Paul Pogba Substitution Explained by Jose Mourinho

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Paul Pogba has played in, but also missed significant portions of the last three Premier League game for Manchester United. He was subbed off early, for non-tactical reasons, for the first time since he returned to the club, in the 2-0 loss at Tottenham Hotspur on January transfer window deadline day.

A week ago yesterday, Pogba didn’t make an appearance until the 65′ of the 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town. The Frenchman started today’s 1-0 loss at Newcastle United, but came off early after 65 minutes, replaced by team Captain Michael Carrick.

This led to speculation that Paul Pogba was injured, but when asked United Manager Jose Mourinho told Sky Sports: “No, no, no, nothing. No, no problems.”

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Carrick was waiting to come on when Newcastle scored the only goal of the game, a situation that Pogba contributed to by missing his assignment. Carrick came on after the Magpies’ Matt Ritchie converted a free kick.

Mourinho explained the Paul Pogba substitution as being one of simplicity.

“I wanted a better way to come out in the first phase against a team that was defending in a very compact block,” Mourinho said on NBCSN.

“I was trying that with the simplicity of Michael Carrick because he tries to make everything simple and bring Alexis in an area close to Lukaku where he can be like a second striker. I was unlucky because they scored a goal in the seconds after, and then I’m going to face a different Newcastle where in that moment the only thing they think is defend.”

When asked to assess Pogba’s performance, Mourinho failed to focus on the individual.

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“I don’t analyze players individually. We train we work, we organize,” Mourinho said. “The players have their individual jobs when they defend zonal.”

“The players they know there is responsibilities but I am pretty sure you already watch that goal on TV a few times, I didn’t.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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