Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho has directly addressed speculation of a rift between himself and midfield ace Paul Pogba which has surfaced this week.
It follows on from some disappointing performances from the French international on the pitch, where he has been substituted in the last two away games, both of which ended in defeat to Tottenham and Newcastle United respectively.
That even led some to suggest that Pogba was regretting the decision to return to Old Trafford, as per The Mirror, which will undoubtedly have been a huge source of concern for supporters.
However, Mourinho has downplayed the entire situation as he blamed the media for creating lies which have effectively snowballed into a big issue.
Ultimately, more is expected of Pogba on the pitch as he is more than capable of being much more influential, but as far as his relationship with Mourinho goes, the Portuguese tactician is adamant that no problem exists.
“A big lie that our relation is not good, a big lie that we don’t communicate, a big lie that we don’t agree with his positions and his involvement in the dynamic of the team,” he told the media on Friday, as reported by ESPN.
“In the last couple of matches he didn’t play well. Period. End of story. Now, it’s my problem and Paul’s problem to deal with it and try to improve his performance level.
“It’s easy and honest and objective to say Paul didn’t play well against Newcastle but some of the guys are paid millions, don’t let people read things that are not true, you are paid to read the game and explain the game, don’t say bulls—.”
With that in mind, it would seem as though this is essentially down to Pogba’s form that is causing the issue. If the 24-year-old can get back to playing at a high level, regardless of position or role on the pitch, then he will undoubtedly start to silence those who claim there is unrest within the camp at Old Trafford.
This weekend’s FA Cup tie with Huddersfield may give him that opportunity, but he’s without a goal or an assist in his last four Premier League games, and so his league form needs to improve too to put this matter to bed.
Having excelled on the left of a midfield three at Juventus, it’s obvious where Pogba’s strengths lie and so a case could be made to suggest Mourinho is creating this issue himself by not playing one of his best players in his most effective role.
On the other side of that argument, Pogba is a world-class player, and so it shouldn’t matter what role or position he’s asked to play, he has to deliver. Perhaps a balance between the two will need to be reached.