Depending on your information service, Paul Pogba is either excited about moving to Real Madrid, or worrying about doubling his salary at Manchester United. Anyway, it's a problem that needs to be sorted.
And without a doubt he has looked better under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Better, yes – but twice as good as the player who thought he caught Manchester United when he signed?
Barely. It could be argued that we didn't really see that player because Pogba was considered the type of midfield powerhouse that United could send to the title under Jose Mourinho.
Paul Pogba & # 39; s future at Manchester United is being re-examined
In its current form, even with the Solskjaer-inspired revival, United is still doing its best to reach the Champions League next season. And while it would be wrong to just put the blame on Pogba's feet, it doesn't sound like the level of return that deserves an escalation to £ 460,000 a week.
That is the figure mentioned to secure the next Pogba contract, which probably means it is the figure that he was told he could earn with Real Madrid. Maybe he could get even more if he flirted in public with the idea of drawing longer at Old Trafford. He would not be the first.
But is he worth it? Is there anything we have seen from Pogba so far that suggests that he would be rewarded this way? He has a good second half of the season.
But every football player on the year list would have to burn a page or several names before stepping on his own. And for nearly £ 2 million a month, isn't that what Manchester United should get? Best. More influential than Virgil van Dijk, faster than Raheem Sterling, more valuable to his team than Eden Hazard. A player at the height of his game. Is that Pogba? Not yet, it isn't.
Pogba scored twice in the weekend when United registered a 2-1 win over West Ham
Neither is Alexis Sanchez, but it is his salary that has set the benchmark for wages at Old Trafford, his arrival that has sent the rest of the team to their agents for renegotiations.
Yet Sanchez has not proved his wages, so why would United feel compelled to make the same mistake twice? They cannot remain the club that panics in expensive maneuvers. Maybe it's time for Ed Woodward to try some bluffing
If Real Madrid wants Pogba, and Pogba & # 39; s people think he is a £ 460,000 player, ask for a fee that matches his status. Because Pogba is not Cristiano Ronaldo. When United lost Ronaldo, they must have been afraid to fight him again in the Champions League.
And those fears turned out to be correct. Ronaldo has won the Champions League four times since he left, Manchester United zero. Nor have they defeated Real Madrid in their three encounters since Ronaldo changed sides.
And in the two games he started, he scored. Is that what we could expect from Pogba in opposition? Would he change the dynamics in his new club? Would he leave United between European flights?
He should be a different player than the one we have seen; someone who is capable of the peculiar moment of destruction, as the murderer passes against Tottenham and West Ham, but also periods of anonymity.
Pogba was excellent, as Manchester United went on a record-breaking run that gave Solskjaer his permanent performance, but he also played every minute as United lost four games in five against Arsenal, Barcelona and Wolves, twice.
His fruitful points round also ended on Saturday's penalties. He last scored on open play on February 18, against Chelsea in the FA Cup.
Pogba improved under the guidance of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but is he worth his wage demands?
And he is an excellent player. Nothing here denies that. What needs to be assessed is whether he is a player worth £ 460,000 a week to Manchester United when there is no guarantee that he will not become distant or inconsistent, as it certainly seemed to happen when Mourinho was in charge.
Since the Madrid talk began – that Pogba has done little to discourage – it can even be said that his form has already suffered.
It is the biggest call of the summer: to keep Pogba happy or to make him the last expensive problem of Real Madrid.
Woods evoked the spirit of Seve
Seve Ballesteros hated being called the park champion. It was one of the reasons why he enjoyed keeping it to America in the Ryder Cup. He found the tag disrespectful. It was actually the opposite.
Ballesteros & # 39; close-up restoration of the wheels of a black Ford Cortina at Royal Lytham in 1979 was the hallmark of a true champion. Golf is a game of yardages and precision. Most shots that professionals play have been calculated and practiced a thousand times.
It is what they do when they reveal their true nature outside of this comfort zone. Ballesteros was a genius around a golf course; that's Tiger Woods. His putt on the ninth green in Augusta was the encapsulation of greatness. Just like Ballesteros in the parking garage, the shot was the result of an error.
Tiger Woods won the Masters on Sunday for the fifth time in its phenomenal career
Woods hit a terrible part of the green, 80 feet shy of the pin, downhill over two level changes and a sideslope. Every time the ball rolled down to another small plateau, it would get speed. It seemed impossible to check. So this was not the type of putt that a professional would have applied, because no professional would imagine ending up in such an alien corner.
It would be something like raking from under a forest jar – or from the members' parking garage. That stuff can't happen. Nobody gave Woods a chance. It was certainly a tripod. Woods hit the 12 foot.
To clarify: the putt rode much further, but the momentum of Woods' putter was no more than 12 feet. Gravity did the rest. He left it as close as possible without dropping. And he played many holes more perfectly than the ninth; but it was what he did to escape from problems, his improvisation, his feeling that set him apart.
Almost 20 years ago, on the third day of the Open, I was sitting on the back of the 17th in St Andrews to write a piece about the iconic Road Dock and how the professionals dealt with this unique challenge. It was a bad idea.
Unless they were in trouble, most came in exactly the same way. Until in the last group a ball arrived from a completely different route, took a line that still had to be investigated and was ultimately perfect. Tiger woods.
Those moments of inspiration are when you see the man.
Barton is a criminal … who would have thought that?
Let's call it the Brexit effect. A treacherous path has been chosen, sensible warnings against it have been brought in, those warnings have proven to be reliable, but those who made the decision remain in denial of reality.
Think back to 2016. A no-deal Brexit was never on the agenda. & # 39; The free trade agreement that we will conclude with the European Union should be one of the easiest in human history, & # 39; said Liam Fox. He did not mention crashing as option one. Crashing was not on the menu.
Now it is what this group of incompetents wants to believe that it was voted in, rather than admitting they were wrong. As predicted, this resignation from the EU was a precarious and complicated process. That the country would become poorer and that the poorest regions would end up in a crisis.
Joey Barton faces accusations of a serious attack following an incident with Barnsley & Daniel Stendel
For the same reason, Fleetwood Town is near Joey Barton, who is expected to be interviewed by South Yorkshire police this week about an allegation of serious assault. Of course they are – to suspend or not support him while awaiting an investigation, would mean that President Andy Pilley was completely wrong when he put his club in the stewardship of a violent villain.
And Pilley doesn't want to admit he was wrong, so he stays with his husband, even though that man may have lost Barnsley & # 39; s manager looking for his teeth in the tunnel.
Meanwhile, fans of Ipswich are jubilant and have been relegated to League One less than mid-April. They must be.
Otherwise, they must admit that under the circumstances and given the budgetary constraints, Mick McCarthy had done an excellent job of keeping the club free from relegation problems, and if football was less than wide, it was necessary to survive.
Instead they made his life a misery and he stopped. The managers who have succeeded him, Paul Hurst and Paul Lambert, have won a total of four games in all competitions this season.
McCarthy won more than that between August 5 and August 19, in his last campaign. He won a total of 17 games before leaving early with a 1-0 win over Barnsley. But to be unhappy on an upcoming competition list that would include trips to Scunthorpe and Rochdale next season, in many cases it would have to admit that he was misleadingly hard for McCarthy.
And in our post-truth, post-referendum age, that would never do that. So no deal was always the goal, Barton is perfect for Fleetwood and McCarthy did a bad job that Ipswich did not relegate.
Everyone is happy.
The image of Vunipola cannot be a shock to England
There is a movie, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert that summarizes just about our rosy view of minorities. Three trail queens go on tour through the Australian outback and encounter intolerance, homophobia and transphobia.
That is of course until they meet an Aborigine community, where they are welcomed and understood. You see, the Aboriginals have also experienced prejudices. They see through the painted exterior and recognize the humanity inside.
Not at all like the real world then. The world in which Muslim parents are appalled about homosexuality continues to be part of sex education classes and in 2013, more than half of Jamaican men who responded to a national survey said they had fallen victim to homophobic violence.
Billy Vunipola was warned of controversial responses to social media in support of Israel Folau
Perhaps this is the reason why English society is so bothered by Billy Vunipola.
We want the benefits of people with an inheritance from the Pacific Island because they have physical characteristics made for modern rugby; we just don't want them to think or feel like Pacific Islanders, because that offends our sensibilities. That way we can keep our new colonialism tasty.
Israel Folau, born in New South Wales to Tongan parents, said some offensive unpleasant things about homosexuals going to hell.
His vision can be archaic and wrong, but these are not entirely unusual beliefs among religious fundamentalists of different religions. Because he does not want to refrain from speaking, it may cost Folau his career.
Vunipola, whose Tongan mother is also a Methodist preacher, expressed his support and has also endangered his career. Channel 4 has relieved him of promotional duties and he will be summoned for questioning by the RFU.
Strange that the reactionary prejudices of Vunipola apparently amazed his employers. Who could have imagined a player with Pacific island blood could have an opinion consistent with aspects of Christianity practiced in those areas?
Israel Folau's remarks about homosexuals going to hell will probably cost him his career
Why couldn't Vunipola be built just like that, but do we think like us? There is a good boy.
Now it could be argued that just as Vunipola lived his life in the West, he would now have embraced the progressive virtues of tolerance.
But beliefs are a choice; culture is a choice. Exactly as it was our choice to adopt an Australian, with the legacy of the Pacific Island and to put him in a shirt in England.
And now we malign him because he is not like us?
Palace has wasted a season
Again Crystal was confronted with superior opposition and only tried to win the game after losing it.
At Tottenham they were 2-0 behind before they came too late on the front foot and had different fears; against Manchester City, the same scoreline led to life and Palace actually withdrew a goal before they were caught by a counterattack.
Yet this is not a weak team. It is possible a match for each of the six teams above them in the Premier League table, but too often they go out to play with minimal ambition.
Crystal Palace has had a wasted season with Roy Hodgson with such cautious tactics
Leicester is seventh, but Palace beat them this season. They also defeated Wolves. If Palace loses Wilfried Zaha and Aaron Wan-Bissaka this summer, the caution of Roy Hodgson may be justified.
However, this season was a waste.
In Monday's game, the rankings said Tottenham was just as far away from the top two as Leicester was away from the top six: 16 points.
Whatever the limitations are for two transfer windows that continue without investment, it cannot be said that it worked.