31 January 2012
So United just came away from Old Trafford with a win to Stoke. Stoke played as if they were being paid by the foul. With two penalties to United, and potentially plenty more which weren't given, it was a shocking display of tackling from players that seemed like graduates of the Paul Scholes Academy of Fine Tackling. Either way, we came out on top with penalties scored by Chicharito and Berbatov.
The result of this game comes with many subplots however. Firstly, Ravel Morrison has left United to join West Ham. The deal is permanent and the fee was undisclosed. As much as we would have liked to keep him, you can take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Here is a player, though while talented, came with many problems off the pitch. From intimidating a prosecuting witness before trial, to throwing his girlfriend's phone out the window and assaulting his own mother, this is not the type of person we want on the team.
Anger and passion on the field is good. Roy Keane's tackle on Haaland may have been ugly (and I do not condone it), but at least you don't hear Keano paying disrespect to the woman that brought him into this world. Maybe Ravel leaving was a good thing. United's reserve team comprised of both Ravel Morrison and Paul Pogba. Both have been tipped for stellar careers and both have been rumored to leave sooner or later. As we now know, Morrison has bailed to London, so maybe this is time for Pogba to step up.
The game against Stoke was good in that United won, but the show was stolen (at least for us) by Paul Pogba. Even if he came on as a substitute with about 20 minutes to go, he made us here at TSR giddy with joy as he showed both his class and tenacity. The guy was taking passes literally in his stride and played crosses that would have Beckham out of his seat applauding. Not to mention, he's also quite the physical presence and brings both strength and height to the team. We've only seen bits and pieces of him, but signs are pointing to "bright future" for this one.
The lingering question is whether or not he'll stay at United. Apparently his agent is being difficult and no contracts have been signed. With his contract due to run out by this coming summer, it's an important time for him and the team. I've read that United have an option to extend his contract by a year or so, but that wouldn't stop other clubs from hounding him and piquing his interest in another team. After just a glimpse of what Pogba can offer however, why on Earth would anyone behind the scenes at United want to let him go?
Also, in case anybody was wondering, Darron Gibson scored the winner for Everton against Man City. The chant at Old Trafford? "There's only one Darron Gibson."