Reports of a frosty exchange between Jose Mourinho and club talisman Paul Pogba has led to rumours of the latter looking for another club in the January transfer window. Pogba is apparently unhappy at the style of football imbibed by Mourinho, and wants a change to how the team plays, with complete freedom, and unhindered with defensive worries.
You cannot really see Jose Mourinho agreeing or accepting that he is wrong or that his tactics are decades old. His huge inflated ego comes first, and makes sure that there is no real change at the club.
The style of play advocated by Pogba is totally opposite to the one Mourinho wants Manchester United to play. Mourinho is a big believer in pressing the ball and holding fort defensively.
His philosophy includes keeping possession for a long duration of time, and even letting go of scoring opportunities. The Portuguese genius is not known for attacking via the wings or pushing forward when his team has got a lead.
The controversy that erupted between Pogba and Mourinho needs to be understood before we go any further. Pogba reportedly told journalists that he was unhappy with Mourinho’s team tactics and strategies after United drew Wolves at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Mourinho seems to have been enraged at Pogba’s comments and pulled rank to the central midfielder in front of his teammates in training before United’s Carabao Cup tie with Derby County.
Mourinho also reportedly said that Pogba would no longer captain United in Antonio Valencia’s absence. Perhaps Mourinho was really angry at what Pogba said, and it is natural to feel that way, but maybe the right way was to tell it to him in a secluded corner, in a one on one conversation.
Mourinho is hardly known for diplomatic niceties, and is willing to sacrifice Paul Pogba as a pawn in his attempt to rebuild Manchester United with his philosophies and tactics. The latter is a World Cup winner and would definitely have been hurt at the way he was treated.
It is but natural for him to look for a different club in the winter transfer window, but will it be the right decision for him and his career?
Pogba should stay at Manchester United, not least because he knows that the club will cling onto him. He is one of the very few high-profile signings made by the club in recent times and is undoubtedly a star who is sure to be courted by many big clubs, but Manchester United is where he belongs and where he should stay.
Pogba should also be aware of the fact that Jose Mourinho’s time at the club could also come to an end after some pathetic results. For all we know, the Portuguese may be sacked before Christmas. Pogba should take that into consideration and realise that whoever comes in next will not be Jose Mourinho, and would definitely give him the freedom that he so craves in the heart of midfield.
Some of the blame has to go to the Frenchman as well. He came to United in 2016 and turned in a pitiful performance with just 9 goals and 6 assists in the Premier League that season. He improved a little the next season, netting 6 goals and 12 assists in the league.
Mourinho brought in Nemanja Matic and Fred to give solidity to the midfield so that Pogba doesn’t have to play as a holding midfielder. Even so, his performances have been nowhere near what has been projected or expected of him. He had a brilliant game in the Champions League recently, but has been ordinary in the Premier League so far.
Manchester United must realise that Pogba can keep the club afloat, it has lost its charm and magnitude on the pitch. Now that Old Trafford is no longer a fortress and second-tier teams fancy beating United there, Pogba could redeem this great club and take it back to where it belongs.
United need Pogba.