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Paul Pogba criticises former manager Jose Mourinho in candid interview

Phil Blanche, PA
·2-min read

Paul Pogba has attacked Jose Mourinho’s man-management style, accusing him of “going against players” and making them feel like “they don’t exist any more”.

Mourinho made Pogba the world’s most expensive player following his 2016 appointment as Manchester United manager.

Pogba was instrumental as United claimed a League Cup and Europa League double in 2017, but the pair had an uneasy relationship before Mourinho was sacked in December 2018 and succeeded by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Ajax v Manchester United – UEFA Europa League Final – Friends Arena
Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba enjoyed European glory at Manchester United together before their relationship soured (Nick Potts/PA)

Mourinho’s relationship with some of his players had deteriorated following that first campaign and there were reports of a training ground spat with Pogba after the France midfielder player was stripped of the United vice-captaincy in September 2018.

“What I have now with Ole is different because he wouldn’t go against the players,” Pogba said in a Sky Sports interview.

“It’s not like you put them on the side and they don’t exist any more. I think that’s the difference between Mourinho and Ole.

“Once I had a great relationship with Mourinho. Everybody sees that and the next day you don’t know what happened.

“That’s the strange thing I had with Mourinho. And I can not explain to you because, even me, I don’t know.”

Pogba’s comments came after United piled the pressure on Mourinho with a 3-1 win at Tottenham last Sunday.

Solskjaer and Mourinho clashed in a heated exchange of words after the United boss was unhappy when Son Heung-min went down in the build-up to Edinson Cavani’s controversial disallowed opener.

Mourinho said he was left “very disappointed” by Solskjaer’s claims that he would not feed his son if he had behaved like Son, but Pogba accused the Portuguese of using deflection tactics to take the focus away from Tottenham’s performance.

Manchester United v Cardiff City – Premier League – Old Trafford
Paul Pogba (left) says current Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not “go against” the players like Jose Mourinho did (Martin Rickett/PA)

Pogba said: “I am sure Mourinho said something that made people speak. That’s what he does.

“We got the result that we wanted. Ole knows it and we enjoyed that moment.

“We know Mourinho and what he likes. We don’t need this.

“We just focus on us, we won the game, he lost the game, and he doesn’t want to speak about the game.

“He wants to speak about the dad of someone, that’s what he does. Everybody knows it. It’s very Mourinho.”

The current Tottenham manager was given the chance to respond to Pogba when he was interviewed by Sky Sports after Friday’s 2-2 draw at Everton.

But Mourinho insisted: “I couldn’t care less with what he says, I couldn’t care less. Not interested at all.”