Football consultant Ian McGarry has released his findings on what went wrong in Mourinho’s era at Manchester United. The football consultant has opined that the Portuguese tactician failed to manage the volatile Frenchman and it was the catalyst to his axing as the Red Devils boss, stressing that he would have borrowed a leaf from Legendary Red Devil’s boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
“He’s not the first problem child at Manchester United,” he told The Transfer Window podcast.
“Eric Cantona was a very interesting person to make a similar situation in terms of his intelligence, articulacy, his moodiness etcetera etcetera, and Sir Alex Ferguson saw that by treating Cantona differently than any other player. He got time off to go back to France when he wanted it, he didn’t have to train as much as the other players, Fergie knew that he smoked [but] he didn’t worry about that, Fergie knew he liked a glass of red wine, didn’t bother about that.
“He knew as long as he kept Cantona happy, the team would tick and the team would have that inspirational character who, like Pogba, can deliver that match-winning performance that inspires and motivates the players around him.
“Now, Mourinho and Ferguson are very similar in terms of their man management and their styles etcetera etcetera, indeed in their combative nature as well, and by that I mean their sheer sense of competitiveness as well as the hairdryer treatment and everything else.
“You do ask yourself: ‘if Mourinho had played it differently with Pogba, would he still be Manchester United manager?’ We’re not gonna be able to answer that question because it’s all now history, but what we are seeing is that he liberated Pogba, a Pogba who’s been indulged, that’s maybe where the process broke down because Mourinho, it’s not about his coaching style, it’s not about his tactics, it’s not about his team selections, but he definitely, like Fergie, doesn’t understand the world of social media, doesn’t want to understand it, sees it as an unnecessary and an unwanted distraction, indeed a place where a player can get himself and the club into trouble as we’ve seen with so many players.”
Mourinho had earlier place faith in Pogba by handing him the Vice-Captaincy armband after a successful 2018 World Cup outing with the French national team. This was later reversed as their relationship grew from bad to worse. McGarry stress that Pogba was the cause of the problem due to his childish actions
“When a player’s game is broken, and by that I mean he’s fully fit and you now he’s got the talent but he’s not performing to that level, as a coach, as a man manager you ask yourself: ‘well what’s broken in the player’s life which is causing this effect on his football?’” he said.
“I recently watched again a video of Pogba giving this speech in the France dressing room before the World Cup final last summer, and we really get that very, very intimate insight in the dressing room, especially of one player, he’s very inspirational. The way he delivered it as well.
“We really get to see the side of a player in that high pressure situation of a World Cup final. He’s not the captain, he’s not even that old, he’s not that experienced, but he was the one who delivered a speech that pulled that performance out, including his own, to win the World Cup for France.
“Pogba’s clearly intelligent, articulate and I think quite, he’s not vulnerable, but he’s certainly someone who has got a very good idea and very high opinion of himself. So, I think while Mourinho has to be culpable in some ways, in terms of the way that he and Pogba’s relationship broke down, I think also Pogba’s got to take responsibility for effectively acting a bit childishly and doing things that he shouldn’t have been doing.”