Jose Mourinho confirmed on Tuesday he had stripped Paul Pogba of his vice captaincy role
at the club but denied there was a rift between the pair.
This feels like a significant moment for Manchester United.
has been obvious for a while that Paul Pogba does not see eye to eye
with the man responsible for paying a club record £89m to sign him from
Juventus. It has also been clear for a while that Barcelona are keen on
Now, Mourinho has opened the door and has only succeeded in adding fuel to the fire.
But the big question is, which one of them will go through it?
Pogba go would be viewed as a monumental failure for Mourinho and
executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward given it is only a few months since
the player impressed as France won the World Cup.
is to stick with him, but that would almost certainly mean Mourinho's
position had become untenable given he was also blocked from signing the
players he wanted in the summer.
The Manchester United manager is playing everyone as a fool if he
thinks we’re all going to believe everything is rosy between the pair.
It’s not and it hasn’t been for over a year.
Mourinho of old had an edge about him that made him great. He would
feed on power and with that, his man management would get the best of
out a group of players. This was evident at FC Porto, during his first
spell at Chelsea and, of course, Inter Milan. Not Real Madrid. Not
during his second spell at Chelsea. Not Manchester United.
Then, you throw player power into the mix. Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp argued last night that you can sack your manager, but you can’t sack a
player. I’d question him on that because his view would be very
different on the toxic influence of some players if his dad, Harry, was
If United are going to get rid of one, why not get rid of both? Why
do we, the fans, need to take a side and settle for such nonsense?
There is nobody doubting Pogba’s ability as a player but it has not
worked out at United and we need to seriously consider recouping the £89
million it took to bring him back from Turin. It says a lot, too, that
we have it from a good source that Pogba made it clear previously he
wanted to join rivals Manchester City.
The constant negativity surrounding Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba is
circus-like and makes a mockery of Manchester United. A sense of pride
Moreover, the Mourinho of old wouldn’t settle for being undermined by
an egomaniac in the dressing room, which shows a shift in power and
what good is he, as a manager, without having control over all of his
players? The English media fell in love with a manager, who arrived at
Chelsea with an edge and, with that he would become great. This is
something very different.
This looks like a manager being held back by a club that prioritises
commercialism over on-field matters, whereas the Mourinho of old would
have lambasted Pogba for his multiple outspoken interviews rather than
cover up their feud and take of us all fools. Mourinho’s edge made him
great and now he looks deflated of that.
Hands tied behind his back, perhaps? That is inexcusable and the sign
of a weakened Mourinho, who still persists he is blameless.
Fans shouldn’t be forced to take sides, but this is dragging on so
long, it’s hard to ignore. Mourinho’s party politics with the fans is
likely to reemerge, so be warned it’s only a show as there are no signs
to suggest we’re on a path of further progress.
Mourinho will defend himself this week and probably point to how he
finished second behind a strong Manchester City side last season, but
that’s not good enough for Manchester United. We always aim to be number
Isn’t he supposed to be The Special One?
Wolves and Championship side Derby County came to Old Trafford in the
past week and both outplayed Manchester United, though a common theme
occurred after both games with Mourinho unwilling to take any blame.
So, where has the Manchester United I fell in love with gone?
Nowhere. We’ll follow the club no matter what decisions are made, but
the days in the sunshine are long gone and there is a need to rebuild on
Getting rid of the self-righteous one and the French show-pony ought
to be considered. Neither understands what it means to represent my
club. OUR club.