The boss heavily criticised Pogba’s display against West Bromwich Albion, hitting out at the Frenchman for overcomplicating things on the ball and implying that he, along with others who started, had played himself out of contention for the semi-final.
But Pogba produced an emphatic response at the Vitality Stadium, keeping his play simple and having a surging impact through the middle – most notably with his assist for Romelu Lukaku.
And Mourinho, according to talkSPORT‘s Sam Matterface, confirmed in the mixed section that the 25-year-old had done enough to merit a starting spot against Tottenham.
— Sam Matterface (@sammatterface) April 18, 2018
The consensus which emerged following Sunday’s defeat was that Mourinho, having publicly attacked Pogba, had grown furious with his player. He had seen enough. But the fact he played yesterday, as if being tested to show what he can really do, suggest different.
Just watch the way Mourinho talks about Pogba here in the embargoed press conference.
What I see here, personally, is a man who deeply admires – and indeed understands – the talent Pogba has at his disposal. And that, above anything, is what drives his occasionally questionable treatment of him. “He can do it,” that’s for sure. That notion has never eluded Mourinho. He does not want to bin him off; he wants him to produce his very best in a red shirt, just like all of us.