London :Jose Mourinho was adamant that his relationship with Paul Pogba is “good” and said that the Frenchman would play in Manchester United’s English Premier League match at West Ham United .
Yet at the end of a turbulent week which saw United knocked out of the League Cup by second-tier Derby County before the manager announced he had dropped Pogba as vice-captain, Mourinho also added pointedly: “No player is bigger than the club.”
Mourinho was again insistent that there is no problem with his relationship with France’s World Cup winner even though he had made the decision, after consultation with other coaches, to demote Pogba from the vice-captaincy.
The manager, though, would again give no public explanation of why he has taken the position from his most influential player.
There had been much speculation that Mourinho had finally lost patience after Pogba’s comments to the media following last week’s tepid league draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers, in which the midfielder suggested United needed to “attack, attack, attack.”
“The squad and especially Paul know in detail why myself and my coaching staff decided to do that,” said Mourinho on being asked why he had made the decision to strip Pogba of being Antonio Valencia’s deputy as captain.
“After weeks of analysing and changing opinions with my coaching staff, we made the decision that, from now, Paul is just a player and not a captain.
“So decision made, I informed the player and the players and then, when I was asked before Tuesday’s match (against Derby), I confirmed it.
“The player-manager relation is good. Nobody trained better than Paul on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. And tomorrow he plays. So, end of the story.
“He is a player like the others. No player is bigger than the club and if I’m happy with his work, he plays and if I’m not happy with his work he doesn’t play. I’m really happy with his work this week.”
Asked if he is concerned about United’s reputation after a week which had also seen footage emerge of a frosty training ground exchange between himself and Pogba, Mourinho said: “Manchester United is bigger than anyone and I have to defend that.”
The footage was watched and analysed endlessly on social media but Mourinho said he didn’t care that it had been picked up by the cameras.
Asked if it had been disruptive, Mourinho responded: “Disruptive? You made an incredible story out of 15 minutes of an open training session.
“What happened the other day happens many days. Conversations with players I have many, many times. Loud critics, instructions happens every day.”
United head to the London Stadium in urgent need of a pick-me-up as they lie seventh in the league, already eight points off the pace being set by leaders Liverpool and questions growing about Mourinho’s ability to inspire his prosaic-looking side.
Yadav, Dhawan help India beat Kiwis by 8 wickets
Napier:After Kuldeep Yadav bagged a four-wicket haul, opener Shikhar Dhawan struck a blistering unbeaten knock of 75 runs as India thrashed New Zealand by eight wickets in the first ODI of the five-match series at the McLean Park in Napier.
Chasing a lowly target of revised target of 156 runs to win after sun outrage delayed the play, openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan made a positive start to India chase as th duo shared a crucial 41-run stand for the first wicket before the former was dismissed for 24 runs.
Dhawan then joined forces with Indian skipper Virat Kohli and the Indian opener not only struck his 26th ODI fifty off 69 balls but also shared a good 91-run partnership to bring India on verge of victory.
After Kohli (45) fell just five runs short of his half-century, Dhawan and Rayudu helped India cross the mark in 34.5 overs.
Earlier, New Zealand had won the toss and opted to bat first.
Kuldeep Yadav tore apart the hosts’ batting order, finishing with brilliant figures of four for 39. Mohammed Shami also took three wickets while Yuzvendra Chahal and Kedar Jadhav chipped in with two and a wicket, respectively as India bundled out New Zealand for 157 runs.
India, who have taken a 1-0 lead in the series, will now play their second ODI against New Zealand on January 26 at Bay Oval.
On-field taunt could land Sarfraz Ahmed in the dock
London: Sarfraz Ahmed could be in serious trouble after he was caught on the broadcast stump mics making what seemed to be a racist comment against Andile Phehlukwayo.
Halfway through the 37th over of South Africa’s tense chase in the second ODI in Durban, Phehlukwayo inside-edged a Shaheen Afridi delivery to deep fine leg for a single. He was on 50 at the time and as he ran off to the non-striker’s end, Sarfraz was caught clearly on the stump mics saying, in Urdu: “Abey kaale, teri ammi aaj kahaan baitheen hain? Kya parwa ke aaye hai aaj?”.
Translated literally that is: “Hey black guy, where’s your mother sitting today? What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?”
On commentary, Mike Haysman asked Ramiz Raja, “What’s he saying there Ramiz?”
“Difficult really to translate that,” Ramiz replied. “It’s a big long sentence.”
Phehlukwayo had enjoyed considerable fortune through the innings, not least when successfully reviewing an on-field lbw dismissal and a dropped catch in the over before this incident. Pakistan’s players had come hard at him early on, though in the post-match presentation he said, “it was good chat”.
Any disciplinary action can be instigated by the match officials. Potentially, if action is to be taken, it will be up to the match officials to decide whether they view Sarfraz’s comments under the ICC code of conduct for player behaviour or the ICC’s anti-racism code. Article 2.13 of the regular code covers the use of insulting or obscene and offensive language used by players against another in the regular code of conduct. But it says: “This offence is not intended to cover any use of language that is likely to offend another person on the basis of their race, religion, gender, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin.
“Such conduct is prohibited under the ICC’s Anti-Racism Code and must be dealt with according to the procedures set out therein.”
In the Anti-Racism code, in place since October 2012, an offence is described as “any conduct (whether through the use of language, gestures or otherwise) which is likely to offend, insult, humiliate, intimidate, threaten, disparage or vilify any reasonable person in the position of a Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire, Match Referee, Umpire Support Personnel or any other person (including a spectator) on the basis of their race, religion, culture, colour, descent, national or ethnic origin.”
Phehlukwayo had a memorable day in any case, his unbeaten 69 part of an unbroken 127-run stand that steered South Africa home after they had wobbled to 80 for 5. And earlier in the day his 4 for 22, including the crucial wicket of Sarfraz, helped bowl Pakistan out for 203.
I told East Bengal they will not win the league: Aucho
Mumbai:Churchill Brothers midfielder Khalid Aucho had spent two months with East Bengal in a short stint last season. However, he feels that his former side does not have a squad that has the capability to win the I-League.
“I told East Bengal they will not win the league because you (they) change the team every time. To win a league, you must build a team with 11 to 15 players in the same team for at least two years,” he expressed in a chat with Goal.
The Ugandan, who earned himself a fair bit of recognition among the Red and Golds’ faithful, was roped in as a late signing by East Bengal ahead of the 2018 Super Cup and only played four matches in the competition with the team failing at the final hurdle against Bengaluru FC.
He had fared well in defensive midfield, which was a troublesome position for the Kolkata giants last season. But he did not sign for the Red and Golds this season and explained why.
“They (East Bengal) were offering me the same salary. So I said ‘No, I am not the same person if you want to give me that money.’ I told them that I will play somewhere else because I believe in my ability,” Aucho revealed as East Bengal turned towards Kassim Aidara.
The 25-year-old has since joined Churchill Brothers in the current season wherein he has clocked 990 minutes in the I-League from his 11 starts and scored twice.
“(This season) we (Churchill Brothers) want to win the league, Chennai City wants to win the league, Real Kashmir wants to win the league. If they (East Bengal) win, congrats to them, but I don’t think they can win this league. They must first start keeping the players. If they have that team, they have to continue with it for next season,” Aucho stated.