21st March, 2019
The relationship between Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho at Manchester United was surely one that is qualified for an Oscar Award. Even when it was glaring that both men were not the best of friends while the saga lasted, they always found a way to deny any hints of challenges between them.
Of course with the departure of Mourinho from Old Trafford and the newly found energy by the same players to start winning matches comfortably, tongues have been wagging about the real reason behind the sack of the former manager.
Now Pogba has come out to say that he believes that Manchester United’s decision to sack Jose Mourinho was entirely down to results, not player power as has been rumoured in sections of the press.
The formr manager was sent packing in December on the back of a 3-1 defeat at Liverpool, though his failure to get the best out of World Cup winner Pogba was often cited as a factor in the Red Devils’ poor form.
Mourinho’s replacement, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has since revitalised United, with Pogba playing a starring role, scoring eight Premier League goals under the Norwegian who is an ex-player of Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson.
However, despite his reported troubles with Mourinho, the midfielder, speaking ahead of France’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Moldova on Friday, has insisted that United’s poor results – and not dressing room unrest – were the reason for the Portuguese’s sacking.
“What were the issues? We were not winning,” Pogba told a news conference.
“That’s why they decided to change the head coach.
“The results matter the most. If we were winning, we would have good results and the coach would have remained at his position. That’s all.”
The player was instrumental in France’s World Cup win, but Les Bleus failed to replicate that form in the Nations League, finishing second behind Netherlands in League A Group One.
He (Pogba) has admitted that it was difficult for Didier Deschamps’ squad to motivate themselves after the triumph in Russia, but has no doubts over France’s ability to do so for the Euro 2020 qualifiers.
“After the World Cup we didn’t qualify for the Nation League Cup… that’s how it’s called?” Pogba said.
“There are several factors including tiredness and mental fatigue, it’s stressful. We just ended a huge competition.
“The players were tired after a long season. It’s a part of it. It will not prevent us to play the qualifiers and to go through [to Euro 2020].”