After a season of battling with cross bars more than opposition goalies, Paul Labile Pogba on Wednesday scored United’s first goal on route to a 2-0 win over Ajax.
It does not matter if a huge deflection played part in it. The French midfielder had a chance to take a shot, took it and had the ball land at the back of the net.
Apart from playing a huge part in a evening that saw the Red Devils win the only trophy left out of the samples the European and English football had to offer, the French man got a huge relief and bought some time off the ever growingcynical tongue-in-cheek references to his “Most Expensive Player in the World” status.
After joining United last summer from Juventus – a club that scooped him for free from United nonetheless – the 24-year old has been subjected to ridiculous jeers time and again throughout the course of United’s campaign this season.
From the first day he kicked a ball at Old Trafford since returning, harsher metrics have been meted out in judging his performances. It is the prize you pay for making a club to pay that much for you. Everyone wants to see the justification.
In every tackle, dribble or attempt at goal, a justification-searching audience makes sure to analyze you through the clearest and harshest viewing glasses. It no longer matter if they lose their humanity on course to achieving their aim.
That is why Pogba, although his Instagram updates may suggest otherwise, is under immense pressure to deliver, to prove that he is worth costlier than Cristiano Ronaldo.
Even if he scored the goal that made United comfortable early enough to carry out their plan of sitting back and counterattacking, he still has a very long way to go in justifying his price.
The kid got himself a long list.