Kevin Kilbane on Pogba v Mourinho, Celtic & Arsenal
There certainly looks to be an issue between Paul Pogba & Jose Mourinho according to reports in the last few days and it looks like the manager has come out fighting in this one.
Pogba v Mourinho
Particularly internally, he has given Pogba the message that he is the boss and the Frenchman is not bigger than him nor is he bigger than the club.
He’s certainly given him a slapdown by leaving him out of such a big Champions League game at Sevilla in midweek..
..and I think this stand off needs to be sorted quickly or there could be problems in the summer.
If it doesn’t get worked out as soon as possible and if it drags on to July, one or the other will leave the football club. United have put so much of their efforts into marketing Paul Pogba in such a way that it may have been in detriment to the player; they’ve used him as a PR man or a marketing tool for the club and he hasn’t justified that on the pitch.
The Red Devils’ record signing needs to get back to doing the things he was doing earlier in the season when his form did start to pick up but overall his Man United career hasn’t been what you’d expect of a £100m player.
Sevilla’s missed opportunity
Mourinho will be quite happy with the draw in Spain on Wednesday, not conceding away from home in the Champions League and you don’t look at United with any real confidence going forward with this attacking style. Sevilla should have beaten them and I think they’ve missed their chance to win the tie.
I’d expect United to score and go on to qualify for the next round.
It’s not the first time Mourinho’s men have been very poor recently; you only have to look at the performance against Newcastle but their clean sheet record is incredible. They’ve 9 in the last 11 games which is very much indicative of a Jose Mourinho side, but it’s just not exciting to watch Manchester United anymore.
Pressure continues to mount on Arsenal
Arsene Wenger came out after Thursday’s 2-1 home defeat to Swedish minnows, Ostersunds, and said they weren’t at the races which I think is a massive understatement. They were so sloppy, so off the pace, no real energy and they played so negatively at times I felt. Ostersunds didn’t offer anything in the first leg but Arsenal were so slack and it’s always the same with the Gunners.
They win a couple of games and then go back to square one.
They’re going to have raise their levels extremely high to get any sort of result in the EFL Cup final against Man City on Sunday. I know there will be a lot of changes; Aubameyang will come back in but they don’t have Mkhitaryan as he’s cup-tied but overall the pressure just grows and grows on Arsene Wenger and this team does not fill you with confidence particularly after a home performance like that.
Celtic wilt in Europe again
Celtic’s Europa League exit to Zenit St. Petersburg was extremely disappointing. Their away form in Europe suggested it was going to be difficult but after the result last week I thought they may have had a chance. Last night just highlighted their deficiencies overall.
The Hoops can’t get any sort of result going away from Celtic Park.
Realistically getting out of the group stage in the Champions League to have European football after the turn of the year was their target because they’re just not good enough to compete with the Elite teams outside of Scotland.