Dimitar Berbatov has played down the supposed “feud” between Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.
The Frenchman admitted to having “small issues” with Mourinho last season and was reportedly exasperated at his manager’s comments on his performances at the World Cup.
Pogba, following the win over Leicester City, noted he would be fined for saying what he felt when asked whether he was happy at Man United, prompting widespread concern over his relationship withe the boss.
But Berbatov, who knows the United dressing room very well, was insistent that any conflict between Pogba and Mourinho was being blown out of proportion.
“I was very happy with the display of Paul Pogba against Leicester, it was a real captain’s performance.” he said.
“He was everywhere on the pitch, passed it well, took the penalty with confidence – considering it was the first game, it was very encouraging.”
“There has been chat in the media about him being unhappy, but I think the newspapers and social media are always focused on that side of things, trying to find problems that aren’t necessarily there, constantly exaggerating – it’s on the pitch that matters. These stories are not good for anybody, but Jose and Pogba will figure it out.”
If you looked at the way Mourinho’s relationship with his players is often presented, you would think dressing room conflict – arguments, disagreements, shunning, outright screaming at one another – is exclusive to the corridors of Old Trafford.
But conflict is present in every dressing room, every workplace. It is natural. A team which doesn’t argue and endure strife never wins anything. After all, how many trophies have Jurgen Klopp’s hugs won?
This is maximised between Pogba and Mourinho because the former is the club’s most important player. And the latter, for all the questions surrounding his character, will know that everybody benefits from the 25-year-old having an environment – both on and off the pitch – where he can perform at his best. Sometimes, indeed more often than not, that requires a bit of conflict from time to time.