Saturday 3 December 2016

Jose Mourinho has another subtle pop at 'Einsteins' following Europa Cup cruise

Eleanor Crooks

Published 21/10/2016 | 08:06

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho celebrates
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho celebrates

Manchester United fans will have to wait to see the best of Paul Pogba, according to manager Jose Mourinho.

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After being criticised for his performance in Monday's uninspiring goalless draw with Liverpool, the Frenchman scored twice in a 4-1 Europa League victory over Fenerbahce at Old Trafford.

Pogba converted the first of two penalties in three minutes - Anthony Martial took the second - and then scored a sublime third goal in first-half injury time.

Picking up the ball 25 yards out, the 23-year-old side-footed a shot casually into the top corner.

Paul Pogba scores the opening goal from the penalty spot
Paul Pogba scores the opening goal from the penalty spot

Mourinho again took issue with the 'Einsteins' in the media who have criticised his team this season and former Juventus player Pogba in particular.

"First of all, in some of your mouths, he goes from the worst player in the Premier League to a great player in 48 hours," said the United boss.

"I am not specifically saying it is you. I say media, especially the Einsteins. We know he is a very good player. We know he needs some time to show his potential.

"I know Italian football very well. I know teams play completely different from the Premier League. I am not saying we are better but we are different.

Manchester United's French striker Anthony Martial (L) embraces Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba (R) as he celebrates scoring their second goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Europa League group A football match between Manchester United and Fenerbahce at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on October 20, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's French striker Anthony Martial (L) embraces Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba (R) as he celebrates scoring their second goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Europa League group A football match between Manchester United and Fenerbahce at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on October 20, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images

"Different in the intensity, the number of touches on the ball, everything is different and he needs time to adapt.

"He is a self confident boy. He was not depressed because some people said he was a bad player. He was calm. It is always nice for a player to score, to score at home and especially to score such a beautiful goal."

Pogba was one of only four players retained from the starting line-up against Liverpool, with Wayne Rooney, Luke Shaw, Michael Carrick and Martial among those to come in.

But there was still no place in the squad for either Morgan Schneiderlin or Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Mkhitaryan, a big-money summer signing from Borussia Dortmund, has not played since the derby loss to City on September 10.

Mourinho said prior to the game that the Armenian had recovered from a thigh injury.

"The situation is that we played with (Jesse) Lingard, with (Juan) Mata and Martial," said the United boss. "I am not an Einstein. I don't know a tactical system that can play with four wingers at the same time.

"He has to work more to get the intensity and fitness to play at a high level. To have him on the bench and give him 15 or 20 minutes like I did to Memphis (Depay), I think it is much better for him to work yesterday much harder and he did today in a specific session and wait for his chance, but he is ready very soon."

United lost their opening Europa League match to Feyenoord but back-to-back wins have put them on top in Group A.

They must now turn their attention back to the Premier League and another huge game against Chelsea on Sunday.

Mourinho insisted he did not select his team with that match in mind, saying: "I choose this team because I felt it was the team to win it and because I felt after such an intense game on Monday that some of these players would be in better conditions to perform than others, but I start thinking about Chelsea tomorrow.

"Am I happy with the performance? Yes. Am I happy with individual performances? Yes. And I am happy with the result, which is the most important because the result is difficult.

"We put ourselves in a difficult position by losing the first match, especially as we have the double match with Fenerbahce. To go to Istanbul without winning this match would be even more difficult."

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