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Mourinho on Pogba row: No player is bigger than Man United

The Portuguese boss explained his reasons for relieving the midfielder of the vice-captaincy.

Image: Mike Egerton

MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER Jose Mourinho has insisted that ‘no player is bigger than the club’ while addressing a reported bust-up with Paul Pogba.

The 55-year-old coach was speaking ahead of United’s trip to the London Stadium on Saturday to face West Ham United in the Premier League after a turbulent week for the club.

Widespread reports in the media on Wednesday suggested that Mourinho had engaged in a row with Pogba regarding his negative comments about the team after last Saturday’s disappointing 1-1 draw with Wolves.

The 25-year-old playmaker lost his role as vice-captain as a result and was left out of the Red Devils’ stunning penalty shootout Carabao Cup defeat against Derby County.

Mourinho revealed his stance on the issue in Friday’s pre-match press conference, as he told reporters: “No player is bigger than the club and if I’m happy with his work, he plays. If I’m not happy, he doesn’t play.

“Manchester United is bigger than anyone and I have to defend that.

The United boss then went on to clarify exactly why he dropped Pogba as the team’s back-up captain, stating that the decision was made purely on a tactical basis.

“I explain very detailed to the people that has to know in detail, which is the squad and especially Paul, so Paul and the other players in the squad know in detail the reason why myself and my coaching staff, we decide to do that,” Mourinho added.

“I always analyse a player as a player when a player is captain, I analyse the player by the player and captain perspective, and after weeks of analysing and changing opinions with my coaching staff, we made the decision Paul is just a player and not a captain.

“Decision-made, I informed the player and the players and when I was asked after the match on Tuesday, I confirmed and now I confirm and now it’s the end of the story.

The enigmatic tactician continued by pre-empting the next bout of questions from his audience, shedding more light on his relationship with the France international by saying: “I can anticipate more questions by saying the relation of player and manager is good, is not anymore a relation, captain or whether the captain’s manager, the relation is good.”

“The relation of player-manager is good, it’s not anymore a relation (of) captain or one of the captain’s and manager. It’s just a relation player-manager… some trained as well as him but not better than him, and tomorrow he plays, so end of the story.”

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