UEFA Europa League 2016/17: Jose Mourinho says “Einsteins” need to stop criticising Paul Pogba
Jose Mourinho also didn't reveal whether Rooney will start the game against Chelsea.
After a convincing 4-1 win in the Europa League over Turkish side Fenerbahce on Thursday evening, Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho attacked the “Einsteins” of football. The “Einsteins” in question are the media, which had been pointing fingers at Pogba after a second-rate show against Liverpool.
Speaking after the Europa League win, Mourinho stated, “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.”
Mourinho went on to reiterate his faith in the Frenchman and appreciated the team’s display on the night.
The other scorers for the Red Devils were Jesse Lingard – who found the net with a smacking 25-yard shot – and an Anthony Martial penalty. For Fenerbache, ex-Red Devil Robin Van Persie was also on the scoresheet, grabbing a late consolation for the Turkish outfit.
Pogba answers his critics
After a below-par display at Anfield, the Frenchman was the best player on the night. He opened the scoring with a 31st-minute penalty before firing in a long-range effort before half-time. The Frenchman’s efforts ensured that Manchester United stay top of Group A with six points, the same points as Dutch side, Feyenoord.
Pogba has come under fierce criticism with huge expectations attached to his world-record fee. However, he has had the solid support of his teammates and his manager at Old Trafford.
As the match progressed, there was visible confidence on display by the Frenchman with the composed Michael Carrick beside him.
During the match, Rooney allowed the first penalty to be taken by Pogba, which he coolly slotted past the keeper, Volkan Demirel.
The Frenchman revealed the incident to the press stating, “It was Wazza or myself to take it. But I told him I wanted to take it and he let me take it. I’m very happy to take the penalty and score it and for a player like him, the captain of the side, to let me take the penalty, is big respect to him. I’m very glad for that.”
Rooney and Chelsea
Mourinho also defended the importance of Rooney in the squad. Rooney made his first start for United since the 3-1 victory over Northampton in the EFL Cup and chipped in with an assist for Lingard’s goal.
When questioned about the England international’s chances of starting the game against Chelsea at the weekend, the Portuguese chose to evade the topic.
Instead, Mourinho in his usual manner responded, “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.”
Manchester United play Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and Mourinho will look to put one over his previous employers after being unceremoniously sacked last season.