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Zlatan Ibrahimovic shares theory on why Jose Mourinho failed to bring best out of Paul Pogba at Manchester United

Indy 100 logo Indy 100 2019-01-21
Paul Pogba holding a red ball © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited

Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes Jose Mourinho’s failure to give Paul Pogba confidence was the reason the pair failed to bring the best out of each other during their time together at Manchester United.

Mourinho was sacked last month and Pogba has since produced some of his best football in a United shirt under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, scoring five goals and assisting four more in the six matches he has played under the Norwegian.

Gallery: What's next for Mourinho? (Read Sport)

When quizzed on what has changed, Ibrahimovic claimed Pogba is the type of player who goes beyond tactical shape and balance and needs to be “free.” 

“There are these players that need to be free, they need to feel free to do what they are able to do under the disciple of the coach,” Ibrahimovic told ESPN FC. 

“Obviously, he has his tactics, he has that, but some players they go above these limits, and you need to let them be free, and I think Paul is one of them.

“Paul didn’t feel confidence from the coach [Mourinho], and the coach didn’t feel confidence for Paul.

(Also watch: Pogba opens up on life under Solskjaer)


(Video by Sky Sports)

“It’s difficult to perform as a player if you don’t have confidence from the coach and you don’t have that energy, that motivation, and Jose felt the same thing about Paul.”

Ibrahimovic added that a change was necessary to ensure progress.

“These things happen, and that is part of the game also,” Ibrahimovic added. “I mean, not everybody can go among each other and do well together.

“I feel like you come to a moment where it is too blocked and one goes or the other one goes. At this moment, the coach left, and Paul is more free now.”

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