Tottenham Hotspur manager José Mourinho revealed his admiration for Paul Pogba during a half-time team talk when his side took on Manchester United last season.
Mourinho was in charge of Manchester United back in 2016 when Pogba returned from Juventus in a £94.5m deal, as per Transfermarkt. But sadly the pair struggled to get on during their time working together.
It may be controversial but you could say one of the main reasons Mourinho got the axe in 2018 was down to his failure to get the best out of Pogba. However, he didn’t get the best out of a lot of players, so perhaps that’s unfair to pin on Mourinho.
After United, Mourinho took charge of Tottenham when Daniel Levy sacked Mauricio Pochettino.
A lot of inside access has been recorded for the new ‘All or Nothing’ fly-on-the-wall documentary by Amazon, which gives a behind-the-scenes look at Spurs.
Mourinho is seen in the documentary highlighting Pogba as a potential threat when the two sides met in June. The game ended 1-1 but Pogba was one of the better players on the pitch that day.
For the game in question, Pogba was making his long-awaited return after being ruled out for most of the season with an ankle injury — which required surgery. The Frenchman didn’t start the game but it was clear he’d be introduced at the some stage in the second half.
During his half-time talk, as revealed by the All or Nothing documentary, Mourinho said (via The Mirror): “I think, for sure, sooner or later Pogba is coming. Every time Pogba has the ball, he will have the vision, he will have the quality of pass.
“So I can imagine Pogba from a position like that [deep right of midfield] to get the ball and to make a beautiful pass here for Marcus Rashford to go.
“So Pogba will improve the quality of passing, so we need top press him. And we need to control what is far from him.
“They want to press all the timer. You need to measure the risk, don’t make mistakes, don’t attract the pressure.
“One thing is to play short — one pass, another pass and then we go — another thing is pass here, pass here, pass there because you are attracting the pressure.
“There is a lot of space to counter-attack and to kill them.”
Before taking to the pitch for the second half, Mourinho told his players: “Don’t let Pogba shoot! If he approaches the box, press the ball if he shoots!”