Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has once again blasted the English media for their fickle nature following their 4-1 win over Fenerbahce in the Europa League. Paul Pogba, who scored two goals in the game, was lauded by the Portuguese manager for his calmness despite facing criticism.
“First of all, in some of your mouths, he goes from the worst player in the Premier League to a great player in 48 hours.
“I am not specifically saying it is you. I say media, especially the Einsteins. We know he is a very good player. We know he needs some time to show his potential. I know Italian football very well. I know teams play completely different from the Premier League.
“I am not saying we are better but we are different. Different in the intensity, the number of touches on the ball, everything is different and he needs time to adapt. He is a self-confident boy.
“He was not depressed because some people said he was a bad player. He was not depressed. He was calm. It is always nice for a player to score, to score at home and especially to score such a beautiful goal,” Mourinho said after the match, reported the Guardian.
Pogba opened the scoring for United with a goal from a penalty in the 31st minute before Anthony Martial doubled the home side's lead three minutes later from another spot kick. Pogba completed his brace at the start of the second half, while Jesse Lingard added the fourth just two minutes later. Fenerbahce did get a goal back through former United striker Robin van Persie, but it was nothing more than a consolation.
After the match, Pogba revealed that Wayne Rooney, who was back in the starting lineup for this game, allowed him to take the penalty and how much he respects him for that decision.
“It was Wazza or
Mourinho approved the choice to allow Martial to take the second penalty kick in the first half. He said, “The first penalty taker was Paul, we made that decision which he took and then probably he did not want to repeat because it’s
“That meant that decision is not a problem for me. I always give the indication of the one that has the responsibility to take but with the freedom for the other guys to make the decision on the pitch.”
Mourinho also dismissed the notion that he made the changes to his starting lineup for this game with the visit to his former club Chelsea on Sunday at the back of his mind.
“Independent matches – I chose this team because I felt it was the team to win it and because I felt after such an intense game on Monday that some of these players would be in better conditions to perform than others but I start thinking about Chelsea tomorrow [Friday].
“Am I happy with the performance? Yes. Am I happy with individual performances? Yes, and I am happy with the result which is the most important because the result is difficult.
“We put ourselves in a difficult position by losing the first match [at Feyenoord] especially as we have the double match with Fenerbahce. To go to Istanbul without winning this match would be even more difficult,” he explained.