Depending on whether you’re a glass half full or a glass half empty kinda’ guy, last night would have given you contrasting emotion.
A point, away at Wolverhampton Wanderers, probably signals improvement for Manchester United. However, there was a real opportunity for the Reds to win the game and sit atop the Premier League table after two matches played.
On the whole, United were probably the better side. Wolves had an excellent 15 minutes or so, but aside from that, it was the away team who dominated proceedings.
The pivotal moment came when Pogba made a bursting run forward into the penalty area and won a spot-kick courtesy of a clumsy Connor Coady tackle. Everyone thought Marcus Rashford, who scored last weekend from the spot, was going to step up, stick it home and help United onto three points…
In stepped Paul Pogba who was given the ball. Even before the penalty was taken you just knew he was going to miss. Why did United change penalty takers? There was just no need in in whatsoever, and after the match, United legend Gary Neville didn’t hold back.
“Before he took the pen I was fuming. I was thinking it’s typical Pogba, selfish.” Neville said live on Sky Sports, quoted by The Sun.
“Why are you even thinking of taking a penalty off of a player?
“The only reason I’m holding back from calling it treacherous is that before before the one against Chelsea, Pogba and Rashford had a long chat and maybe it was Rashford who took it off Pogba against Chelsea.
“Despite that, I don’t like it. Why is there a debate about who should take a penalty? There should never be one.
“Pogba has taken and missed penalties so you think he has had his chance. Rashford scored last week so let him take the pen.
“There wasn’t a leader on the pitch. They couldn’t make a decision. Something wasn’t right.
“This is a Manchester United penalty. This is not a tombola or Under-5s on the playground. It wasn’t decisive.
“It was like ‘go on mate you have it’. They should be deciding this in the dressing room.”
It’s school ground stuff. You should always give your ball to your best penalty taker in these high-pressure situations. Pogba has missed four penalties in the last year while Rashford has been deadly.
For me, this one is on the manager. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to be more assertive and choose someone who’ll take the penalty kicks with regularity. Pick your penalty taker, stick with him until he misses a few. It’s not rocket science…
Anyway, for United the signs were actually positive. Pogba looked threatening at times, though you can still expect to see even more from the mercurial Frenchman. All will be forgotten about with a good performance at home to Crystal Palace this weekend – and hopefully he can make up for the miss with a goal or two…