The 2018 World Cup winner has been hinted to join Barcelona for quite sometime now.
Things haven’t changed yet in Manchester United under Jose Mourinho. Prior to his side’s loss against Derby County in the Carabao Cup today, there was an impending sense of doom in the air. Mourinho’s camp allegedly kickstarted it after it was revealed that he had stripped Paul Pogba off his vice-captaincy due to a growing rift between the gaffer and midfielder.
Although the Portuguese has insisted that there is no rift between him and the Frenchman, things don’t seem all hunky-dory at Old Trafford right now. But now it seems like there in something going on in the Manchester United camp, especially between the former Real Madrid manager and Pogba. New footage has been revealed by Sky Sports which represents a frosty relationship between the two currently. In the video, Pogba is shown shaking hands with the team’s staff members but then receives a cold reception from his manager.
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The 2018 World Cup winner watched the match against Derby from the stands, as Frank Lampard’s side edged past United in a penalty shootout. After his side’s draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers in their previous PL fixture, Pogba was quoted saying that he wants his team to attack more, which wasn’t taken in good guise by Mourinho reportedly.
Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown told BBC Radio 5 live, “Jose seems to be at war with his players and he needs to start seeing the good in what they do. Is he pulling up the handbrake?”
The Gunners legend further added, “Everyone in the media is quick to turn this into a massive crisis. Manchester United have had some good away results but suddenly they’re not able to win at home. I don’t enjoy seeing them not being competitive. Mourinho has said the pundits on the sofa have got too much to say. One of them, Frank Lampard, has proved him wrong. It’s a great scalp. This was a really good United team and I can’t think of many bigger shocks in their history. Mourinho tried to go for it and he’ll be hurting in the dressing room.”
Nothing seems to be working for The Special One in Manchester United right now. The loss has just bundled up with his other mishaps including an erroneous buy of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal. Chile forward hasn’t kicked-off his performances in the red jersey yet.
After the match, Mourinho said, “Penalties come and someone has to miss, once you go to the sixth or seventh penalty I knew we were going to be in trouble with Jones, with Eric Bailly.” Jones missed the decisive penalty which sent his side packing.
Derby manager Frank Lampard – who played under Mourinho at Chelsea – has now led his side to eight wins in his opening 12 fixtures. The former England international stated, “I’m shellshocked. What a performance.”
He also said, “To go down early at Old Trafford and play as well as they did was superb. We had the personality to take penalties and play the way we did. I am a proud manager. I am trying to build a group to be successful and nights like this are incredible. To go against world-class players and play that way, it’s right up there [with the best nights of my career].”
Meanwhile, former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp’s words also echoes Keown’s statement. Regarding Pogba and Mourinho’s relationship, he said, “There’s been an almighty fallout. I’ve been in dressing rooms where the manager has lost the players and all you get is cliques. Players will get into their corners. That’s how I see this Manchester United dressing room. I can visualise it now. There’s so many unhappy people.”
Pogba could well be on his way out of United in January, but according to reports, he will stay on till the end of this campaign – the most possible destination seems to be Barcelona right now.
Manchester United are up against Premier League opponents West Ham in the weekend. Already behind league leaders Liverpool by eight points, it will be interesting to see how Mourinho and his side performance against tricky opponents like The Hammers.