Paul Pogba made his Friday post-game comments on camera, but saved his more controversial thoughts for the under embargo mixed zone media.
That means that some pointed words from the World Cup winner are hitting the Internet two days later, and they certainly invite questions about his boss Jose Mourinho and future at Manchester United.
[ RECAP: Man Utd 2-1 Leicester City ]
Pogba was very good in Friday’s 2-0 win over Leicester City, admitting it was tough with a short preseason and then Tweeting that he’ll “always give my best to fans and teammates” while omitting a certain Portuguese man.
He then went for the fiery response. From the BBC:
“If you’re not happy, you cannot give your best … There are things I cannot say otherwise I will get fined.”
And in case those lines didn’t raise the eyebrows, here’s his answer when asked about the difference between playing for United and hitting the pitch for his national team.
“I still enjoying playing football but like I said, when you are comfortable or confident and are good in the head, it’s going to be easier.”
Pogba did say that he loves United and wearing the arm band for his club, but he certainly has taken some shine off a good season-opening salvo fired by his club.
There’s no doubt that Mourinho’s comments about Pogba’s focus affected the midfielder — how could they not? — but the player is clearly not content to let sleeping dogs lie.
A fracture between Pogba and Mourinho threatens to undermine United’s season, especially early. And aside from an Aug. 27 visit from Spurs, the Red Devils’ start to the season lines them up for a lot of points.
Certainly there are hints that this is part of a major blow-up, and Pogba still could get big money offers from abroad as Spain, Italy, and Germany’s transfer windows remain open.
No one doubts that Mourinho can teach a system and shine tactically, but this is a test for his interpersonal skills straight out of FIFA’s “The Journey” video game. Will Jose Mourinho be able to make things smooth at Old Trafford?