Recently, the frosty relationship between the manager and his star player had made headlines in the media.
Manchester United’s gaffer Jose Mourinho and their star midfielder Paul Pogba have been under the radar since long. They have had a fair share of controversies with both of them putting their thoughts in media. In the recent development, Mourinho has suggested that Pogba is not the problem, it’s the people he listens to, indicating towards Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola.
Pogba, time and again, has spoken about Mourinho, commenting in the post-match mixed zone criticising United’s tactics in almost every match since the loss to Brighton and Hove Albion. This lead to the manager striping down the second captaincy from the French midfielder and the following day the duo were filmed having a tense exchange at United’s Carrington training complex over an Instagram post-Pogba uploaded during the Derby game.
“The only truth is that I made the decision of Paul not to be the second captain anymore,” Mourinho said. “But no fall-out. No problems at all.”
“The same person that decides Paul is not second captain anymore was exactly the same person that decides that Paul was the second captain, myself. I am the manager, I can make these decisions, no fall-out at all, no problems at all, just one decision that I don’t have to explain.”
“Paul was not the vice-captain,” Mourinho clarified three days later. “We had [Antonio] Valencia as the captain and then we had the group of players that could be the vice-captain.”
“One day I give to David de Gea, Ashley Young, Chris Smalling. I thought about Paul already last season because a player of a different generation, younger player and the captain of the future because Valencia, Young they come more or less same age, same generation.”
“Paul was not the vice-captain. We don’t have the vice-captain. It depends on the match, depends on if Valencia is playing. If Valencia is playing he’s the captain. If Valencia is not playing I will try to go in another direction.”
The feud took another turn when Pogba in the mixed zone against Valencia replied to journalists “You want me dead?” on questions regarding any update on the talks between the two.
While Mourinho cleared the air over the deeper role of Paul and Matic against Newcastle when the Portuguese gaffer chose to play with just a single centre back.
“He didn’t play centre-back,” Mourinho clarified. “He was playing with Matic in front of [Chris] Smalling because we need some technical quality to bring the ball from the back and the way to have some technical quality to bring the ball from the back was to play Paul and Matic there.”
The Red Devils’ fans voted for Paul as the player of the month in the stunning come back against Newcastle for his sacrificing role to switch back just in front of Smalling along with Matic.