Tuesday 21 May 2019

Mutiny at Manchester United: Rio Ferdinand suggests Mourinho's problems run deeper than Paul Pogba

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho gestures
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho gestures

Rio Ferdinand has suggested there may be a player mutiny at Manchester United, with Paul Pogba acting as their spokesperson.

United boss Jose Mourinho insisted yesterday that his relationship with Pogba remains good but underlined that "no player is bigger than the club".

Old Trafford has been in the eye of a storm this week, with the frustrating draw at home to Wolves followed by a Carabao Cup exit to Derby and more questions around the 25-year-old's future.

Mourinho took the vice-captaincy off Pogba in the build-up to Tuesday's game and the following morning remarkable footage emerged of a heated training-ground conversation between the pair.

Pogba was hauled off after during today's 3-1 defeat away to West Ham.

Former United defender Rio Ferdinand has suggested Mourinho's problems may run deeper than just Pogba.

"I think he's doing it as a spokesperson for his team. I don't think it is just him," Ferdinand told BT Sports.

"I don't think things like this should get out.

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"The things that we saw during the week on the cameras at the training ground, I don't think that should happen. The manager knows the cameras are there.

"I don't think Paul Pogba is on his own if he's voicing these type of things.

"I think there's a group behind him. I don't think there's just him.

"I think the manager, what he's paid to do is be a manager and dictate to these players and make sure he rules from the top."

Speaking on BT Sport after the West Ham defeat, former United midfielder Paul Scholes said: "That's as bad as you'll see from United for quite some time."

Rio Ferdinand’s comments have not affected Kyle Walker (John Walton/PA)

Rio Ferdinand added: "As a football player, part of your DNA is hard work, effort, today I didn't see that. You've got to work hard. I don't see enough players working hard to say to the manager 'this is my place in the team and I'm going to stay here'. You've got to work hard. They didn't."

Referencing executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, Mourinho and the players, Ferdinand added on BT Sport: "There are some big decisions to be made at Manchester United. At the moment there doesn't seem to be that togetherness.

"There has to be improvements. The basics are not being done. There has to be something done."

Scholes said the players had to be held accountable, adding: "I wonder if the quality is there as well. Are these players really good enough. They're not really showing that they are."

Mourinho admitted his team had not been aggressive enough in their defending at West Ham's second goal and also bemoaned what he thought was an offside first goal.

He told BT Sport: "We are not aggressive and intense enough to close that shot. An offside goal and an own goal."

Mourinho rejected any criticism of his selection of Anthony Martial, who came in for Alexis Sanchez.

He said: "For many months people are asking for Martial. This week it was time to agree and to say let's give a chance to Martial and let's leave Alexis out."

Mourinho added: "I have no complaints with the players' attitude. You have always to try, that's my nature as a football professional."

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