Paul Pogba can’t start thinking he’s bigger than Mourinho, warns Darren Fletcher


Darren Fletcher has strongly criticised Paul Pogba in the wake of Jose Mourinho’s sacking as Manchester United manager, insisting the France star “needs a kick up the backside”.

Pogba posted “Caption this!” alongside a picture of himself adopting a knowing look on social media following the Portuguese’s departure on Tuesday.

That post was quickly deleted, but former United and Scotland midfielder Fletcher branded Pogba’s actions “totally out of order”.

“I don’t think he’s conducted himself well recently and I think he needs a kick up the backside,” Fletcher told BBC Radio Five Live.

“And I think his post today, whether it was his team or whatever, it was totally out of order. That’s a big concern for me.

“Everybody talked about, ‘Who’s going to go, is it going to be Pogba or Mourinho’. Now, if Pogba starts thinking that he’s bigger than Mourinho, there’s your next problem.

“Somebody needs to get control of Paul Pogba and say, ‘Listen, this hasn’t been a battle between Mourinho and Pogba and you’ve won, you’ve got to go and prove yourself now’.

“And a manager’s got to come in there and demand more from him, to lead this team forward.”

Former United captain Gary Neville also responded to Pogba’s deleted tweet, saying on Twitter: ‘“Caption This” You do one as well!’

Arsenal v Manchester United - Premier League

United sacked Mourinho on Tuesday after less than three years at the helm, with the Old Trafford club languishing in sixth place in the Premier League.

The Red Devils are expected to appoint an interim manager until the end of the season, with former striker and current Molde boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the frame for that role.

Fletcher criticised United’s hierarchy for potentially setting up an extended period of limbo before settling on their long-term managerial appointment.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino’s name has already been floated as a permanent long-term replacement for Mourinho – and Fletcher tipped the Argentinian for the Old Trafford helm.


“I do worry about the fact you’re basically writing off two seasons,” said Fletcher. “You’re appointing a manager next summer. There’s a real concern you could almost have two seasons of building again.

“Manchester United should never be in this position. And it’s mismanagement at the top level.

“Pochettino has had issues with players and he’s dealt with it fantastically.

“He deals with big characters at Spurs, there’s been a few bits and pieces like contract rebels and things like that. And he seems to have sorted that out. So he ticks all the boxes of experience in the Premier League.

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“If Manchester United come calling, that’s big to turn down. I know you can say Real Madrid, but the worry about Real Madrid is, they change their manager every year.

“He could have the chance to be at Manchester United for a long period of time, settle there and build something fantastic. Manchester United have the backing, the resources and a plan that would incorporate winning the Premier League. I’m not sure Spurs’ plan involves winning the Premier League.”

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