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Pogba not to captain ManU again, Mourinho confirms

By AFP

Added 26th September 2018 08:52 AM

"I am the manager I make these decisions, no fall out at all, no problem at all," says the Manchester United manager.

Paulpogba 703x422

"I am the manager I make these decisions, no fall out at all, no problem at all," says the Manchester United manager.

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Paul Pogba has been stripped of the vice-captaincy of Manchester United by manager Jose Mourinho as tensions between United's star midfielder and manager continue to rise.

Pogba has deputised as skipper in the absence of club captain Antonio Valencia on three occasions this season against Leicester and Brighton in the Premier League and a Champions League trip to Young Boys.

However, the French World Cup winner's latest outspoken comments criticising United's overly negative tactics after a 1-1 draw at home to newly-promoted Wolves on Saturday have provoked a reaction from Mourinho.

"The only truth is I made the decision of Paul not to be the second captain anymore," said Mourinho after Tuesday's League Cup defeat to Derby County on penalties for which Pogba was rested.

"I am the manager I make these decisions, no fall out at all, no problem at all. The same person who takes the decision to make him second captain makes this decision now."

Mourinho cut a dejected figure after his side losing to Derby County Tuesday night


According to The Times, Mourinho informed Pogba in front of his team-mates on Tuesday, claiming the 25-year-old "doesn’t represent what a captain is and Manchester United is bigger than anyone".

The decision is the latest twist in an acrimonious relationship between the pair dating back to Mourinho dropping Pogba routinely for big games last season.

"Mourinho’s message to the United squad, delivered at Carrington today, was designed to underline his authority and remind the players that he is in charge," added The Times report.

Fresh from playing a pivotal role in France's World Cup success, Pogba, who cost United a then world record £89 million ($116 million) to bring back to the club from Juventus in 2016, has started to deliver on his price tag this season.

Frenchman Paul Pogba is a 2018 World Cup winner


He has scored four times in seven appearances and also set up Fred's opener against Wolves at the weekend.

However, he was also at fault when losing possession for Wolves' equaliser that left United already eight points adrift of Premier League leaders Liverpool after six games.

"We are at home and we should play much better against Wolves. We are here to attack," Pogba told the media after the match.

"I think teams are scared when they see Manchester United attacking and attacking. That was our mistake."

Wolverhampton Wanderers' midfielder Joao Moutinho tries to catch Pogba during a Premier League match on Saturday. The game ended 1-1


Pogba has already been linked with a move away from Old Trafford with Barcelona interested before the close of the summer transfer window.

That speculation is unlikely to die down as long as Mourinho, who signed a extended contract until 2020 earlier this year, remains in charge.

An early Cup exit to Championship Derby, managed by one of Mourinho's former pupils at Chelsea Frank Lampard, intensifies the pressure on the Portuguese.



Derby shocker piles misery on Mourinho amid Pogba rift talk

Tuesday night's game had to be decided by a shootout after Fellaini's late equaliser in normal time delayed Manchester United's misery


Mourinho was left red-faced amid fresh talk of a rift with Paul Pogba as Manchester United crashed to a shock penalty shoot-out defeat against Frank Lampard's Derby in the League Cup on Tuesday.

Just hours after Mourinho reportedly told unsettled star Pogba that he would never captain the team again, there was a bitter pill for the United manager to swallow as second tier Derby sprang a major surprise in the third round at Old Trafford.

Juan Mata had put United ahead in the opening moments, but Harry Wilson equalised and, after the hosts had goalkeeper Sergio Romero sent off, Jack Marriott gave Derby the lead with just five minutes left.

Marouane Fellaini headed United's equaliser deep into stoppage-time to make it 2-2, yet even that couldn't dig Mourinho out of trouble.

After Derby scored eight successive kicks in the shoot-out, United defender Phil Jones saw his effort saved by Scott Carson to give the Rams an 8-7 win.

Phil Jones was left crestfallen after his penalty was saved


It was a sweet moment for Derby boss Lampard, who enjoyed so much success working under Mourinho during their time at Chelsea.

But the apprentice's victory over his teacher was a painful blow to Mourinho, who has endured a troubled time since the end of last season and had to watch as Lampard danced jubilantly with his players on the pitch.

After squabbling with United's hierarchy over their failure to sign the targets Mourinho wanted, he has become embroiled in a feud with Pogba amid increasingly alarming results.

Defeats against Brighton and Tottenham, coupled with Saturday's draw against Wolves, have left United off the pace in the Premier League and now they are out of the League Cup.

It was a downbeat conclusion to a torrid day for United after relations between Mourinho and French World Cup winner Pogba reportedly hit a new low.

Pogba is believed to have been informed in front of team-mates that he does not embody what the club is about, so will no longer act as captain when regular skipper Antonio Valencia is absent.

The 25-year-old infuriated Mourinho after the Wolves match when he insisted United should "attack, attack, attack" in what was perceived as a dig at the manager's conservative tactics.

Asked just before kick-off about Pogba's absence from the squad, Mourinho insisted the former Juventus star had been "rested".

Pogba still turned up at Old Trafford, watching from a private box, but disappeared before the shoot-out.

Pogba, dressed in white, sat in the stands

 

 

 


The Pogba row overshadowed a superb achievement by Lampard, who only took his first managerial role at Derby in the close-season.

If Lampard was a reminder of better days for Mourinho, the United manager was briefly lifted again thanks to Mata's third minute opener.

Romelu Lukaku's clever dummy let the ball run to Jesse Lingard and his pass reached Mata, who swept a cool finish into the far corner from just inside the area for his first at Old Trafford for 12 months.

But Derby had United on the ropes with their slick passing.

Lampard's side were rewarded for their enterprising play in the 59th minute when on-loan Liverpool winger Wilson powered a fine free-kick past Romero.

Mourinho has a word with his former pupil at Chelsea Lampard, who is the current Derby County manager


Wilson was tormenting United and another of his dangerous raids in the 67th minute led Romero to sprint out of his area and block with his hand, earning a red card that forced Mourinho to send on former Derby keeper Lee Grant for his debut.

Lukaku hit the woodwork as United tried to respond, but Derby made the most of their numerical advantage to snatch the lead in the 85th minute.

Mason Mount's initial shot was saved by Grant, but, as United's defenders stood and watched, Marriott reacted alertly to head in from close range.

Fellaini came to United's rescue five minutes into stoppage-time when the Belgian converted Diogo Dalot's cross with a close-range header, however that was only delaying Mourinho's misery.

 

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