Is Jose Mourinho utilizing Paul Pogba correctly? Is he misusing him? Where should Mourinho line him up, so as to best capitalize on his enormous talents? Why isn’t the Manchester United manager doing so? How come everyone else sees this, but he doesn’t?
These questions have re-occurring all season long, and almost everybody in the Man United community has asked themselves these queries at one time or another. Just about everyone will tell you that Pogba needs to line up on the left, in a 4-3-3 formation, and be free to roam. Ryan Giggs said all of this just the other day.
Mourinho obviously hears all of this- critics slamming him for misusing Pogba, and today he finally felt the need to fire back. At his weekly news conference on Friday, he gave his justification for the manner in which he plays Pogba.
“When people ask his best position: he’s a midfield player. It depends on the tactical system but he will always be a midfielder.”
“Then with so many opinions, and we are in a world of opinions, people can get confused. There is no confusion between me and Paul. It’s difficult to play a midfielder with more potential than Paul,” Mourinho said.
“In relation to his best position, I had a few laughs over the past week because I heard, I watched, had a chance to read a few things and I’m not English but I understand English enough to understand what I want to say with ‘box to box’.
“But with some comments from important people in football I got a little bit confused because for me box-to-box means that you have to defend well in this box, you must have the physical , the desire, the intensity, the stamina condition to go to the other box and be good scoring, creating, heading, so on.”
You know Mourinho lives for this sort of thing- heated debated, controversy, firing up the critics so that he can later return fire on them. If Mourinho were a football writer, he’d be the kind of guy that would re-tweet trolls and post screen shots of the comments section. In managerial terms, he’s a classic Leo Durocher type.
The second year United boss then continued his detailed definition of box to box midfielder.
“This week I was confused when people say ‘box to box’; to play free of defensive duties, that’s not box to box,” Mourinho continued.
“When people say what’s his best position for Paul to play – Paul is a midfield player.”
This controversy probably won’t be going anyway any time soon.
It’s doubtful Mourinho will give in to popular opinion and change his usage of Paul Pogba.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.
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