A 2-1 win over Leicester City made for a decent start for Manchester United this season but the strained relationship between manager José Mourinho and star player Paul Pogba is now a serious concern.
In a interview after the game Pogba said “If you’re not happy, you cannot give your best”. “There are things I cannot say otherwise I will get fined,” he added. His Instagram post the next day also added fuel to their potential rift.
If it ever comes down to the club or the fans over who to chose between Pogba or Mourinho, they shouldn’t hesitate to sacrifice the Special One. Pogba is vital to Manchester United. He should be captain and the player United rebuild their team around. David de Gea is easily United’s best player but no one is more important to the Red Devils than Pogba. The future for United is to keep Pogba long term not Mourinho and it would be surprising if he is still at the helm this time next year.
A similar standoff took place at Chelsea over the summer. Manager Antonio Conte and midfielder Willian didn’t exactly see eye to eye. A social media post from the Brazilian saw him paste emojis over his manager so he wasnt on the FA Cup winning picture. When asked if he would have stayed had Conte not been replaced with Maurizio Sarri, he answered ‘ No chance’. Now I am not suggesting for one moment that Chelsea would have chosen Willian over Conte but its clear that their relationship was at breaking point and that Willian would have left had the Italian manager stayed. If rumours are to be believed Barcelona or even United themselves would have jumped to have signed him.
United can’t afford a similar situation like that; for a player to be forced out because of a disagreement with their manager.
In spite of the rumours about Pogba or Mourinho leaving it’s unlikely either will depart any time soon. For all of Mourinho’s faults he won’t get sacked until the end of season and Ed Woodward would never sanction the sale of their star player.
Both too driven to let personal grievances get in the way of their success and neither one can do it alone, Mourinho needs Pogba, Pogba needs Mourinho. Their relationship maybe strained but, for now, they must call a truce.
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