Jose Mourinho was the subject of a major gamble today after his latest spat with French world cup winner Paul Pogba.
Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba have clashed before
The latest disagreement between the two warring parties looks to be the worst to date. This time it seems to have a terminal feel about it for one of them, or maybe even both?
On one hand Mourinho has to establish authority over his squad, and can't have players seemingly undermining him on social media, or any media for that matter.
Pogba's tweet seemingly criticised Mourinho's tactics in the wake of United's 1-1 draw with Wovles at the weekend, and this followed on from his recent cryptic remarks when away with France on international duty recently.
Mourinho's patience seemingly gave way with his world cup winner this week, when he said that Pogba won't captain United again, at least not while he was in charge. And then today, there was video footage of what looked like a very frosty exchange between the two at United's training ground this morning.
On the flip side to Pogba's behaviour, is that of the Portuguese. Jose also leaves himself open to criticism of his man management of Pogba, and today's exchange further highlighted this. I don't think there is anyone naive enough to not think that Jose knew exactly what he was doing with his put down of Pogba in full view of the TV cameras.
JUST IN! ?
Frosty footage just in from @ManUtd's training session between Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho… ❄️
What has been said between the pair this morning? ? pic.twitter.com/nRiTEgDJlH
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) 26 September 2018
There is an argument that there was no need to do it so publicly. And it is also reported that Mourinho informed Pogba of the captaincy decision in front of the whole squad.
If Pogba is popular with the other players, how would that go down? And also, knowing how Jose operates, how was the captaincy message delivered to the Frenchman? One can only imagine, not with too much tact.
Only one possible outcome for Jose
If Mourinho has annoyed a lot of the squad with his handling of the Pogba situations, then - despite his current reported support from Ed Woodward - you can only ultimately see one outcome for the Portuguese.
Pogba can't go anywhere until January. And that is a hell of a long time for things to go further wrong at Old Trafford for Jose.
Whether Jose's stance is correct or not - if things continue to deteriorate at the club, then there can only surely be one outcome for Mourinho.