So Paul Pogba will miss the Manchester Derby this coming Sunday. Whilst I personally think there was no intentional malice in his challenge on Hector Bellerin, it was reckless, violent conduct and most definitely a red card. A three match ban is deserved. Yes he will be missed at Old Trafford as United try to haul in their city rivals, but lets be honest these things sometimes happen in football and players miss matches for various reasons, that is the whole point of having a squad (especially if you are one of the biggest and richest clubs in the world) for just such an occasion. Issues arise more when you get a multitude of injuries / suspensions especially in the same position.
6 OUT OF 10
It will probably go against popular opinion, actually I know it will but Pogba for me was not actually having the greatest of matches, in my opinion the game was bypassing him as he didn’t seem to be around doing anything with Arsenal’s midfield dominating easily, he only sporadically influenced the game. However those fleeting moments were an assist for Antonio Valencia’s goal to open the scoring and then some outstanding play for his second assist to set up Jesse Lingard which restored United’s two goal buffer against an Arsenal team that were more than banging on the door for an equaliser (ps chapeau David de Gea by the way).
To be fair to Pogba people beat him with the 89m stick, but despite being average for me against Arsenal, the little he did do – he did very well with his two assists especially as you know he can perform and be far more influential across a 90 minute period. He has been coming back from injury after a two month lay off and with matches coming thick and fast, he looked a bit leggy to me. He will play on Tuesday (5th Dec) versus CSKA Moscow in the Champions League then will actually get a two week break whilst suspended for the aforementioned derby and following clashes against Bournemouth and West Brom. I imagine he will return for their Carabao Cup game against Bristol City on the 20th December, just in time for the glut of Christmas fixtures.
LONGER TERM BENEFITS
Personally I think whilst it is not great for Manchester United to lose such an influential player for these games, he will get a nice break to train and build up more fitness as lets be honest he was rushed back slightly by manager Jose Mourinho. In the long run I feel this will benefit himself and the Red Devils as it is a very long season in England and if they do progress in the Carabao Cup it basically means two games a week up until the start of February anyway. So yes he will miss what will at the time be the most important game of the Premier League season but that’s football at times, deal with it I say, there will be plenty more huge matches before the end of the season.
Let me know what you think
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