Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has insisted that no player is bigger than the club while addressing a reported bust-up with Paul Pogba.
Mourinho was speaking ahead of United’s trip to the London Stadium on Saturday to face West Ham United in the Premier League after a turbulent week for the club.
Widespread reports in the media on Wednesday suggested that Mourinho had engaged in a row with Pogba regarding his negative comments about the team after last Saturday’s disappointing 1-1 draw with Wolves.
The 25-year-old playmaker lost his role as vice-captain as a result and was left out of the Red Devils stunning penalty shootout Carabao Cup defeat to Derby County.
Mourinho revealed his stance on the issue during his Friday’s press conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with West Ham United.
“No player is bigger than the club and if I’m happy with his work, he plays. If I’m not happy, he doesn’t play,” Mourinho told reporters.
“Manchester United is bigger than anyone and I have to defend that.”
The United boss then went on to clarify exactly why he dropped Pogba as the team’s backup captain, stating that the decision was made purely for tactical reasons.
“I explain in a very detailed way to the people that have to know in detail, which is the squad and especially Paul, so Paul and the other players in the squad know in detail the reason why myself and my coaching staff, we decided to do that,” Mourinho added.
“I always analyse a player as a player. When a player is captain, I analyse the player by the player and captain perspective, and after weeks of analysing and changing opinions with my coaching staff, we made the decision Paul is just a player and not a captain.
“Decision made. I informed the player and the players. When I was asked after the match on Tuesday, I confirmed my decision and now I’m confirming it again. It’s the end of the story.”