The sacking of Jose Mourinho as Manchester United boss brought an end to a fraught era at the club, but the drama didn’t end there.
The issues between Mourinho and club record signing Paul Pogba were unclear, but there was certainly tension between the two. The news was greeted by Pogba with an ill-timed social media post in which he smirks and posts: ‘Caption this’.
Former United star Gary Neville made his feelings towards Pogba immediately known.
“ Caption This “
You do one as well !
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) December 18, 2018
Pogba has since played a starring role under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and despite clarifications that it was a scheduled social media post that had nothing to do with the sacking, Neville didn’t back down from it when speaking ahead of United’s visit to Newcastle.
“Everyone always concentrates on Paul Pogba,” Neville stated. “I’ve only ever had one problem with Paul Pogba, and that was his post which I think disrespected Jose Mourinho in losing his job, which he’s not denied.
“We know it didn’t come from the club, we know it didn’t come from Adidas, we know it came from Paul Pogba. So my view personally is that it was a massive disappointment to disrespect someone who’d lost their job.”
He alluded to other incidents (one allegedly involving teammate Alexis Sanchez in a players’ WhatsApp group), in claiming why ‘disrespect’ can’t be glossed over.
“You think about the idea of Alexis Sanchez having a bet with his teammate around the manager being sacked,” he continued.
“If you remember Shaqiri at the end of last season when he said those words about the players [at Stoke City] and the situation there, I do think that these situations are worse when a player disrespects.”
But he acknowledged that with Mourinho out of the picture and Pogba being on fire, it’s best to move on.
“I’ve always said that United are a far better team with him in it.”
“There is a line that needs to be drawn, we can’t just forget everything that’s happened in the past. However, all is forgiven because you move on in football. But the fact of the matter is, he’s now performing how he should be and that is a massive plus for United.”
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) January 2, 2019