Thursday November 1 2012
Potential, potency, Pogba

The 19-year-old who said no to Sir Alex Ferguson, Paul Pogba is delivering on his potential way ahead of schedule at Juventus. Scott Fleming writes.

“Pogba did very well with the goal, but he still needs to improve. He played an excellent opening 20 minutes, then became a little lazy and that is unacceptable.”

It was a nice try by assistant Juventus Coach Angelo Alessio. But at this point, trying to slow down the hype surrounding Paul Pogba is like trying to slow down the teenage titan when he's rampaging through midfield – futile.

That he's a good player shouldn't come as a surprise. The fact that he arrived from Manchester United, and that Sir Alex Ferguson was so irked by his departure, told us as much. “It's a bit disappointing because I don't think he showed us any respect at all,” sulked the Scotsman in July.

“A 19-year-old who said no to Ferguson, maybe he took it badly,” Pogba cheekily replied.

No one could have anticipated that the former Le Havre player would make such an impressive impact at such an early stage of his career in Turin however. It was only a month ago that he made his first competitive appearance for the Bianconeri, starting the home win against Chievo. A couple of late cameos aside, we didn't see him again until the 75th minute of the top of the table crunch match against Napoli two weeks ago.

Seven minutes after stepping off the bench and with the scoreline at 1-0, Pogba sealed a hugely significant victory for Juventus with a swish of his left boot, volleying past Morgan De Sanctis from distance.

It's within the past four days that the hype has really taken off though, sparked by his starting and finishing two full games and by a performance in the second against Bologna last night that was simply magisterial.

The young Frenchman skimmed then shuddered the post with a header and curling shot respectively, created Fabio Quagliarella's opening goal with an inspired lob over the Bolognese backline and – with Juve headed for a costly 1-1 draw – flung himself at a Sebastian Giovinco cross to net a 92nd minute winner.

“Pogba controlled the midfield, so much so that neither Arturo Vidal or Claudio Marchisio was missed, Juve have found a little champion,” proclaimed the Gazzetta dello Sport, the 6ft2 midfielder being described as 'little' the only part anyone could disagree with.

The question now of course is what happens when Vidal and Marchisio return from suspension and injury for the Derby d'Italia clash Scudetto six pointer against Inter on Saturday, and the most likely answer is that – just as he did for the Nordsjaelland game after his blockbuster against Napoli – Pogba will drop to the bench.

Nonetheless, simply by giving Antonio Conte that dilemma, he has already achieved a lot.

Willingly leaving United at the age of 19 because you aren't getting enough opportunities in the first team shows an enormous amount of self confidence. So does believing you'll find those opportunities at the Juventus Stadium, where Vidal, Marchisio and Andrea Pirlo stand in your way. A bit like sidling up to the Holy Trinity and telling one of them to hit the showers.

But on the evidence of Pogba's display last night, that confidence is entirely justified. 

Keep up to date with the latest news and action from Spain's Primera Division with Football Espana - from the team behind Football Italia.

See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with

Have your say...
Anyone who thinks vidal and marchisio are not great then im sorry but u must have just come out under a rock this season and decided to say the stupidest thing that came to mind!

and @paul im a juventus fan myself i completely agree with everything you have just said, but the whole point of bringing pirlo in is to control the tempo of the game otherwise we'd have our old problem under del neri and get tired very quickly, but still he remains one of europes best deep player makers and
on the 1st November, 2012 at 6:16pm
@ paul: as a Juve fan hear u. Pirlo loves the floating, time consuming pass to the wings or a few feet away, but he does send deep penetrating passes. Juve's attacking play does not suffer because of him. I think he knows his forwards' limitations in controlling a direct ball i.e Ale Matri, Giovinco. Pirlo is known for direct balls up to onrushing forwards and if we had a more potent attacker he would utilise this direct play more often. BtwvZidane after WC 98 king of killing the quick break.
on the 1st November, 2012 at 6:15pm
I'm watching Juve for almost 20 years... Their biggest problem this season is lack of top class atackers (like Trezeguet for example) and wing backs (especially De Ceglie or Molinaro and Grygera before him). Conte's tactics are limmited to Pirlo and to a new system of playing. They have to buy someone like Džeko or Llorente and to change tactics in front of goal (maybe Vučinić and "Atomic ant" like wingers). This season they don't have routinne i their play. Pogba rules this season. FJ!
on the 1st November, 2012 at 6:13pm
Pogba is good, and he's only 19. But don't forget Pirlo-Vidal-Marchisio. They are arguably the best Midfield outside Barca's. Pogba however is just what Juve needs. 4 quality players for 3 positions, is NOT A PROBLEM. I don't think it will be for any of these 4. They'll all rotate and get lots of playing time, and a rest now and then. This is a good thing for all of them, and the team, in light of all the games Juve has now they are back in the Champions League.
on the 1st November, 2012 at 5:55pm
as for pogba being impatient at man utd ,,,,really lol how would you feel when fergie brings back scholes out of retirement and over looks you like he did with pogba im glad juvetus got him he has many strings to hes bow i hope what he will eventually do is when he picks the ball up from deep he drives with it like roy keane used to do pirlo vidal never do this and i think the forwards suffer loads because of this.
on the 1st November, 2012 at 5:37pm
numerous times ive watched juventus have a chance to counter the forwards are bombing forward and pirlo slows the game down rather than go back to front quick he goes side ways or gets caught on the ball.vidal is always the wrong side of the player gives away cheap free kicks and poor passing over short range pogba on the other hand done three things last night that vidal doesnt do wins countless headers delightful pass right foot hit the post left foot and he doesnt give silly fouls like vidal.
on the 1st November, 2012 at 5:34pm
i have to comment on this im a juventus fan and i know a few ppl wont like this but for me the problem with this team is the trio in the middle but not marchisio for me its pirlo and vidal.the forwards at juventus get a lot of stick but 2 of them quag and matri want to run in behind and run the channels the problem with vidal and pirlo although pirlo has the passing range he doesnt use it often enough juventus simply do not break on a counter quick enough pirlo is the biggest culprit for this.
on the 1st November, 2012 at 5:31pm
Sarcasm... What are you on about!? Juve best midfield and team in Europe right now.
on the 1st November, 2012 at 5:31pm
Real Madrid were willing to pay €30m for "ok but not great" Vidal this summer.
on the 1st November, 2012 at 4:14pm
You have to draw the comparison that the gap between the Premier League and Serie A has grown and he might not have made such an impact in England had he stayed.

Juventus are a great team but probably aren't as good as Man United as well. I think everyone involved at Utd would have wanted him to stay but he got impatient for first team football. Good article though.
on the 1st November, 2012 at 4:09pm
Pogba is looking like the signing of the future, today. Juve's strength is in it's midfield. Last year they didn't have the depth they do now with Pogba. Don't forget what Pepe can bring on the wing when he returns. Big upgrade of Isla.
on the 1st November, 2012 at 3:37pm
'Sarcasm', I seriously doubt your depth of footballing knowledge. Marchisio and Vidal are good players, not world class but they are still hard to compete against; especially in the big games where their experience puts them in almost unquestioned contention for starting slots. As for Pirlo, do you even watch football? Did you see him at the euros? He is one of the best central midfielders in the business. And on a par with iniesta and xavi. Fact.
on the 1st November, 2012 at 2:58pm
Vidal just ok? Marchisio overrated? Did you actually watch them play lately? Marchisio is extremely important to Juve. He missed the Fiorentina game and the Catania game and those games happen to be the hardest 2 Juve had so far. Vidal is an absolute beast, he has a drop in form now but is still a great player. Pogba will still have to work like a maniac to get a guaranteed first team spot.
on the 1st November, 2012 at 2:57pm
Pogba really is a talented player and I'm glad Juve are using him so to rest the likes of Marchisio & Vidal which in turn will develop his game further... I just wish they would do the same with Marrone, he should have played instead of Giaccherini and would have given us that extra quality and vision in midfield to have broken down Bologna alot earlier.

on the 1st November, 2012 at 2:39pm
Pogs could be the new Patty V.

Conte will have to find him a place if he keeps this up.
on the 1st November, 2012 at 2:34pm
Uhhh sarcasm are you messed? Do you rven watch football? To say Pirlo is extremely old and then go onto use Xavi as an example of your comment is ludicrous. Theyre the same age!!! Marchisio average? He's been one of our best this season, you obviously do not watch Juventus games. And Sergio Busquets? Don't even get me started on how overrated he is. Pogba was great yesterday but he isn't ready to replace any of the MVP trio just yet.
on the 1st November, 2012 at 2:30pm
pogba had a good game, but his passing in previous matches has been appalling.

juventus won the league on the strength of their finely balanced midfield triplet - march, pirlo and vidal, and so to dismiss them so easily is just wrong.

marchismo overrated??? - noone can be as over rated as the barcelona hype gang.

i look forward to pogba becoming a regular, but atm he's got to wait in line.
on the 1st November, 2012 at 2:29pm
Also another option in tough away games especially in Europe

Is a midfield with all 4 and a lone striker with the energy of Lichsteiner and Asamoah on the wings would give Juve another tactical option.
on the 1st November, 2012 at 2:27pm
Also Vidal while picking up a lot of cards in still a very under rated player by those outside of Italian football. Hopefully Juve can advance in the CL from a difficult group to showcase his talents to a greater audience.

As for Pogba big strong, good in the air good technique and comfortable with both feet, surprised Utd lost him exactly what they are missing. He can easily replace any of the 3 midfielders allowing rest good to have 4 top players competing for 3 places.
on the 1st November, 2012 at 2:25pm
Marchisio is good but overrated in my opinion. He does a lot of headless running around, he also needs to show that he will keep improving. As of late his performances do not indicate any improvement, especially as a goal scoring threat. He is on average a good performer and not so much a Top performer who can noticeably influence the game. Pogba and Marchisio should fight it out for a starting spot as Vidal on his day is more decisive. Eventually the competition should see them all improve.
on the 1st November, 2012 at 2:24pm
Sarcasm everybody is entitled to their opinion your sincluded. But IMO Marchsio is a superior player to Busquets who I think is vastly over rated. Pirlo is 33 hardly extremly old and looks afyer himself and leads a good lifesyle he has another 2-3 years in him at this level. And his style of play is one of intelligence poise, positioning and smart passing and not based on stamina a lung busting effort ala Gerrard or Lampard who style of play is more affected by the limits age put on their game
on the 1st November, 2012 at 2:20pm
it's really like what marchisio said before napoli game. juventus's win will kill napoli's confidence n moral. napoli is self destructing right now
on the 1st November, 2012 at 2:13pm
with viadal, marchisio and pirlo in his way? scott you make it sound as though those three are iniesta, xavi and busquets. b honest, pirlo is good, but he is extremely old. marchisio is so overrated it is just like the days when people thought gilardino was the next big thing. guess what happened. vidal is again ok but not great. Pogba should be used instead of marchisio he is the worst of the three, marchisio needs to see a real man play and pull out his notepad.
on the 1st November, 2012 at 1:51pm
He's gonna be in bench because its the biggest derby, I understand that. However he'll start to play and he will continue to grow. We have a monstrous midfield. Forzza Juve
on the 1st November, 2012 at 1:43pm

Post new comment

Your email address is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
If you have your own website, enter its address here.
Maximum 500 characters.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Your responses will be moderated, and sometimes edited, by Football Italia before appearing on the site. Please keep your comments clean and try to keep them relevant to the blog above. We reserve the right to reject views that we deem unsuitable for publication.