After a summer of speculation surrounding the future of Paul Pogba, not many will have expected him to at Old Trafford on Friday. especially considering he only returned to training this week. However, Jose Mourinho included the Frenchman from the start, even naming him as captain, where he would go on to put in a dominant 84-minute performance
Pogba bossed the game for Manchester United, controlling the tempo of play and providing both steel and flare in the centre of the pitch, all despite not playing one pre-season match. For the showman’s cherry on top, he scored a tidy penalty which put United ahead in the opening stages of the game.
Many times last season Mourinho and Pogba seemed to go head to head, with the Portuguese leaving Pogba out of his starting line-up on multiple occasions. It seems though, that now all is forgiven if Mourinho’s post-match comments are anything to go by.
Mourinho told Sky Sports: “Pogba was a monster. We thought maximum [he would play] 60 minutes, but he managed more than 80. I’ll always give my best to the fans and my teammates no matter what’s going on. It was not a hard decision [to start Pogba], the decision was down to him. With Ander Herrera injured, I had only two options, Scott McTominay or Pogba. If I played Scott, I would have two kids and a new player [Fred] in midfield. So I asked Paul and he put himself forward for the team and was very, very good for us.”
If Mourinho has decided to bury the hatched with Pogba, it could only do United good as throughout their pre-season tour of the US, the negativity surrounding the camp threatened to derail their season before it even got underway.