Paul Pogba’s struggles at Manchester United earlier this season were due to Jose Mourinho, according to the midfielder’s brother.
Mathias Pogba has talked about the troubles his sibling experienced at Old Trafford, laying the blame for the problems squarely at ex-manager Mourinho’s door.
Was Mourinho the real problem at Man Utd? Five key things you should know…
- Paul Pogba started his career in France but joined Manchester United’s youth set-up in 2009.
- Pogba rejected a new contract with United in 2012 to join Juventus, prompting Sir Alex Ferguson to openly criticise the midfielder’s attitude.
- Manchester United re-signed Pogba for a then world record fee of £89m in 2016.
- Pogba’s initial performances were well received and he won the World Cup with the national team in 2018.
- His form stuttered this season with Mourinho claiming his attitude was not what it should be.
Despite both Mourinho and former manager Sir Alex Ferguson questioning Pogba’s attitude at different points in his career, Mathias Pogba believes that the recent troubles were down to the Portuguese manager’s inflated ego.
“It was Mourinho who was the problem,” Mathias Pogba told RMC Sport via the Evening Standard.
“Mourinho still wants to be the centre of attention. The problem was Mourinho, right down the line.
“In the locker room, outside the locker room…everything, I know my brother, and you tell him, ‘Go. Go play ‘, the rest, he will do it.
“From what we see of Mourinho, he always wants to be the maestro, the centre of attention.
“(Paul) does not even calculate that aspect: you respect him, he will respect you, you trust him, he will produce big performances.”
When Pogba first arrived at Old Trafford his performances were very good, according to his team-mates.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic lauded the Frenchman’s performances when they played together at Old Trafford.
“When you click with someone it just clicks. The connection on the field was amazing, we helped each other very well, I needed him and he needed me. The first year at United we had a fantastic year,” he told Goal.
“They made me feel like Benjamin Button. I was getting younger and younger, then unfortunately I got my injury.”
Can Pogba kick-on now Mourinho has left United?
Manchester United have benefitted from an immediate improvement in performances since Jose Mourinho departed.
They have won all four games in the league scoring 14 goals and conceding just three.
Paul Pogba’s game by numbers vs. Cardiff:
100 passes attempted
84 passes completed
3 fouls won
2 aerials won
2 chances created
That smile is back. 🙃 pic.twitter.com/TPOBnGG7TU
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 22, 2018
During those matches, Pogba has had a direct hand in half of the goals scored, scoring four and assisting a further three to indicate that he is back to his best.
Whether he can maintain that form remains to be seen but whatever Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is doing it appears to be working.