which was a culmination of factors, from the midfielder’s failure to live up to his price tag, his consistent flirting with other clubs and allowing his contract to wind down, to his flaky performances.
But it doesn’t have to end this way. This week there is one game which could allow Pogba to leave on a high note.
This week United travel to Liverpool, to face a team which is trying to win it all.
There is a real risk Liverpool win the quadruple. And we would never hear the end of it.
They have already won the League Cup, are into the FA Cup final, Champions League semi-final, and narrowly behind City in the league.
While City winning the league is hardly ideal, the best case scenario is they split the trophies, and that nobody betters or matches United’s legendary 1999 Treble.
So this week at Anfield, United can take matters into our own hands and take points off Jürgen Klopp’s side.
Of course this is easier said than done, against a side that won 5-0 at Old Trafford in October and left us feeling like we got off lightly.
Pogba had his own horrendous contribution to that defeat, red carded soon after coming on, for a late tackle.
Pogba has never won a league game against Liverpool
In six years as a Manchester United player since making his £89 million move to the club, Paul Pogba has never won a league fixture against Liverpool.
This says something about how dysfunctional United have been during this stretch, but it also is an indictment on him too. Now he has one last chance.
He does have won win against them in the FA Cup at Old Trafford last season, and came agonisingly close to making the difference at Anfield last season.
Pogba missed a last minute opportunity to grab a winner in a 0-0 draw when his late shot was saved.
If the Frenchman can make up for this, on Tuesday night, and inspire United to a win, the jeers will turn back into cheers.
Beating Liverpool at Anfield is enough to turn a player’s perceptions around. Look at cult hero Diego Forlan, by all measures, a Manchester United flop, and yet, his brace in a win over Liverpool at Anfield lives on.
Imagine what a win, to deny Liverpool winning the league, and ergo, the quadruple, would do for Pogba’s battered reputation. Zero to hero.
His brace against City in 2018 is still viewed as his best performance in a United shirt, denying Pep Guardiola’s side the title that day.
Pogba surely has one more great performance left in him. Tuesday night would be the perfect time to deliver.