Jose Mourinho has confirmed his relationship with Paul Pogba is still good, after the player was dropped following a poor performance against Tottenham Hotspur and an altercation on the touchline between the two.
It was then claimed that Mourinho could well have fallen out with Pogba, and the last two players who he fell out with – Henrik Mkhiyaryan and Ander Herrera suffered because of this, with the latter hardly playing now and the former being sold.
However, Mourinho made it clear he still loves his midfield star, and said that Pogba loves to train and is the ultimate professional.
The Mirror report Mourinho said: “Paul had a very professional behaviour.
“The week was not different to what Paul is every week. He works well, he’s a good professional He likes to train. I’ve never had a single problem with him. He likes to train.”
The United boss also elaborated on what he felt Pogba should be as a midfielder, and how he thinks the ‘box to box’ description of a player should be interpreted.
Mourinho said that some sections of the media do not understand it, with many claiming Pogba needs to be attacking and only attacking – but the former Chelsea manager made it clear that ‘box to box’ means covering both boxes, and managed to have a dig at the ‘experts’ as well.
“I had a few laughs over the past week because I heard and watched, read a few things, and I’m not English but I think I understand English enough when you want to say box to box.
“But with some comments from some important people in football, I got a little confused. For me box to box means box to box. You have to be good in this box and have to be good in that box.
“It means you have to defend well in this box, the physical condition and desire and stamina to go until the other box. In the other box you have to be good at scoring, creating, heading and so on.
“And when your team loses the ball you have to go to the other box. Now I’m confused when some people say box to box has to play free of defensive duties. That’s not a box to box.
“That’s a box in the box and stay in that box. Don’t move from that box! I think this country produced a lot of box to box players. I had the pleasure to coach some of them, but nowadays with some pundits, some agents, some family members, the concept of box to box is changing a little bit.
“It looks like we are going to a different concept. Box to box are not my words. I heard it for the first time in 2004 when I arrived. For me, with my Portuguese and trying to translate to the English I just think midfield players.
“For me Paul is a midfield player. He’s not a left back, he’s not a striker. When people ask his best position: he’s a midfield player. It depends on the tactical system but he will always be a midfielder.
“Then with so many opinions, and we are in a world of opinions, people can get confused. There is no confusion between me and Paul. It;’s difficult to play a midfielder with more potential than Paul.”