Not a bad day at the office. Lingard’s injury apart, for the ever Machiavellian Mourinho things could not have gone much better.
Zlatan got his goal. Bailly showed plenty of signs of being a dominant force.
Mourinho won his first trophy as United manager, and also had the opportunity to speak openly about Paul Pogba and what he brings to the team. Pretty obvious really.
Who knows where the 100 million man was having his medical, but by the middle of this week his height, power, and technique should be Jumping Jack Flashing at Carrington.
If there’s one thing United aren’t going to lack this season it’s height and power.
It’s been a curious pre-season. The marketing trip to China was a long way for nothing. An interruption and marketing exercise which must have driven Mourinho nuts. The transfer business is done for now, but maybe there’s more to come. Apart from the expected exits of Schweinsteiger, McNair, Pereira, Blackett, and possibly Mata, Jones or Young, don’t be surprised if United don’t throw a blockbuster at us. Maybe they sell Martial and bring another striker in? The young Frenchman had a poor Euros. There are rumours about his petulance and “off the field activities.” He may not fit the Mourinho team player mould, and he also slows down Rashford’s progress. I know it’s heresy to speak ill of a new found fan favourite, but Mourinho is ruthless and 75 million in the bank and the opportunity to buy his own striker maybe irresistible.
Pogba will bring dynamism to midfield, Rashford has pace, so have Shaw, Bailly, Mkhitaryan, Valencia and Smalling, but there is room for another jet heeled, electric striker to complement Zlatan. And it isn’t DePay.
In my last post I argued that Pogba wasn’t worth a 100 million transfer fee. I want to clarify. As a footballer he’s not worth it. As a marketing opportunity he is. Today’s values are obviously skewed by the enormous amounts of TV and advertising cash sloshing around the game and particularly the Premiere League. United’s profits are enormous. If Pogba helps deliver a championship this season he’s paid the fee.
So the Mourinho era with all it’s Special ingredients begins with a trophy.
We’ve had Funny, Charming Jose passing Andy Tate’s Manc Quiz. We’ve had Ruthless Jose banishing Schweinsteiger to the reserve team dressing room. And we’ve had PR Savvy Jose dedicating the Charity Shield win to Louis Van Gaal and the 7 players who didn’t make the team or bench.
In the end what counts is results. The real business begins next Sunday in Bournemouth.