Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho looked irritated when asked about returning fitness to of Paul Pogba ahead of the weekend FA Cup clash at the John Smith stadium in Huddersfield. The relationship between the pair is believed to have reached breaking point, though the club manager has downplayed any news of a bust-up. Pogba has looked increasingly dispensable in recent matches and has been substituted by his manager in the games away at Tottenham and Newcastle as well as the home victory over The Terriers.
The 24 year old Frenchman is one of the best players at the club, but has looked below par, which has made Mourinho lose patience with the former Juventus man. However, if the crisis escalates and the club have to choose between both men, the only winner will be the player. Manchester United shelled out £89m to sign him from Juventus in the summer of 2016 and while he will command a bigger fee if United are to offer him up for sale. However, United may feel there’s no need to sell him as signing a replacement would actually cost the same.
The 24 year old is losing interest in the playing style Mourinho favours: the pragmatic style that has brought him success over the years. Mourinho has a history of falling out with his top players, and he has always been let go by such clubs while the same players remain and work well with other managers. There are not so many players that can replace Pogba or be an upgrade on him if United decide to sell him but top managers who would jump at the chance to manage the biggest team in England.
With United currently 16 points behind Manchester City despite spending close to around £400m on new players since arriving at Old Trafford in 2016, the Manchester United hierarchy may be open to letting him go as there are still questions about his playing style, his man-management and negative energy he transmits. The 55 year old has not won the Champions League in seven years, and can only boast of two league titles in the same period.
Mourinho looks like a man sitting on gunpowder, always a controversy away from portraying a club in negative light. Few would forget his infamous falling out with the majority of the Real Madrid dressing room as players like Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas. The club became mired in a nasty power struggle that affected them on the pitch. The same happened in his second spell at Chelsea, and United fans would not want their club to go through the same. A lot of other players such as Jones, Smalling, Shaw, Mkhitaryan and Ander Herrera have all been the subject of criticism from Mourinho.
Mourinho comes with a lot of baggage, and is famed for his third season melting down at his former clubs. United would be wise to choose a manager that gets the best out of the resources he has at his disposal. At this rate, Mourinho will lose his dressing room. The old problems will happen again.