Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is at the heart of controversy after the Red Devils’ defeat to Derby. And he didn’t even play.
The post-game drama came after the Carabao Cup loss.
Manager Jose Mourinho told SkySports that Mourinho is no longer vice-captain.
Pogba was at Old Trafford to watch the 2-2 draw, which Derby won 8-7 on penalties.
He was pictured in a director’s box along with Andreas Pereira, who was also left out of the matchday squad.
Mourinho claims there is no war with Pogba, commenting: “No fall out, no problems at all. The same person that decided Paul is not the second captain anymore is the same person that decided Paul was the second captain – myself.
“I’m the manager I can make these decisions, no fall out at all, no problems at all. Just a decision I do not have to explain.”
Time for reflection needed
It’s tough to know where all this leads, but for United it’s not good. Jose Mourinho has not handled this well at all.
Certainly it’s not irreversible. Yet. If it was, he would be off sulking and would not have been watching last night’s game at Old Trafford.
Mourinho needs to back his star player, and handing him the armband seemed like a positive step. To strip him of the responsibility seems petty, and won’t help Pogba play any better.
United face West Ham at the weekend, and fans want to see Pogba back in the starting line-up.
Between now and Saturday’s game at the London Stadium we hope calms heads can prevail and both Pogba and Mourinho can get on the same page. Perhaps that’s asking too much at this point, but we hope not.