Mourinho And Pogba Need To Grow Up


It wouldn’t be a Mourinho reign without a public falling out with at least one of his top players. His second season is supposed to be the title winning one, right? Not the one where we lose our record signing.

Pogba is not exactly blameless either. While he is being played out of position, or rather in a position he doesn’t like to play, he needs to get on with it. He’s an extremely talented footballer, one of the best midfield players in the world. He’s a phenomenal athlete and a young man who lives a clean lifestyle. Nothing is holding him back, grow up and do the job.

Defensive Issues

The biggest problem this team has is at the back and has yet to be properly addressed in the Post-Fergie, Post-League Titles era. We are awful at the back and Bailly is never fit. It seems like he might be back now but with his injury record I can’t see Jose throwing Bailly back in the firing line straight away. I often wonder how bad Lindelof must be in training. There’s no other explanation. Why else would Smalling and Jones still be starting football matches for Manchester United?

Pogba has been deployed in a two man midfield with heavy emphasis on his defensive duties. It’s seems he is not happy with this role. Matic was bought to sit in front of the back 4 to allow Pogba to play higher up the pitch. I think 90% of United fans would be in agreement with Pogba here.

Our back four are so shambolic that one of our most potent attacking threats is nerfed to protect them. It’s a false economy.

Power Struggle

Jose is stubborn and is clearly making his displeasure known. He wants Pogba to just do the job he needs from him. If a manager says hop, you hop or he hops off of you. That’s the natural order of things and the way it has to be. Do your job as required. The problem is that United have too many round pegs in square holes as it is.

Ashley Young is not a left back but plays there. Antonio Valencia is not a right back but plays there. The same is true of Mata, Lingard (and Mkhitaryan before he was sold) on the right wing. Smalling and Jones are not good enough yet play week in week out. Those are just some examples of the unorthodox approach under Jose. I find it difficult to side with Mourinho in an argument about positions or formations.

Stand Off

Pogba was declared “ill” for United’s FA Cup tie at the weekend. He had trained with the squad up until the day before and then trained again the day after the match. Either that was a 24 hour bug with a sense of irony or something stinks.

The old cliche is that “No player is bigger than the club” and I agree with that 100%. If Pogba is acting up then he needs to be dropped until he is ready to work. However this sort of thing happens everywhere Mourinho goes.

The Unthinkable

I would rather see Pogba get his way here. It shouldn’t even be him “getting his way”. Pogba playing in a better suited position is what’s best for the side. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Results on the pitch are not exactly encouraging, Jose needs to change the approach. With the current state of the back four I would rather see United go out and attack in the league at least. I would rather win 4-3 than lose 1-0 in the short term. We have the players in attacking positions to put any team to the sword. When we set up not to concede at any cost, even against minnows, how are those attacking talents supposed to flourish?

The absolute worst outcome from all of this would be Pogba being unhappy and leaving the club…for a second time. Once again “no player is bigger than the club” and all that but no manager is bigger than United either. Pogba is a world class player and we are not in any position to lose that quality from the squad.

Whatever it takes just sort it out. Both men need to put their egos aside for the good of the team. Cop on!

Steven Murphy
2Bit Sports Co-Founder. Junior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Creative, Live Events but also Third floor Janitor. Gaming Editor, Manchester United loudmouth. Whatever I am actually employed to do I probably did it earlier. It's on your desk, I'd say. Its safe to say that I call 'em as I see 'em. Be warned, I hate a lot of things. It's easier to count the things that I do like. I probably hate you.

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