June 12, 2021

‘Jose went against the players’ – Pogba slams former Manchester United manager Mourinho


The France international is unable to explain why his relationship with the former Red Devils boss broke down, but he has criticised his methods

Paul Pogba has criticised the methods of former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, with the Frenchman saying current boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will not “go against players” like the Portuguese coach did.

World Cup winner Pogba returned to Old Trafford for a second spell when Mourinho invested a record-breaking £89 million ($122m) to bring him back to England from Juventus.

Initial success was enjoyed, as three trophies were captured in 2016-17, but a once-productive working relationship between superstar player and high-profile coach broke down, and Pogba is among those that have been forced to start afresh under Solskjaer.

What has been said?

Pogba, who saw transfer talk sparked by his disagreements with Mourinho, told Sky Sports on the differences between his last two club bosses: “What I have now with Ole is different, he wouldn’t go against the players. He wouldn’t go against the players.

“Maybe Ole wouldn’t pick them, but it’s not like he puts them on the side like they don’t exist anymore. That’s the difference between Mourinho and Ole.

“Once I had a great relationship with Mourinho, everybody saw that, and the next day you don’t know what happened. That’s the strange thing I had with Mourinho and I cannot explain to you because even I don’t know.”

Who else had difficulties with Mourinho?

Pogba was not the only prominent figure at United to find themselves benched and subjected to public criticism from Mourinho.

Luke Shaw ended up in a similar position, with the left-back reborn under Solskjaer admitting that he found the going tough under the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss.

Pogba believes Solskjaer’s approach, which stands in stark contrast to that of his predecessor, is being rewarded because he inspires confidence in those at his disposal.

The 27-year-old midfielder added: “Maybe [Solskjaer’s methods work] because he is a bit closer to the people. Every coach has their own way to coach and deal with players, and as a player you have to adapt. Sometimes it doesn’t suit you and sometimes it does.

“Ole has helped Luke a lot, it was a difficult season with Luke and Mourinho, and he has proved he has the quality he always had and the trust of the manager.”

The bigger picture

Solskjaer is yet to deliver the silverware that Mourinho managed. He has, however, made it clear from the outset that a long-term rebuilding project is required at Old Trafford after mismanagement by previous coaches.

United are closing in tangible success this season, after booking a date with Roma in the Europa League semi-finals, and will be back in Premier League action against Burnley on Sunday in an ongoing bid to secure a top-four finish.

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