92nd Minute News

After Manchester United’s defeat to Brighton, United legend Paul Scholes was quick to criticise Paul Pogba’s influence on the game. He outlined the inconsistencies of midfielder’s performances throughout his United tenure and chastised his passing during the trip to Falmer Stadium. Scholes’ comments didn’t go unnoticed by Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, who hit back on Twitter:

Apparently, Raiola thinks Scholes is scared of being forgotten and just wants the spotlight on himself. It’s a bit hard to believe that Paul Scholes, the quietest lad in football, is in search of the limelight. It’s an odd comment to make of someone on a punditry show. If it was Robbie Savage, then maybe he’d have a point. Maybe Raiola is the one scared of being forgotten.

The second tweet was more cryptic, however:

According to Raiola, selling Pogba would be a tireless task. This first assumes Scholes wants Pogba sold, which I don’t think he does. All Scholes’ comments suggested was that we should expect more consistency from Pogba. But what did Raiola mean by sleepless nights?

Sarcasm? Or Reassurance? 

Perhaps he was being sarcastic. This is likely the case. It wouldn’t take long for Manchester United to find a suitor for the World Cup winner, and Raiola knows it. The underlying message of his tweet is probably, “if you’re not thankful for Pogba, someone else will be.” After all, Barcelona did make that crazy bid a few weeks ago.

It is also just as likely that Raiola only wants Pogba to move for the agent fees, not because of Pogba’s feelings. Actually, that’s a certainty.

The other interpretation of Raiola’s tweet is that Pogba doesn’t want to leave, and therefore orchestrating a move would be hard. Is this reassurance that the French midfielder is staying at Old Trafford for the long haul? While this could be how Pogba genuinely feels, it’s unlikely this is what Raiola meant when he said sleepless nights.

This isn’t the first time Mino Raiola has stolen the headlines with his controversial outbursts. It does, however,  beg the question: Should agents have as much a say as they do?

Conclusion

We all know Raiola’s comments were a bit crazy. What concerns me the most, however, is how a person so distanced from the actual field can have such an impact on the players who play the game. We should neither see nor hear agents in the world of football. Their opinions shouldn’t even count. Heck, why do players even need one? Paul Scholes never did.

“We tried really hard to sign Paul Scholes, we gave Manchester United a blank cheque, we talked to him. His reply was short and simple, ‘If you want me to play for you, you’d have to buy this club.’ One of a kind, he didn’t even have an agent, so it was hard enough.” – Inter Milan President Massimo Moratti