Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has claimed that player power is now a big problem in the modern game.
Mourinho was sacked as United boss last month and has kept a low profile since.
The Portuguese worked on Thursday’s Asian Cup group match between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, however, and spoke exclusively to BeIN Sports.
Mourinho said on BeIN Sports:
“I remember for example, one day – I think it was when Manchester United sold David Beckham to Real Madrid. That day, Sir Alex Ferguson said that the day the player is more important than the club, then goodbye.
“Not anymore. Not anymore. Because there are many things behind (the player) that is difficult to create a situation as linear as this one. So I think the way to do it is for the players to find a certain balance.
“And the balance has to be created in the relationship between the players and the manager. The manager is there to coach them. The manager is not there to keep the discipline at any cost.
“The structure must be made (to do that). The structure must be there to protect the manager and for the players to feel that everything is in place and they are not going to arrive in a situation where they feel more powerful than they used to be.”
It would be fair to say that Mourinho did not have the best of relationships with a number of United’s players in the latter stages of his tenure.
Marouane Fellaini and Scott McTominay would more than likely speak glowingly about Mourinho, but the same cannot be said for Anthony Martial, Alexis Sanchez and a certain Paul Pogba.
Pogba has shown his class for United since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came through the door at Old Trafford, with the Frenchman inspiring United to six straight wins in all competitions.
The 25-year-old was seemingly on the verge of leaving United due to his strained relationship with Mourinho, but the situation could now not be more different.
Mourinho believes that Pogba had too much power at Old Trafford.
The Portuguese has obviously not named the Frenchman or indeed the club in his quotes above, but it is not too difficult to ascertain what is meant.
Pogba, who was brilliant for France at the 2018 World Cup, is one of the best midfielders in world football and a strong presence at United.
Not only on the field though, Pogba is a brand.
Football has changed since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson and the money being earned by the top players means that they are always going to be in a strong position.
United have already moved on from Mourinho and the experienced manager will soon do the same as he prepares to return to football.
It will be up to the 55-year-old to decide whether he can adapt to what football has become because player power is as strong as ever.
Not everyone was pleased with Mourinho’s sacking. Check out American Soccer Fan’s hilarious take on it in the video below…