The Pogmentary: Paul Pogba documentary to celebrate his brand survives Manchester United’s struggle

The most striking thing about The Pogmentary – except that The Pogmentary would certainly be a better title – is that very little of it focuses on the highlights of Paul Pogba’s last six years at Manchester United. “What highlight?”, you may ask. Well, actually, there were a few of them on the way, and while this five-part documentary somehow lasts a full two and a half hours, they certainly had enough room to fit them in.

For example, there is no mention of winning the EFL Cup and Europa League in their first season. There is a glimpse of his match-winning Manchester derby performance at the Etihad, but that’s all. Even the enthusiasm that surrounded his £89m move from Juventus in 2016 has largely waned, despite joining what was, at the time, a world record fee.

With his contract expiring at the end of this month, there is no footage or discussion of Pogba’s sixth and final season at Old Trafford. In fact, it would be possible for those unfamiliar with his story to come and go in The Pogmentary and not realize that he is a United player at the time of filming. And you imagine that’s the point.

This is not a post-mortem of Pogba’s time at United. Not even trying to put a positive spin on it. Instead it is a portrait of a player who is set to write a new chapter in his career and is eagerly waiting for an opportunity to do so. Filmed mostly last summer, it’s only being released now with Pogba on the verge of returning to Juventus, but it could also serve as an alternative to a glossy brochure for any potential suitors.

Instead of Pogba’s troubles trying to live up to expectations at Old Trafford, we largely see him as a loving husband, a committed father and a world-class, world-class champion with France. There is insight into his background, particularly his mother Yeo’s upbringing in Guinea and his own upbringing in Roissy-en-Brie. Pogba comes across as a kind, charismatic and driven young man who does everything for his success.

This is certainly the opinion of his late agent, Mino Raiola, who passed away in April. “Some people are hard to love. Some people are easy to love. Paul is easy to love,” he declares minutes into the first episode. At which point you have to stop and remind yourself that This is the same player who was kicked off the pitch by his own supporters in his final performance for United. Clearly, something has gone wrong somewhere.

Given this, it is perhaps not surprising that Pogmenti focuses on the man rather than the malicious debate surrounding his Old Trafford career, which is generally split into two lines: those who believe Pogba failed at United. Stay tuned and those who believe United failed him. And while there’s no shortage of people willing to argue the former, you can make a compelling case for the latter as well.

After all, Pogba will be absolutely sure of his best role and position this summer without anyone at United, which is quite an oversight for a club’s record signings and a generation of talent. He is not the only high-profile arrival at Old Trafford over the past decade to fail to live up to expectations. In their case and in the case of Alexis Sanchez, Angel Di Maria, Romelu Lukaku and Falcao, there is a common denominator: the club that signed a top player and failed to get the best out of them.

Pogmentary doesn’t elaborate on the matter, however, or at least not. The reasons for Pogba’s joint conflicts have not been fully investigated. Even his version of events is only lightly touched upon and would benefit from more exploration. His fallout with Jose Mourinho is only briefly addressed at the end. Pogba complains that he did not get enough support from the club during a spell out and left so quickly that it is not clear which of the many spells he was referring to in the injury.

But again, the aim of The Pogmentary is not to explain the last six years at United, but to separate Pogba from them. Hence why so much time is given to introduce the brand Pogba. “Pogba is something we have created,” says his lawyer, Rafael Pimenta. “It’s a brand. It has emoji, it has Pogmoji, it has cups. It has shows, it’s a haircut, and we expect it to entertain people.” It’s something that Pogba totally buys. Is.

“You have to use your image,” he tells international teammate Blaise Matuidi while visiting his family and their yacht in Florida. “Americans get it. They’ve got it a long time ago. Your image is your value. Use your image, use your value.” He cites Michael Jordan and LeBron James as supreme athletes in their field and “icons” for their business prowess. Of course, James released his own documentary a decade ago, when the franchise was on the verge of changing.

But it is not Pogba’s version of The Decision, or even as conclusive as his friend Antoine Griezmann’s La Decision. There has been no major disclosure of a move to Juventus. No definitive call has been made on her future, except that she is set for a change of scenery. “My thought process is to show Manchester” [United] That they made a mistake in waiting to give me a contract, ”he says in the final scene. “And to show the other clubs that Manchester was at fault for not offering me the contract.”

Except, United offered a contract. They do so in the same documentary. Its most talked-about scene involves a FaceTime call between Pogba and Raiola, where their agent appears to be doing a mid-massage. Pogba directly asks Raiola if United have made any new offers. “Yes,” Raiola says. “They absolutely want you to stay. To me, the offer doesn’t reflect that.” Pogba accuses United of hoaxing. “How can you tell a player that you absolutely love him and give him nothing?” It’s not a view that would like him to be further United supporters.

And as much as The Pogmentary tries not to dissect Pogba’s failed homecoming, Raiola draws closer during the same FaceTime call. “We should try to make you feel good with France,” he tells his client. “You’re different with them. You’re another Pogba with Manchester United. He’s weird. With France, you’re the real Pogba, the Pogba of Juventus, the Pogba everyone loves. With Manchester, there’s something you love.” stopping.”

Raiola was nothing if not straight-talking and his summary of Pogba’s struggles at United is as close as The Pogmentary comes to a proper diagnosis. Otherwise, a documentary that could have provided answers to an enigmatic joint career instead only raises more questions.

Pogmentary launches worldwide exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on June 17th.