Tumult has defined the relationship between Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba during their time together at Manchester United.
The Portuguese manager hasn’t strayed away from calling out the France international, and that trend continued in a recent interview, where Mourinho suggested Pogba lived up to his hype at the World Cup because he remained focused.
Pogba played a key role for France in Les Bleus’ World Cup triumph in Russia earlier this month, but Mourinho believes the competition better suits Pogba than a lengthy Premier League season.
“I don’t think it’s about us getting the best out of him, it’s about him giving the best he has to give,” the United manager told ESPN FC.
“I think the World Cup is the perfect habitat for a player like him to give [their] best.
“Why? Because it’s closed for a month, where he can only think about football. Where he’s with his team on the training camp, completely isolated from the external world, where they focus just on football, where the dimensions of the game can only motivate.
“During a season, you can have a big match then a smaller match, then one even smaller, then you can lose your focus, you can lose your concentration, then comes a big match again.
The 25-year-old enters the 2018/19 season on a major high from the World Cup victory — France’s second in the country’s history — but he’ll have to find a way to continue that form to stay in Mourinho’s good graces.
Last season, Pogba was benched for several matches as part of a falling out with the United boss.
“I think players in the World Cup, they really feel that extra commitment with a country, with the people, that extra responsibility that makes them — by the emotional point of view — to be sometimes even overcommitted,” Mourinho added.Follow @MattReedFutbol