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03rd Feb 2018

Gary Neville: José Mourinho is teaching Pogba a lesson by dropping him

It was a bold call

Reuben Pinder

Actions have consequences.

Wednesday night’s defeat to Spurs at Wembley was Manchester United’s worst moment of the season so far. The team was disjointed and there were bad individual performances all over the pitch.

Paul Pogba was noticeably ill-disciplined and left the midfield wide open to Spurs to run the show. His anonymity in the game led to him being hooked after an hour by José Mourinho. He was also dropped for today’s clash against Huddersfield.

Speaking on Sky Sports today, Gary Neville spoke about the decision to drop the Frenchman and believes Mourinho is sending a message to the rest of the dressing room:

“I don’t think Pogba, Jones, Young or Martial can have any complaints about being left out of that game.

“Pogba in particular, it was obvious that José Mourinho was furious with him at parts of the game.

“It was a big call to take Pogba out the team, but maybe he needs it because ultimately against Tottenham the other night he was poor.

“They are a far better team with him in it, but maybe José’s thought ‘he needs a little bit of a lesson. I need to show that I’m looking at what happened the other night and showing the dressing room. I’m leaving out our most expensive payer, I’m taking him out the team because I need to make sure there’s a consequence for what they did on Wednesday night.”

In a world when player power is growing and doesn’t show signs of stopping, this move could have a big effect on the dynamic of the United dressing room. By showing the players that no-one is exempt from being dropped, and anyone can get a game – McTominay took Pogba’s place – he may start to get more of a response from his players.