Let’s go back in time. Just 2 years behind. Jose Mourinho has taken over at the theatre of dreams after accepting a wage packet of £312,500-a-week and Paul Pogba is heading back home as a superstar following his successful spell in Italy. The near future looks bright and trophy-laden for Manchester United and the fans can’t stop smiling. What could possibly go wrong?
Fast forward two years and it looks like not much has gone right at Manchester United. In his first season, Jose Mourinho did manage to guide his new team to a Europa League title, along with the league cup and community shield. However, the trophy barren season that followed has left everyone frustrated.
Time to raise some more questions. What went wrong at Manchester United? Are the two biggest names at the club, Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho, at fault for the this? Or, is one at fault for letting down the other?
Let’s make cases for both.
When the £290,000-a-week French superstar arrived for his second spell at Manchester United, he was touted to be the man to take the club to a new level. Yet, his 2-year stint so far has been pretty average at best. Questions are being asked about the ability of the player who made it to the best 11 players in the world with Juventus a few years ago.
Anyone can see that Pogba has almost everything to be among the top midfielders in the world but he is not there at the moment. One could argue that Pogba suffers because of Mourinho’s rigid tactics and lack of freedom for his role in the team setup. One could also argue that Pogba should be able to adapt to the system of one of the most successful coaches in the world.
Evidently, Mourinho has not been happy with Pogba’s attitude. The clearest sign was there to see when the Portuguese coach benched the former Juventus midfielder for a number of games by preferring the young Mctominay.
The special one hasn’t looked special this year, with his team not winning any trophies or plaudits. Mourinho has been subjected to a fair amount of criticism this season for the way he set up his team for most games. The lowest point came when an uninspiring Manchester United went out of Champions League at the hands of Sevilla, a team considered much inferior to the mighty Red Devils.
Looking back at the season, Mourinho was rather conservative in his approach when Manchester United fans would have liked him to be more attacking. However, that’s the signature of Mourinho and his teams are always set up to not concede before they go out to score.
Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba were both expected to thrive together but they do not seem to be helping each other. Unless they make adjustments in the new season, Mourinho and Pogba will remain as a mismatch.