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Jose Mourinho: 'Paul Pogba not solely responsible for Man United problems'

Mourinho: 'Pogba not solely responsible for Man Utd problems'
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Mourinho says time has proved his methods at Old Trafford were not the problem.

Jose Mourinho claims a "nice guy" manager can end up becoming a "puppet".

In what could be construed as a swipe at his Manchester United successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Mourinho says time has proved his methods at Old Trafford were not the problem.

Mourinho, who led United to second in the Premier League last season, was sacked in December after a dismal start to the latest campaign.

Solskjaer brought a fresh approach and lifted a lot of the gloom after taking over on an interim basis, winning 10 of his first 11 games, but form then deserted him after being appointed full-time.

United won just two of their last nine league games and finished in sixth, outside the Champions League positions.

Mourinho told L'Equipe: "Generally, the players can feel a certain erosion, especially when you ask a lot of them.

"When I say that the second season was fantastic, I say it because the potential and the objectives were met.

"I really squeezed, like an orange, to achieve them. When you have a very professional group of players who are ambitious, hard-working and talented, at a structured club, you don't have that erosion.

"When you are almost alone, in that you don't have the support of the club close to you, while certain players go somewhat against the coach, who is the nice guy.

"I don't want to be the nice guy, because the nice guy, after three months, is a puppet and that doesn't end well."

Mourinho continues to rate last season's second place highly – when United finished 19 points behind Manchester City – and feels recent events have cast it in a greater light.

The former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss said: "I said nine or 10 months ago that after winning eight championships, finishing second with United may have been my greatest achievement. Now people understand.

"About United I want to say only two things: One is that time has spoken. Two is that the problems are still there."

Mourinho reportedly had his differences with record signing Paul Pogba, but he insists the problems at the club go far deeper than the France midfielder.

He said: "The problems are there, you can say that these are the players, the organisation, the ambition. I only say that I cannot say 'yes' when you ask if Paul was the only one responsible."


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Paul Pogba pictured before Manchester United's Premier League meeting with Chelsea on April 28, 2019
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38322495237298
2Liverpool38307189226797
3Chelsea38219863392472
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs382321367392871
5Arsenal382171073512270
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991065541166
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38169134746157
8Everton38159145446854
9Leicester CityLeicester38157165148352
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham38157165255-352
11Watford38148165259-750
12Crystal Palace38147175153-249
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174248-645
14Bournemouth38136195670-1445
15Burnley38117204568-2340
16Southampton38912174565-2039
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3899203560-2536
RCardiff CityCardiff38104243469-3534
RFulham3875263481-4726
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416

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