It is no secret that Manchester United are struggling, with their loss to Championship side Derby County last night in the Carabao Cup being the latest problem to occur.
United fell 8-7 on penalties at Old Trafford, with the match finishing 2-2 in normal time after a Marouane Fellaini equaliser in the 5th minute of stoppage time.
In addition to the defeat, manager Jose Mourinho reportedly told star player Paul Pogba that it would be the last time that he would captain the side.
This infighting at United, who currently sit in 7th position in the Premier League, has created a headache for the board and the fans, with opinions divided about who is in the wrong.
Both Mourinho and Pogba are quality football people but until the dispute gets resolved, United’s struggles are likely to continue.
Let’s look at both sides of the story:
There is no doubt that he is the ‘special one’. He is a two-time UEFA Champions League winner. He has won the Premier League three times as Chelsea manager. Two Serie A titles also sit next to his name. He has done it before and can do it again.
Some say that he is causing problems at United and should leave. In the 2016/17 season, he won the Europa League, Carabao Cup and the Community Shield with the club. It is not like as if he has achieved nothing at United.
Last season, the Red Devils finished 2nd in the Premier League to their rivals Manchester City, with a point total usually capable of winning the Premier League. This season, they are currently in 7th position, however there is plenty of football still to be played. All hope is not lost.
Despite his success throughout his career, last night’s incident is a poor look and does not help team morale, especially when it involves a star player. However, he has done enough to warrant a stay as manager.
United re-signed Pogba from Italian giants Juventus for £89.3 million in 2016, after he initially left United on a free in 2012.
Pogba is a player of a high calibre, scoring 28 goals in 124 league appearances at Juventus and 13 goals in 66 Premier League matches. He has 62 international caps with 10 goals, winning the 2018 FIFA World Cup in the process and scoring in the final. There is no doubting his ability.
With a large price tag comes a lot of pressure. Pogba is expected to perform and should not take the full blame for the loss to Derby. All clubs have off nights and Pogba deserves another chance to captain United.
However, no player is bigger than the club and this should be a wake-up call for Pogba. There is still more time for the French superstar to redeem himself and put the night behind him.
It is hard to decide who should be the first to leave Manchester United and whether anyone should leave at all. Both Mourinho and Pogba are fantastic to have at any club.
Should United continue to struggle this season, it will be difficult to see Mourinho remain at the club. On the other hand, Pogba has been linked with a January move to Spanish giants Barcelona.
It is unlikely that the latest incident will lead to an instant departure, however if the rumours come into fruition, United will need to look for a replacement for Pogba.