According to the Daily Mail, Manchester United’s players have taken sides in the ‘battle’ between Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba. It is exactly the type of story you would expect given the situation. But is there really any truth in it?
A quick glance at the names involved suggests not. After all, on the Pogba side we allegedly have Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw, Jesse Lingard, Eric Bailly, Andreas Pereira and Marcus Rashford.
The reasons for this grouping – and the sensationalist headline that accompanied it – are lazy at best. Shaw and Perreira were sitting with Pogba when the now infamous video of them having fun(!) was filmed. Where else are they going to sit? And when was joking with teammates with your side 1-0 up a capital offence?
Anthony Martial has been chucked into the group because he is French! While Eric Bailly and Marcus Rashford are mentioned because it is easy to suggest players lacking game time have a reason to turn on their manager.
The argument that Pereira’s choice of car has anything to do with his allegiance to Pogba is downright bonkers.
It is the norm for United players to have flash vehicles. It does not suggest the young Brazilian is becoming a Pogba ‘disciple’ as the report claims.
Anyone can look at the United players not getting game time and cast them as a group of pantomime villains. Similarly, it is easy to name the stars regularly being picked as pro-Mourinho.
There is no doubt United are under-performing. But talk of a civil war is a creation of an industry that needs controversy to sell papers and generate hits.