Paul Pogba became so alienated from Jose Mourinho’s style of football at Manchester United that he ‘didn’t feel like playing’ under the Portuguese any longer, according to an exclusive from French media outlet L’Equipe.
Mourinho reportedly described Pogba as a ‘virus’ on the dressing room ahead of the 2-2 draw with Southampton, and did not start him for the next three Premier League games.
Their relationship has entailed perpetual conflict since January, from Mourinho’s comments on the Frenchman’s World Cup, to that frosty training ground exchange after Pogba was stripped of the vice-captaincy.
According to L’Equipe, speaking with the midfielder’s ‘entourage’, it was revealed that Pogba grew so tired of Mourinho’s cautionary style that he no longer wanted to play in a team with ‘such weak ambitions in the game’.
Perhaps there is no consequence of Mourinho’s dismissal more important than the ending to this unbearable, ongoing, corrosive duopoly of discontent between Pogba and the Portuguese.
For too long, each United performance has been marked up against the dynamic between the pair, with media focus almost entirely ignoring the wider squad and internal structure. That Mourinho and Pogba never have to work together again, thereby drawing attention back to the entire time, is an unquestionably positive thing.