By 90Min
December 20, 2018

The fallout from Jose Mourinho's Manchester United sacking continues. And the majority of the smouldering embers that remain revolve around, naturally, the seismic demise in relations between himself and Paul Pogba. 

While the two had clearly been on a different page for much of their time together at Old Trafford, it appears the first significant breakdown came when Mourinho asked Pogba to play more like his former ace Frank Lampard - citing him as the perfect midfielder, with his industry, attitude and goalscoring prowess.


However, as reported by the Sun, Pogba didn't take this too kindly, pettily responding with a question: "Had Lampard won the World Cup last summer?"

This inability to take not even criticism, but mere notes on how he would like to see his star midfielder play for his team convinced the tactician that the Frenchman was a lost cause on him - an "impossible" player to work with.

This led Mourinho to tell at least one player in a face-to-face meeting to "stay away" from Pogba, as per ESPN, so as to not be influenced by his behaviour and attitude. 

However, this dramatically back-fired once the player informed his teammates of the discussion, with around "90 percent" of the dressing room long since out of respect for their autocratic, public-shaming manager.

Because that shaming was far from being unique to Pogba through his tenure. But it did start to centre in on him towards the end - he famously called the player a "virus" following United's ignominious 2-2 draw with Southampton.

With this in mind, it's perhaps not too surprising to see that the 26-year-old was bordering on ecstatic when news broke of his adversaries' ousting. However, his recorded words upon hearing this strike a more dangerous cord. 

As quoted by the Sun, Pogba gleefully declared: "He f*cked with the wrong baller!" 

Now, we heard of the "palpable discord" present at Chelsea prior to his sacking there, and I'm sure similar things were said by the Blues collective at the time - the same at Real Madrid. But never has Mourinho's firing been met with such overt and welcome responsibility from a single entity than in this instance. 

And this was not Pogba's final boast of his own power. Following the interim appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a known admirer of his having previously stated he would "build the team around him", Pogba's camp spoke to L'Equipe, as relayed by SportWitness, admitting this had "been welcomed with kindness."

They further stated that towards the end the French international “didn’t feel like playing for Mourinho anymore” and was fed up of being in a team with "such weak ambitions in the game".

While Pogba's aforementioned gloat was a clear declaration of victory in this tumultuous saga, it's fair to say that neither side has come out of this ordeal looking good. Neither will have won many admirers over the last few months - nor the institution they deigned to represent.

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