Hey big spender. Careful.
There is no store returns policy on a Â£100million footballer and no cancellation clause in a Â£220,000-a-week contract which will run up a wage bill of Â£57m over its five-year duration.
If Jose Mourinhoâs supermarket sweep this summer adds Paul Pogba to his shopping basket, then the new Manchester United manager will be confronting himself with the most daunting challenge of even his audacious career.
Manchester United have been warned over Paul Pogba, his Euros displays were not that of a Â£100million man
In France he played like fame has gone to his head, more Pogba Le Poseur than Paul the Power-house
Deciding to go back to a player deemed deficient by Sir Alex FergusonÂ is to stand on a crumbling cliff-edge
Investing the equivalent of the national debt of a banana republic in a player your club previously gave away for nothing is precipitous enough of itself to invoke a severe attack of vertigo.
Doing so for a footballer deemed deficient by none other than Sir Alex Ferguson is to stand on a crumbling cliff-edge.
Taking that risk with someone who played more like Paul Plonker in the European Championships just ended hints at suicidal tendencies.
Whenever, down his trophy-laden decades as the master of Old Trafford, Sir Alex was asked which qualities he looked for most keenly in prospective signings he would say something like âThey have to be able to play. Then, above all, they must have the character it takes to be winners.â
Fergie made some misjudgements but the minority of failures among triumphs came as unexpected surprises
Of course Fergie made some misjudgements but the minority of failures among teams-full of triumphs came as unexpected surprises.
Not if Pogba proves to be a pig-in-a-poke. Not after France 2016. United have been warned.
In this tournament, something appeared to have gone wrong with the young Frenchman who has won four Serie A titles with Juventus, the Under 21 World Cup as captain of his country and the Best Young Player award at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
This attacking midfield creative force became a peripheral figure in Franceâs stuttering progress towards the Paris final. When it came to the Stade de France on July 10, he disappeared into the mists of extra-time defeat by Portugal.
Despite France’s run to the final of their home tournament Pogba did not shine and disappeared in the finalÂ
PAUL POGBA: CAREER STATS
Position: Central midfielder
Clubs:Â Manchester United (2009-2012), Juventus (2012-present)
Major Honours:Â Serie A (x4), Coppa Italia (x2), Supercoppa Italiana (x2)
International caps: 38
International goals: 6Â
Paul the Power-house morphed into Pogba Le Poseur.
Therein lies a clue to what has become of him. The stardom, the acclaim, the celebrity â all seem to have gone to his head.
And, almost certainly, the money.
Not that he would be alone in that. There have to be serious suspicions that some of the England players who froze to defeat against Iceland, a tiny nationâs team which dared to dispute their airs and graces of superiority, turn out for their country more to market their brand than from a sense of pride and patriotism.
Pogba played in the Euros wearing an air of entitlement, which smothered his commitment. That, coupled with the statuesque posturing of a body-building narcissist, was at the core of the stupefyingly inert French performance which allowed Portugal to win despite having Cristiano Ronaldo taken out shortly after the kick-off.
Jose Mourinho is charged with revitalising Manchester United. And Pogba, if he is added to the squad
Re-galvanising Pogba will require all Mourinoâs Special One powers. And even that may not be enough.
Once a player spirals down into that morass of preening self-importance it is monstrously difficult to bring him back.
Especially if his bank balance is bulging to the multi-millionaire extent Pogbaâs will be if, as and when United finalise their latest bit of business.
Good luck, Jose. Looks like you are going to need it.
Big Samâs teams may not always play the esoteric football beloved of the purists.
Beautiful is not necessarily his game, especially when the chips are down in something like the relegation struggle from which he has just rescued Sunderland.
But of one thing we can be certain: if he had been in charge of England this summer they would not have gone down without so much as a whimper against Icelandâs over-achieving triers.
Sam Allardyce may not always please the purists but his sides do not go down with a whimper
While it is unlikely that this puerile ensemble would have gone on to win the Euros, they would not have come home early to the abject humiliation of this entire country.
Big Sam instils belief in his players. He also kicks arse when it is warranted.
So even though Mr Allardyce doesnât do diplomacy in high places, either, someone at the FA woke up and realised that right now this is what England require, too.
Big Sam is a better tactician than the is given credit for and with English football at rock bottom he is the man
Nor, thank goodness, were they seduced by the expensive attraction of some short-term foreigner.
For Allardyce, England are a crusade he has been longing to lead throughout his working life.
And although he is direct, he no dumb-dumb either. This is a solid tactician and his articulate grasp of modern sporting science helped him win over the doubters among his new employers
For this rock-bottom moment in the life of our national game, Big Sam is the man.