Mino Raiola made an attempt to grab headlines ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Chelsea.

He got the attention he wanted, but it probably was not the right kind. It was a calculated statement which could backfire.

Raiola blasted United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on social media, in response to the manager’s jibe that the agent ‘does not own Pogba’ – which in turn came after another outburst from his agent about a desire to play for Juventus again. [Mail]

Timing critical

This was a grenade chucked by Raiola towards Solskjaer as United entered a crucial Premier League clash with Chelsea.

Raiola posted the message just 17 minutes before kick-off. It was designed for maximum impact and damage to Solskjaer.


The agent had gambled on a United defeat, and the pressure rising on Solskjaer. His comments would only add to possible misery on a manager who could have left Stamford Bridge in ninth, nine points behind fourth.

Instead United won the game against Chelsea 2-0, cut the gap to three points, and Solskjaer’s position is strengthened.

Solskjaer kept his dignity after the game, refusing to be drawn into a public war of words with the Italian.

After a United win, ex Red Devils came out backing the manager and criticising Raiola.

Gary Neville and Roy Keane both backed Solskjaer on Sky’s Monday Night Football, criticising the farce and urging United to sell Pogba.

So long as United keep winning, Raiola’s comments attacking Solskjaer will continue to backfire. They won’t have the impact he wants.

If draws and losses begin to pile up again, then the pressure will be back on, and comments like Raiola is making will be used by Solskjaer’s many detractors to criticise him.

Some fans have grown sympathetic to Pogba’s complaints amid United’s poor results. Fickle as it may be, this win has the potential to change the mood. And this meant in the battle of public perception, Raiola’s cheap shot did not work.

What’s Pogba’s role?

The timing of Raiola’s comments right before a big game, United’s first match in a fortnight, was disrespectful to both Solskjaer and the whole club. It was an attack on the institution of Manchester United.

On the day United lost a real hero in Harry Gregg, Pogba is a man not fit to tie his laces.

It’s no wonder many fans agree with any stance never to deal with Raiola in the future, and just want rid of Pogba and the whole farce.

(Photo by GUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP via Getty Images)

Pogba it is considered can’t be blameless in all this. He stays silent, other than the odd blasé quote on Instagram about his never ending injury recovery.

Surely if Pogba had any issue with any of Raiola’s words, he would not let him speak about his situation.

The Frenchman is a talented player, one of the best around, but there will be no tears shed if he never plays for the club again.

If he wants to enjoy a successful end to the season, he needs to tell his agent to shut up, and stop becoming a toxic, unwanted distraction.

Until a club pays United’s asking price for Pogba, he’s the club’s headache.

Raiola is probably helping lower that asking price with his actions, but he’s dragging the name of his client and himself through the mud in the process.

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