Mourinho: Pogba Not Indispensable At United
By Joshua Walters
Jose Mourinho will play Paul Pogba against West Ham on Saturday but insists the Manchester United all-time most expensive player is no longer indispensable at the club.
The Manchester United boss disclosed at the pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to the London Stadium, Pogba will henceforth play only when he is satisfied with his output at training.
“Nobody trained better than Paul on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Nobody trained better than him. Some trained as well as him, but not better than him, and tomorrow he plays, so end of the story.”
"He's a player like the others. No player is bigger than the club and if I am happy with his work, he plays. If I am not happy, he doesn't play. Manchester United is bigger than anyone and I have to defend that."
The relationship between Mourinho and Pogba has strained in recent times with the player blaming a recent drawn game on the manager, and the manager stripping off the player from his role as deputy captain.
What broke the camel’s back was when Mourinho refused Pogba’s handshake at training on Thursday, an act that was followed by the exchanges of words between the two.
“I explained to the people that needed to know in detail, which is the squad and especially Paul,” Mourinho said of the decision regarding the vice-captaincy.
“So, Paul and the other players in the squad, they know in detail the reason why myself and my coaching staff decided to do that.
“I always analyse a player as a player. When a player is a captain, I analyse the player by the player perspective, but also by the captain perspective.”
“And after weeks of analysing and changing opinions with my coaching staff, we made the decision that from now Paul is just a player and not a captain.
“So, a decision made, I informed obviously the player and the players, and then when I was asked I think before the match on Tuesday, I confirmed it (publicly), and now, end of the story.
“And I can anticipate more questions by saying that the relation of player (and) manager is good. It’s not anymore a relation (of) captain or one of the captains and manager. It’s just a relation, player-manager, it’s good.”