Wednesday 13 December 2017

'No one is untouchable' - Jose Mourinho issues stern warning to underperforming Pogba

Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney (left) and French star Paul Pogba. Photo: PA
Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney (left) and French star Paul Pogba. Photo: PA
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Jose Mourinho has declared that no player in his team is immune to be placed on the substitutes bench, after he was asked whether world record signing Paul Pogba could lose his place in the team if his performances do not improve.

Mourinho suggested he had a collection of ‘untouchable players’ during his first spell as Chelsea manager, with the likes of Petr Cech, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba inked on to his team sheet week after week.

Yet Mourinho has shown he is willing to drop star names in his United side, with captain Wayne Rooney the high profile victim of his ruthlessness this season.

Now he has hinted that Pogba could be left out of his line-up if they do not perform to the standards he demands.

“That was 11 years ago, a different Premier League, different situation, the best team by far,” stated Mourinho, as he reflected on his all-conquering first title winners at Chelsea. Now, no one is untouchable (at Man Utd).

“Untouchable in our team has to be the spirit, the pride, the commitment to the club, the respect to the fans. That has to be untouchable, but not players.”

Mourinho went on to offer a stout defence of Ibrahimovic, who missed United’s big chance of the game in the 0-0 draw against Liverpool on Monday night.

While the Swedish superstar has not scored in his last four Premier League games for United, Mourinho is clearly content with the efforts of his 35-year-old striker.

“I am really happy,” said Mourinho of Ibrahimovic. “He is giving us exactly what we need, exactly what we expect from him.

“It is quite beautiful for me to meet him five or six years later (after their worked together at Inter Milan) and find the same ambition, passion and desire to play and compete. I couldn’t be happier.

“The guy is really fit, always ready to play. In terms of his influence in the dressing room, obviously, he is somebody that the young guys look at and what they see is great because it can only influence them positively.”

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