16 Nov

Paul Pogba needs to up his game to win back trust of José Mourinho

first_img Pinterest Read more Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via Email Read more Share on Messenger Now is the time for Paul Pogba to prove how fine a footballer he is. The Frenchman’s mission for the rest of the season is to drive Manchester United to an FA Cup triumph, a second-placed Premier League finish and deep into the Champions League.The challenge starts with Chelsea’s visit on Sunday. Yet Pogba’s recent fall in form means he is certain to start only because of Ander Herrera’s hamstring injury.Pogba, bought for a then world‑record £89m in the summer of 2016, has disappointed recently with José Mourinho losing trust in the midfielder’s abilities. The 24-year-old was again dropped for the Champions League last-16 first-leg draw at Sevilla on Wednesday. Mourinho has twice hauled him off for poor displays – at Tottenham and Newcastle – and discarded him for the game between, the visit of Huddersfield. Topics José Mourinho: Talk Paul Pogba wants to leave Manchester United is ‘lies’ The 21-year-old Scott McTominay was Mourinho’s preference to face Sevilla. A response to a question about the trust he has in the youngster could be interpreted as a message for Pogba.“I don’t give trust for free,” he said. “It is the other way round. I don’t think it’s about the manager trusting the player, it is up to the player to make the manager trust him, as simple as that. Sometimes it looks like we have to give everything to the players and they give nothing back to us.“I don’t think that way. The confidence and trust I show towards Scott, he earned it since day one, since he came to the first-team training sessions, step by step, with a lot to learn.“Of course he will have bad matches and make mistakes and be on the bench and not be selected but I know when I want him to play, I know the kind of mentality, the player I am developing. I know the qualities that will make him a really good player.”Pogba now has to make Mourinho believe in him again and show he can be a season-moulding player. Share on Pinterest Paul Pogba Manchester United were dull but does Mourinho have a duty to entertain? José Mourinho features Manchester United Facebook Twitter This will start to fade if Pogba turns up against Antonio Conte’s champions and is the match-winner, though it may not be enough to restore his status at the club. For Pogba truly to convince he has to show his talent throughout United’s run-in, making the difference in major games.He has a track record of going missing in the kind of contests in which the true stars thrive. For Juventus he was anonymous in the 2015 Champions League final against Barcelona. For France he disappeared in the Euro 2016 final against Portugal. Mourinho recently claimed Pogba was yet to fulfil his great potential. But for manager and player the question might be: how soon will it happen?Last season’s nine-goal return for United can be viewed as disappointing, so to have three at this point of 2017-18 is a concerning drop-off – a fall from a goal every 483 minutes to one every 632. Pogba played 51 times last term and has made 24 appearances this season as a serious hamstring problem caused him to miss nearly 10 weeks. As United have a maximum 20 matches left, Pogba will have to markedly improve his ratio for his goals tally to reach double figures.He has managed that only twice in club football – getting 10 for Juventus in 2014-15 and 2015-16, with his previous returns being nine, five and zero. Although his assists are markedly higher – 10 to six – it appears unlikely last season’s 91 tackles will be equalled or beaten pro rata, as the count is currently 37. Share on WhatsApp In Spain Pogba gained a reprieve 17 minutes into the match when Herrera was forced off. Mourinho, asked onFriday to assess how Pogba did, said: “To be on the bench and come on without warming up and getting the pace of the game is not easy. He had a very positive game for us. Details [can just be] details but some players take five minutes to be ready – they don’t have shin pads, strapping, the shirt. He took 10 seconds to be ready, to show the professionalism and show he was ready to help the team.”Mourinho stated satisfaction at Pogba’s reaction to being dropped. “He responded very well, in a professional way both times. He was on the bench against Huddersfield in the Premier League and he responded in a professional way, and he was on the bench in Seville and did the same.”Pogba’s stock is at the lowest of his professional career since Sir Alex Ferguson sanctioned his sale to Juventus from United in 2012. Despite Mourinho’s public protestations, suggestions of a rift with Pogba linger. José Mourinho gives instructions to Paul Pogba before the substitute’s early entrance against Sevilla. Photograph: Soccrates Images/Getty Images Reuse this contentlast_img

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