Wednesday, August 12 2020


Kicking off with Paul Kennedy: Time to unite behind the boss

Update: October, 04/2018 - 08:00
Making a point: Jose Mourinho instructs Paul Pogba, who probably won’t do as he’s told. Photo courtesy of AFP.
Viet Nam News

by Paul Kennedy

I’ve been fortunate enough, some might even say blessed, to have worked for some brilliant people in my career.

Mark Thomas in Liverpool, England immediately springs to mind. A top operator who really knows his stuff. During a spell in the Caribbean I was lucky enough to work for April Cummings and Ben Meade, two of the best journalists around.

We would argue for sure. Disagree on many things and have what can only politely be described as heated discussions on a regular basis.

More often than not they were right and I was wrong, and the reason? Well it’s simple. It doesn’t matter if I was right or wrong because they were the boss.

Right now, Jose Mourinho is the boss of Manchester United. Granted, that may not be the case come the end of the season, maybe even at Christmas or possible even by the end of the week, but right now, he’s in charge.

Paul Pogba works for him and Jose is his boss, but over the last few weeks it certainly doesn’t seem that way.

Pogba is a decent player but he’s also a major cause of headaches for Mourinho and for me embodies all that is wrong with modern day football.

Pre-season while partying in the US he was photographed surrounded by a bevy of bikini-clad beauties holding in his hand a helium balloon. Now let’s give Pogba the benefit of doubt here and say he was using the balloon to decorate the villa he was staying in. Maybe it was someone’s birthday and Pogs had ordered a personalised balloon? Who knows?

One thing I do know for sure is on the pitch he has hardly lived up to his hype (mostly caused by himself on various social media platforms).

Last weekend’s game against West Ham typified this for me. He was shocking, snuffed out of the game by 19-year-old Declan Rice and 31-year-old Mark Noble.

In fact it wasn’t just Pogba who had a stinker. Most, if not all of the United team were awful.

I’d be the first to admit, and I’ve said so in the pages of this newspaper, I want Manchester United to lose more often than they win, but seeing the way Pogba is reacting when the chips are down is a disgrace.

Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and, taking things back a few years, Bryan Robson, are probably the greatest Manchester United midfielders in recent times. Pogba isn’t good enough to lace their boots.

Manchester United are having a tough time of things at the moment, drawing at home to newly promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers before being dumped out of the Caraboa Cup by Derby County. Then there was the mauling at West Ham.

Now is the time the players need to dig deep and step-up. Roll up their socks and start grinding out results. There’s a plenty more clichés in football I could use but the one that best suits this current situation is this: “No player is bigger than the club.”

Very true, but someone needs to spell that out to Pogba and co.

According to those claiming to be in the know, Mourinho has ‘lost the dressing room’ and I really don’t get that. He is the boss.

I’m guessing the dressing room must be packed with a bunch of overpaid pre-Madonna’s who care more about their hair-styles, image rights and pay packets than the job they are employed to do.

Maybe Jose is losing the dressing room and maybe the modern game is slowly passing him by and he’s no longer the man for the job.

That said, right now he is the man who has the job. He’s the boss, and players start needing to show him the respect a boss deserves. — VNS




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