If you thought the verbal spat between Paul Pogba and José Mourinho back in early September was over, you’re wrong. Daily Record reports that a major dressing down was given to Pogba at full-time after their match against Southampton ended in a disappointing 2-2 draw. Mourinho accused Pogba of being a ‘virus’ in the team, scathingly stating that he showed a lack of respect towards his teammates and the fans with his performance.
The visitors went behind early on against Southampton, conceding twice in 20 minutes at St Mary’s stadium. But the Red Devils rallied back with Romelu Lukaku and Ander Herrera in a first half that saw four goals. It seemed as though United would go on to win the game, but their display in the second half was flat and uninspiring.
Mourinho was critical of Pogba’s performance as he reportedly said,
“You are like a person with a flu with a virus in a closed room – you pass that virus to the others. You don’t play. You don’t respect players and supporters. And you kill the mentality of the good honest people around you.”
This brutal attack on Pogba has left fans doubting the Frenchman’s stint with the Red Devils.
What Went Wrong With Southampton
When asked about his side’s performance against Southampton, the Portuguese manager said,
“I think because we lost so many balls in midfield. We lost so many balls in the last third it was difficult to have that continuity. I think that was the only reason. What we did so well in the last 15-20 minutes of the first half was to connect with the attacking players by transporting the ball, leaving the ball in the right moment, the right choice of pass, playing simple, accelerating the game.
“The second half we went back to that dynamic, again, of where we lose too many balls in midfield. And the players don’t understand that simplicity is genius, especially in some parts of the pitch. They keep and keep and keep going to complicated football and it is difficult to have that continuity.”
Mourinho has been subjected to a lot of criticism from all fronts ever since the beginning of the season, with his side again dropping points against Southampton. They’ve fallen way behind in the race for the Premier League title, being 16 points adrift leaders Manchester City who have been free flowing throughout the season after overwhelming Bournemouth 3-1 to be at the top with 38 points. With the latest spat with Pogba, the manager doesn’t seem to have done much good.
With the players that United have, they should at least be in the top three. It comes as a major disappointment for fans to see their team falling behind so easily, being a mere shadow of the once-feared MUFC. Let us hope they come back fresh and try to take as many points as possible to ensure their qualification for next season’s Champions League.