Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has told his star players that no-one is “untouchable” as he prepares his side to face Fenerbahce in their Europa League group stage tie.
The former Real Madrid and Inter Milan boss has already made a statement this season by dropping captain Wayne Rooney and has now suggested that even world-record signing Paul Pogba isn’t safe from the bench.
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) October 19, 2016
“Nobody is untouchable now,” Mourinho is quoted as saying by The Mirror.
“Untouchable in our team I think has to be the spirit, the commitment, the pride, the commitment to the club, the respect to the fans. That has to be untouchable, but not players.”
Mourinho did not single out individuals for criticism but with Pogba having underperformed since his arrival from Juventus in the summer, many interpreted his comments as directed at the Frenchman.
The midfielder, now in his second stint at Old Trafford, has scored just once and provided no assists so far this campaign, with fans starting to question whether he was worth the enormous £89 million price tag United paid the Italian champions.
He looked out of sorts again on Monday night against Liverpool, with his touch largely letting him down the few times he managed to get on the ball.
United need Pogba to discover his best form quickly as they find themselves in the midst of their biggest week of the season to date.
Following the drab 0-0 draw at Anfield, they host Fenerbahce tonight before a trip to Stamford Bridge to face another of Mourinho’s former clubs, Chelsea, at the weekend.
There is rarely a dull moment with the Portuguese coach and his latest comments will ensure that all eyes are on the United teamsheet for the next few weeks.