Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho slams Paul Pogba ‘lies’
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho slams Paul Pogba ‘lies’
According to French sports newspaper L’Equipe, midfielder Pogba is unhappy with the more defensive position in which he has been used by Mourinho.
Pogba, who rejoined United from Juventus for £89.3 million ($123.5 million) in August 2016, has struggled in recent weeks and Mourinho has taken the 24-year-old off during two of the Red Devils’ last three matches.
Other reports said the arrival of Alexis Sanchez has unsettled the Frenchman.
At his press conference on Friday, ahead of the FA Cup fifth round tie against Huddersfield, an irate Mourinho said Pogba would play on Saturday and dismissed suggestions there was any issue between him and the France international.
“I accept and I can speak on Paul’s behalf without any kind of problem. Paul accepts that he has not been playing well in the last few matches but that’s all.
“I don’t have to speak with you about my conversations with my players. I don’t have to tell you anything about it,” the Portuguese boss added.
“It’s my problem, it’s the player’s problem. It’s a big lie that the relation is not good, a big lie that we don’t communicate, a big lie that we don’t agree with his positions and his involvement in the dynamic of the team.”
Mourinho admitted that in the last two matches Pogba “did not play well” but he told the press conference: “I think you are nice with your words, because when you say ‘a lot of speculation’ you should say ‘a lot of lies’.”
“There are people in your role that their surname is ‘Liar’.”
Mourinho, whose second-placed side are a huge 16 points behind runaway Premier League leaders and local rivals Manchester City, believes Pogba’s difficulties in overcoming hamstring and thigh injuries sustained in September have contributed to his struggles.
“He had a big injury in the season, a big injury,” Mourinho said. “He was out for a long long time. And in this moment he is not playing well, period. He is not playing well, period. And the team needs him at a good level.
“And when he is not playing at a good level the team is not as good as the team can be. I think it happens with every team when the best players, the most crucial players, for some reason are not performing. Period.”
Mourinho also said there was no disagreement between him and Pogba about the player’s position as he again rounded on those in the media who have questioned how the midfielder is used.
“Do you know which is the Pogba preferred system? 4-3-3. Do you know which is Pogba’s favorite position in the 4-3-3? No.8 on the left,” Mourinho said.
“I would like someone to tell me in which position, Pogba played against Newcastle. Does one of you want to tell me?
“We played with one no.6 and two no.8s. We played with (Nemanja) Matic as a no.6, (Jesse) Lingard on the right side of Matic and Pogba on the left.
“So it’s easy and honest, and objective to say Paul Pogba did not play well against Newcastle. But some of the guys (reporters)are paid millions.Don’t let people read things that are not true. You are paid to read the game, to explain (to) people the game. Don’t say b*******.”
Arsenal, Chelsea win in Europa League as Rangers hold Villarreal
- I think we played well in the first half and in the beginning of the second as well: Aubameyang
- Chelsea made a winning start to their Group L campaign as Willian's seventh-minute effort was enough to see off PAOK
PARIS: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck twice as Arsenal defeated Ukraine's Vorskla Poltava 4-2 in the Europa League on Thursday, while in-form Chelsea began their campaign with a 1-0 win away to PAOK in Greece.
Aubameyang has struggled to hit top gear in the Premier League so far with just one goal in five starts, but the Gabon striker opened the scoring in London after 32 minutes of the Group E encounter.
Danny Welbeck nodded in a second just after half-time and Aubameyang curled in the Gunners' third, with Mesut Ozil also on target before a lapse in concentration saw Vorskla hit back with two late goals.
"I think we played well in the first half and in the beginning of the second as well," Aubameyang told BT Sport.
"We have to improve and try to fight not to concede a goal like we did in the last minute."
Premier League leaders Chelsea made a winning start to their Group L campaign as Willian's seventh-minute effort was enough to see off PAOK at a hostile Toumba Stadium.
Eden Hazard was omitted from the Chelsea squad at his own request due to fatigue, but manager Maurizio Sarri fielded a strong side as the Blues extended their winning run to six games in all competitions.
"We were in control of the match for 90 minutes. We had a lot of opportunities. We missed them and so I'm very happy with the three points, very happy with the performance, but not very happy with the result," said Sarri.
"When it's time to kill the match, we have to kill the match."
Steven Gerrard's Rangers acquitted themselves well on their first appearance in the group stage of a European competition since the 2010-11 Champions League, as they came away with a 2-2 draw against Villarreal.
A disastrous start for the Glasgow side saw Carlos Bacca fire Villarreal ahead inside 60 seconds, but Scott Arfield turned home a cross from Daniel Candeias to level on 67 minutes.
Gerard Moreno put the hosts back in front almost immediately, only for Kyle Lafferty to again hit back for Rangers as Gerrard's men made a solid start in Group G.
Leigh Griffiths hit a late winner for Celtic in a 1-0 home victory over Rosenborg, a team Brendan Rodgers' side knocked out in this season's Champions League qualifying rounds.
Salzburg triumphed in the clash of Red Bulls in the other Group B fixture as Fredrik Gulbrandsen scored a minute from time to give the Austrian club a 3-2 victory over RB Leipzig.
Marseille, last season's runners-up, slumped to a 2-1 home defeat by Eintracht Frankfurt in Group H as Luka Jovic grabbed an 89th-minute winner for the reigning German Cup champions.
Lucas Ocampos opened the scoring early for Marseille, who were playing behind closed doors at the Stade Velodrome after numerous crowd incidents last season.
But Lucas Torro levelled on 52 minutes for Eintracht before Jovic's late strike won it.
Dudelange, the first Luxembourg team to play in the Europa League group stage, made seven-time European champions AC Milan work hard for a 1-0 win in Group F.
Luxembourg's Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa were in the crowd as Dudelange, who have a dozen non-professional players in their squad, succumbed to a deflected second-half goal by Gonzalo Higuain.
Record five-time winners Sevilla launched their Group J campaign with a 5-1 rout of Standard Liege, as Ever Banega and Wissam Ben Yedder both netted twice for the Spaniards.