Jose Mourinho has explained why the onus is on Paul Pogba to give “the best he has to give”, instead of either him or Manchester United to coax it out of him.
Pogba has integral as France won the World Cup this summer, scoring in the final against Croatia and performing excellently throughout.
But that simply reinforced Mourinho’s belief that it is Pogba, not him, who has to change to see similar displays at club level on a more consistent basis.
“I don’t think it’s about us getting the best out of him, it’s about him giving the best he has to give,” he told ESPN FC.
“I think the World Cup is the perfect habitat for a player like him to give [their] best.
“Why? Because it’s closed for a month, where he can only think about football. Where he’s with his team on the training camp, completely isolated from the external world, where they focus just on football, where the dimensions of the game can only motivate.
“During a season, you can have a big match then a smaller match, then one even smaller, then you can lose your focus, you can lose your concentration, then comes a big match again.
“In the World Cup, the direction of the emotion, of the responsibility, of the big decisions is always growing up.
“You are in the group phase, you go to the last 16, to the quarterfinals, to the semifinals, to the finals. This feeds the motivation. This feeds the concentration of a player.
“So I think it was the perfect environment for him.
“I think players in the World Cup, they really feel that extra commitment with a country, with the people, that extra responsibility that makes them – by the emotional point of view – to be sometimes even overcommitted.
“So they play for the team, and only for the team, and the team is the most important thing, and they do everything to try to succeed.
“So I think it’s the perfect environment for a talented player like him to focus, to fully focus on the job.”