If rumours are to be believed then even by the time you read this both Ezekiel Fryers and Paul Pogba could well have been told they are no longer welcome at Manchester United. There have been several reports that both players have been offered ultimatums of the ‘sign now or never’ variety.
I may be wrong of course and both players could well have signed long-term deals keeping them at Old Trafford until the time it takes Fernando Torres to reach 100 goals for Chelsea.
The point is over the last few months its become abundantly clear that the lure of playing for United is no longer enough for today’s youngsters in the ‘Bentley driving’ era when even an average Premier League player can expect to earn around a million pounds a season. We can all remember the furore when years ago Roy Keane demanded wages that were believe to be around the 50k a week mark and the debate raged amongst Reds over whether he was being greedy- although most thought he was entitled to whatever he demanded such was the effort he put in and his importance to the team.
Now though players with not even one fiftieth of Keano’s playing time for United are demanding similar figures and lets’ not forget that inflation hasn’t gone up THAT much to make these expectations seem somewhat realistic. Paul Pogba has reportedly asked for 45k a week or he’s leaving, a joke considering someone like Danny Welbeck who’s a United regular, England international and proven Premier League player currently earns a third of that amount.
What’s more worrying for me, even more than Pogba’s greediness – and I’m sorry but that’s all it is for a lad who’s had hardly any first-team experience- is the fact that someone like Fryers who early on in the season dazzled us at Elland Road and some were tipping to actually give Patrice Evra a run for his money in the first team next year, seems unwilling to stay unless he’s paid an above realistic amount.
United face the prospect of losing two of out most gifted youngsters- to go with the other one who despite his problems obviously had talent, who decided he’d rather play for West Ham than fight for his Old Trafford future.
Part of the problem seems to be the clubs attitude towards these youngsters and the somewhat naivety it shows when dealing with their agents. Every Red- myself included has lamented the fact that Pogba, Fryers or whoever aren’t more like Paul Scholes and Ryan GIggs when it comes to signing new deals who just put pen to paper on whatever is offered to them.
The club itself still seems to expect the youngsters to have this approach and that is simply an unrealistic way of dealing with modern young footballers. According to whats been suggested, the club gave -or offered – the likes of Morrison and Pogba an agent to deal with their contracts etc, just as they gave one to Scholes and Giggs all those years ago. Yet the youngsters have ignored the clubs offerings and gone with their own men, who’ve quickly gone against the clubs wishes and looked elsewhere for more money.
United need to realise that the likes of Scholes and Giggs are an extremely rare breed of footballer in that money isn’t as important to them as playing for the club they love. There probably won’t ever be players like those two when it comes to contract negotiations anymore. Yet despite this obvious fact, the club still seem to be held to ransom, feel the need to get Rio Ferdinand involved and even make ultimatums when the youngsters don’t just sit down and sign.
United need to start working more closely with the agents the players choose, instead of acting incredulous when they make demands, there needs to be some sort of common ground. Working out a pay structure that means should Pogba become a first team regular he’ll earn more money for us than he would at Juventus or whoever and sitting down with the agent and explaining and negotiating this could well have kept him at United. Taking the moral high ground and repeating ‘this is Manchester United’ just isn’t working anymore.
The attitude of the likes of Scholes and Giggs is a thing of the past and the sooner United realise this the better, before we let one too many of the youngsters we’ve developed leave and even come back to haunt us.
a rather ill-informed and naiive piece
What absolute tosh. You use the example of Wellbeck to argue your point one way, then claim that young players aren’t like Giggs and Scholes these days. Wellbeck and Cleverly, unless your cutoff for the term ‘young’ is ridiculously low, have both gone the tried and true route of working their way up through the junior ranks and the reserves, even going out on loan to gain experience, and have reaped the benefits for their efforts by breaking into the first team and gaining all the plaudits they deserve. Pogba basically wants to say ‘screw you’ to all that, be played in the first team as if it’s his apparent due, and be paid accordingly. Bullshit – what kind of precedent does that set, and what does Fergie say to Cleverly, Wellbeck and co. when they look on in disgruntled fashion at ego and greed being rewarded while they’ve gone and paid their dues the hard way? What does it auger for the future if United bend to this a kind of behaviour? And what kind of locker room poison do Pogba and Fryers then represent with their attitudes?
The bottom line is that Fergie has never shied away from dumping players – even the likes of Beckham, Van Nistleroy, Stam, Ince, etc – when they were still champion players with a great deal to offer, and one and all lamented their departures. Yet Fergie’s Mantra of ‘the team comes first’ has always come out on top in the long run, and dumping those who lost their focus or team ethic has always worked out in the long run.
Giving in to Pogba in the short term might be of benefit, but United as an entity would be the loser in the long term for doing so. No team in England has a greater team spirit than United, and it’s no accident that it exists at the club. Fergie’s firm hand has always ensured that egos are largely kept in check and that disruptive elements are moved on. That’s the way it should be, and I for one will be more than happy to see Pogba and Fryers move on, because in essence they’re obviously not the right fit for United.
There’s an old saying at United that if you’re good enough the money will find you at the club (same goes for first team football) but if players aren’t prepared to bide their time, pay their dues, and make the side on merit, then good riddance. It would be insulting to the other players to accommodate such behaviour.
Couldn’t have said it better myself mate.
U read my mind.
True about the greedy players…but Uniteds way is Uniteds way…they need to feel pride first in wearing the red shirt. The wages should come second in their mind. I agree slightly ill-informes piece.
YOU SAID United need to start working more closely with the agents the players choose, instead of acting incredulous when they make demands, there needs to be some sort of common ground. Working out a pay structure that means should Pogba become a first team regular he’ll earn more money for us than he would at Juventus or whoever and sitting down with the agent and explaining and negotiating this could well have kept him at United. Fergie as already said if they make it the money will follow.FFS if they don’t want to play for UNITED fuck them off.
Just because they are United youth players shouldn’t mean the club is held to ransom. They are valuable because they are supposed to have learned proper behaviour. If they just want money upfront then they haven’t learned anything so bye bye. There are hundreds of equally talented youngsters around the world who would kill to get a crack at United’s reserves / look at the Da Silvas and how that worked out. Need to get more humble 18-20 yr olds in because this last lot of youth players learned a lot about greed.