Paul Pogba has opened up about “small issues” which occurred between himself and Jose Mourinho last season but insisted “they were nothing in the end”, noting how it helped him grow as a professional.
The Frenchman spent a number of games in February and March on the bench – most notably in both legs against Sevilla – following a series of poor displays during the start of the year.
He fought his way back into the side and went on to produce dominating displays in big wins over Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, winning the ‘Player of the Month’ award for April.
Speaking ahead of France’s final World Cup group game with Denmark, Pogba revealed how there were issues with Mourinho last season but insisted they had been smoothed over.
“It was a better season that the previous one,” he said. “It was an experience. There were some small issues with [Mourinho], but they were nothing in the end.”
“Being a substitute, that sort of thing, it helps you to grow. I have to accept.”
Clashes between player and manager are necessary at any top club. An argument between Pogba and Mourinho, a disagreement or even spat, would be regarded by supporters and the media as a death knell for their relationship. Inside the changing room, however, it is just every day life. The 55-year-old can overdo it at times, but there aren’t many better at provoking players to perform.
Either way, Pogba stood up to the challenge and won his place back, driving United forward with his precision and power in the middle during the latter stages of the campaign.
If the 2017/18 campaign told us anything about Pogba, it is that beneath the exuberant exterior lies a relentless fighter.