LONDON, United Kingdon, July 24 – Jose Mourinho has told Paul Pogba to focus on what he can give to Manchester United, not the other way around.
Pogba was known to want a free role in Mourinho’s team on the left-hand side of a 4-3-3 formation last season as the relationship between the two men grew strained.
United’s record £89millon signing demonstrated his full potential in the World Cup by helping France to glory in Russia with a series of dominant performances.
But Mourinho believes Pogba now needs to concentrate on what he can offer United, and claims the World Cup proved what he can achieve when he focuses on football.
Some at United feel that the former Juventus star becomes too preoccupied with social media and his liking for flamboyant haircuts and dance moves.
“I don’t think it’s about us getting the best out of him, it’s about him giving the best he has to give,” Mourinho told ESPN.
“I think the World Cup is the perfect habitat for a player like him to give the best. Why? Because it’s closed for a month, where he can only think about football. Where he’s with his team on the training camp, completely isolated from the external world, where they focus just on football, where the dimensions of the game can only motivate.”
“During a season, you can have a big match then a smaller match, then one even smaller, then you can lose your focus, you can lose your concentration, then comes a big match again. In the World Cup, the direction of the emotion, of the responsibility, of the big decisions is always growing up. You are in the group phase, you go to the last 16, to the quarterfinals, to the semi-finals, to the finals.”
“This feeds the motivation. This feeds the concentration of a player. So I think it was the perfect environment for him. At the same time, I think players in the World Cup, they really feel that extra commitment with a country, with the people, that extra responsibility that makes them – by the emotional point of view – to be sometimes even over-committed.”
“So they play for the team, and only for the team, and the team is the most important thing, and they do everything to try to succeed. So I think it’s the perfect environment for a talented player like him to focus, to full focus on the job.”