Jose Mourinho appointed World Cup winner Paul Pogba as his captain for his sides’ Premier League opener against Leicester City. The Portuguese manager was pointedly critical of his star player following the World Cup, essentially challenging him to replicate his World Cup form at the club level. Luckily the highly competitive midfielder took his criticism the way it was intended. Mourinho isn’t a ball-buster per se, but he isn’t going to baby his players if he sees room for improvement. A lot of coaches forget that player development is part of the job description, but not Mou. All his actions have bottom line implications, anything less than silverware from year-to-year, he considers a failure.
Fittingly, Paul Pogba’s first ever goal in the EPL came against Leicester during the 2016 Season. Just a few days ago FC Barcelona offered Man United more than € 100 million to pry him away from Old Trafford. Mourinho was left with little recourse to hand him over the captaincy, a role some argue he may have already earned. That being said, the majority of pundits thought David de Gea should fill the vacancy, but alas Mourinho favored more of a “position player” in the captain’s role.
The EPL opener kicks off at 3pm Eastern Time.