Manchester United are one of the world’s biggest football clubs and they potentially have two of the footballing universe’s biggest characters within it in Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho.
Pogba has just recently returned to the club fresh from World Cup success with France and skippered United in their opening day win over Leicester, which he scored in. However, there have been rumours for a while regarding the relationship he has with Jose Mourinho and it looks like it’s coming to a head.
Pogba, 25, isn’t known for regularly speaking to the press but he did so after United’s 2-1 victory over Claude Puel’s Leicester City at Old Trafford on Friday and his comment shave caused quite a stir. “There are things I can say and there are things that I cannot say, otherwise I will get fined,” he told the waiting reporters. Captain for the night Pogba also said, “When people trust you and have confidence then you are good in your own head, it’s going to be easier.”
These comments gave some insight about his strained relationship with Mourinho, which seems to be a common occurrence with tensions believed to be frayed between the Portuguese manager and chief exec Ed Woodward too. There were rumours over the summer that Pogba was looking for a way out of Old Trafford for the second time in his career with his agent, Mino Raiola, said to have already discussed matters with Barcelona chiefs.
Pogba rejoined United in 2016 following a spell at Italian giants Juventus where he became known as one of the best midfielders on the planet. Since his arrival, United have rarely seen the best of the Frenchman and he’s so far failed to live up to his billing, scoring only 16 goals and setting up just 18 in a total of 89 games. While there may be a power struggle going on behind the scenes between player and manager, the latter may just want to see more from the midfielder who broke the club’s transfer record.
The move to make Pogba captain against Leicester City on Friday night could have been Mourinho’s way of challenging him to prove himself, while also giving him more responsibility at a club he clearly loves. Pogba was also given more freedom on the pitch too, something he has believed to have wanted for a while, so he can have more of an impact on the game.
It remains to be seen what the outcome will be of the rumoured falling out, especially with Mourinho likely to be unhappy with the Frenchman’s comments to the media. United won’t want to lose Pogba anytime soon, especially when they know there’s a player with genuine world class ability in there. It may mean Mourinho has to work harder to keep his talisman happy, which can be integral in being successful in the English Premier League; or it could end up becoming a huge problem that United chiefs have to deal with one way or the other.