Jose Mourinho's Man Utd Firing Due to Results, Not Player Power, Says Paul Pogba

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistMarch 21, 2019

Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho (C) greets Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba (R) after the final whistle in the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on August 27, 2018. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /         (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
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Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has said poor results were the root cause of Jose Mourinho's sacking at the club, dismissing the notion it was anything to do with player unrest. 

Mourinho's broken relationship with Pogba was thought to be a factor behind his December dismissal, but the playmaker told a press conference his old boss was shown the door because of poor results, per Goal:

Goal @goal

Paul Pogba *really* doesn't like Jose Mourinho, does he? Look at his face 😂 https://t.co/y1m31opt6a

He said: "What were the issues? We were not winning. That's why they decided to change the head coach. The results matter the most. If we were winning, we would have good results and the coach would have remained at his position. That's all."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed Mourinho's replacement on an interim basis. Results have improved drastically since his arrival, and the Norwegian is expected to be named his permanent successor, per the Guardian's Jamie Jackson.

United went unbeaten in their first 11 games under Solskjaer, having suffered a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool in Mourinho's last game in charge. The team won six of their last 18 games with the Portuguese at the helm.

Pogba's performances in particular have improved. Sportswriter Kris Voakes recently noted his return to a leadership position in the squad, having been stripped of the vice-captaincy when Mourinho was boss in September:

Kris Voakes @krisvoakes

Having been stripped of the #MUFC vice-captaincy by Jose Mourinho in September, Paul Pogba has the armband back tonight against Wolves. https://t.co/p6QNPQcgFM

The Frenchman racked up three goals and three assists in his first 14 Premier League appearances of the season under Mourinho. He's scored eight goals and recorded six assists in his 13 league appearances since Solskjaer took over.

The Red Devils suffered just one defeat in their first 17 matches under Mourinho's replacement but have now lost back-to-back games and were knocked out of the FA Cup by Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

That 2-1 defeat at Molineux served as a reminder United are still far from being an elite side, per Goal's Sacha Pisani:

Sacha Pisani @Sachk0

Wolves deservedly lead Manchester United. Worst I've seen United play since Solskjaer replaced Mourinho in December. Lethargic etc #WOLMUN #FACup

A 2-0 defeat at Arsenal prior to that left United outside the Premier League's top four, with their UEFA Champions League qualification hopes now hanging in the balance.

Pogba isn't the only player at Old Trafford whose displays have improved following Solskjaer's appointment, and one could argue striker Marcus Rashford has benefited even more so:

Goal @goal

1️⃣2️⃣ goals in all competitions for Marcus Rashford this season 4️⃣ under Jose Mourinho 8️⃣ under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer https://t.co/9CJ0oI1Efy

United return to Premier League action after the international break when they host Watford on Saturday, March 30.