Paul Pogba Slams Jose Mourinho’s Player Management Style


paul pogba jose mourinho

Paul Pogba provided an explosive exclusive to Sky Sports today, and in the interview, he gave an absolutely scathing take on the way Jose Mourinho managed his players while he was boss at Manchester United. To hear Pogba tell it, everything was fine with Mourinho one day, he had a great relationship with him, and then the next day, it all completely changed, and he has no idea why.

This is something I’ve heard before, when I interviewed London based football reporter Alison Bender, for my forthcoming book “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America.” (coming out in June)

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I interviewed Bender over Zoom around Christmastime, and she discussed how she once had a great working relationship with Mourinho, and then the next time she saw him, it was a 180 degree reversal. From friendly and warm to cold as steel.

Sounds exactly like what Pogba is describing as he explained the difference between working under the Portugese, and working under Ole Gunnar Solsksjaer.

“What I have now with [current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer] is different, he wouldn’t go against the players,” Pogba told Sky Sports. “He wouldn’t go against the players. Maybe Ole wouldn’t pick them, but it’s not like he puts them on the side like they don’t exist anymore.

paul pogba jose mourinho

“That’s the difference between Mourinho and Ole. Once I had a great relationship with Mourinho, everybody saw that, and the next day you don’t know what happened. That’s the strange thing I had with Mourinho, and I cannot explain to you because even I don’t know. So, yeah.”

Pogba is right, the ups and downs of his relationship with Mourinho, when the two men were together at United, was well chronicled by the media.

“I don’t know what happened, I’m sure Mourinho said something that would make people speak, that’s what he does,” Pogba said.

Pogba, Solskjaer and United won at Mourinho’s Tottenham last weekend 3-1, and the postgame handshakes were awkward.

Even more awkward was the postgame feud between Mourinho and Solskjaer, and even Noah Solskjaer, the United’s manager’s kid.

There was a soap opera before, during and after the game.

“We got the result we wanted, Ole knows it and we enjoyed that moment because we know Mourinho and we know what he likes,” Pogba continued.

“We don’t need this [war of words]; we just focus on us. We won the game, he lost the game and he doesn’t want to speak about the game, he wants to speak about the dad of someone, that’s what he does. Everybody knows him, it’s very Mourinho.”

This rift is far from over. In fact, it’s probably only just begun.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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