Jose Warns Ibra & Martial


Jose Mourinho warned Zlatan Ibrahimovic that despite signing a new contract and being the leading goal-scoring for United last season, he won’t be the first choice. With Ibrahimovic expected to be fit for the latter part of the season, Mourinho insisted that he won’t disturb the balance of the team despite Zlatan being one of the best strikers in world football. Mourinho also revealed that he is counting on Ibrahimovic being the extra man to fire up United in the latter half of the season when fatigue kicks in.


Manchester United’s Paul Pogba picked up the UEFA Europa League Player of the Season gong for his role in guiding United to the trophy last May. Pogba who started in all the fixtures in United’s campaign and scored thrice, including in the Final. Pogba beat out fellow United teammates Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the trophy.


Jose Mourinho admitted that he made a mistake with his handling of Henrikh Mkhitaryan at the start of the previous season. Mkhitaryan, whose horror show against Manchester City prompted Jose to not start him for over three months in the Premier League was publically criticized by Jose last campaign. Mourinho said: “I think he (Mkhitaryan) understands me and to be honest I understand him. At the start of last season if he understands me better he would have started better. If I understand him better probably I would help him in a faster way than I did. The second part of the season was good for him and with his talent, I believe his season will be even better.”


Anthony Martial is all set to feature in the starting lineup for the first time this season against Leicester later today but Mourinho has warned the player about being lax and urged him to push himself so as to maximize his talents. Mourinho said: “I think when you’re blessed with some talent, you have to fulfill that talent, you have to explore that talent, you cannot be happy just with glimpses of talent. I want more from him because he has all the qualities for that. But I think he understands me better too and the personal relation [between us] is good, so again Anthony, I hope he’s going to better this season than last season.’


Marcus Rashford will face more competition for a first team berth this campaign after United resigned Zlatan Ibrahimovic on a new one year deal. Many have predicted the youngster to lose game time later on but England boss Gareth Southgate believes that the move will help get the best out of the talented teenager. Southgate urged Rashford to embrace playing in a wider role and revealed that the player’s performances down the wing impressed him.