Jose Mourinho responds to Paul Pogba criticism after Spurs draw
In the interview with Sky Sports, Pogba made it crystal clear who he preferred out of Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjær
It's not a secret that Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho didn't have the best relationship during the Portuguese manager's time at Manchester United. Back in 2018, Jose was reported to have called the-then marquee midfielder a "virus" in the dressing room.
In an interview released by Sky Sports on Friday, Laura Woods spoke to Pogba about Mourinho's man-management during his time at the club, as well as his thoughts on the Portuguese manager's latest dig at Ole Gunnar Solskjær and United.
From the off, Pogba was asked about Jose's recent spat with Ole, to which he said: "I don't know what happened [...] I'm sure Mourinho said something that will make people speak - that's what he does."
The Frenchman went on to say that, regardless of comments, "we got the result we wanted. Ole knows it and we enjoyed that moment because we know that's Mourinho and we know what he likes. We don't need this - we just focus on us".
"Maybe Ole wouldn't pick them, but it's not like he puts them on the side like they don't exist anymore. That's the difference between Mourinho and Ole."
Paul Pogba criticises Jose Mourinho the manager in explosive exclusive interview 👉🏽 https://t.co/PILdlpzy7L pic.twitter.com/R4eKKJ3Qn0
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 16, 2021
In even blunter terms, the France international continued: "We won the game, he lost the game and he doesn't want to speak about the game: he wants to speak about the dad of someone - that's what he does. You know, everybody knows him - it's very Mourinho."
As Woods goes on to probe further on the subject of how the two coaches differ in terms of management style, he states that while "both want to win, obviously [...] what I have now with Ole is different [...] he wouldn't go against the players. He wouldn't go against the players."
Elaborating further, he qualifies that even when Ole doesn't pick players, "it's not like he puts them on the side like they don't exist anymore. That's the difference between Mourinho and Ole" - Pogba clearly feeling comfortable to speak his mind about the tensions between him and his former manager.
He did admit that he once had a "great relationship with Mourinho", but that "the next day, you don't know what happened. [...] That's the strange thing I had with Mourinho", adding that he "cannot explain to you because, even me, I don't know".
Woods then moved on to cite Luke Shaw's recent comments; the United left-back has seen a significant resurgence under Solskjaer - so much so that he has fought his way back into the England squad - and she mentioned how the 25-year-old has credited his manager for that.
When asked why things are working for him under Solskjaer, Pogba suggests, "Maybe because he is a bit closer to the people. Every coach has their own way to coach and deal with players, and as a player you have to adapt. Sometimes it doesn't suit you and sometimes it does."
The United No.6 went on to reaffirm that, "Ole has helped Luke a lot; it was a difficult season with Luke and Mourinho, and he has proved he has the quality he always had and the trust of the manager."
Mourinho was asked for his response to those comments, after Spurs' 2-2 draw with Everton, and said:
"I would like to say that I couldn't care less with what he says. I am not interested at all."
Say what you will about Pogba's contributions over the course of his United career, but the performances are looking better and it's certainly a joy to see one of the world's top talents playing, and speaking, with a smile on his face again.