Wednesday 12 December 2018

Jose Mourinho tells Paul Pogba he will never captain Manchester United again in front of his team-mates

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Jose Mourinho has told Paul Pogba that he will never captain Manchester United again while he is in charge of the club and he made his point in an address to his entire squad, according to sources close to the club.

Pogba's future at United has been under a cloud for several months, as he has refused to deny his relationship with Mourinho has broken down and side-stepped questions linking him with a move to Barcelona.

The French World Cup winner has made a succession of comments to the media that appeared to be challenging Mourinho's authority in recent months, but his latest snipes last weekend suggesting the tactics been enforced on the club by the current manager is holding back their progress.

"We are at home and we should play much better against Wolves," he said after the 1-1 draw against Wolves. "When we are at home we should attack, attack, attack. That's Old Trafford. We are here to attack. I think teams are scared when they see Man United attacking and attacking. That was our mistake.

"I'm not the manager, I cannot say (about tactics) but obviously we should show more option of playing but I cannot say because I'm a player. That's my way of thinking. We should move better, we should move more."

Those comments attracted widespread coverage and while a social media post from Pogba appeared to suggest the media were to blame for spinning his comments in a negative, it appears Mourinho has been forced to take decisive action against his £89m midfielder.

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Mourinho is reported to have informed Pogba that his persistent snipes in the media will not be tolerated, with the decision to remove him from captaincy duties a blow to a player who has made it clear he wants to be a leader at United.

Giving Pogba a dressing down in front of his team-mates at the club's Carrington training ground was a clear effort from Mourinho to reassert his authority after a turbulent few months between the duo, with Pogba's agent Mino Raiola stirring the pot further with some of his comments to the press and on social media.

Meanwhile, Mourinho used his programme notes for Tuesday night's Carabao Cup game against Derby to reiterate his demand for total commitment from his players.

"I hope we can look back on Wolves for an important lesson; a lesson that I repeat week after week after week; a lesson that some boys are not learning; every team that play Manchester United are playing the game of their lives," he writes. "95 precent isn't enough when others give 101 percent."

Pogba is not taking part in the Carabao Cup tie against Derby and all eyes will not be on Mourinho when he names his team for Saturday's Premier League game against West Ham at the London Stadium.

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