Jose Mourinho was understandably delighted with Paul Pogba’s man of the match performance against Manchester City nine days ago.
The Frenchman grabbed the derby by the scruff of its neck after the first half, and single-handedly turned around a 2-0 deficit before Chris Smalling netted the winner.
As a result, the Portuguese set Pogba a challenge ahead of Manchester United’s Premier League clash with West Brom this weekend.
But it’s fair to say the France international failed at the very first hurdle after he was hauled off in just the 58th minute of the Red Devils’s 1-0 defeat to the top flight’s basement boys on Sunday.
Ahead of the fixture, an optimistic Mourinho said: "I will tell you what I told [Pogba] after the [City] match and it’s exactly what I told him – I don’t expect you to be man of the match every week, I don’t expect you to score two goals every week.
"I expect you to be consistent in a certain level. So, if you ask me, I’m expecting Paul now to be man of the match every week? No. If I expect him to score goals every match? No.
"But I expect Paul – and I think that’s the challenge he has to put to himself – to keep a certain stability and not to have the good match and the so-so match and the bad match.
"I think he has to try to keep that level of stability and, from that stability of course will appear the special match with the special performance, like it happened against City.
"The first thing is stability at training level, stability during the working week. And the past two, three weeks I’m really happy with him."
Pogba failed to get any sort of foothold on the disappointing defeat to the Baggies this weekend, which ultimately handed Manchester City the title.
Thierry Henry was among those who slated the Frenchman’s performance, telling Sky Sports: "As soon as the game started, something was weird – the atmosphere of the stadium, the team – it’s so weird from what we saw from that team a week ago.
"The commitment, the desire, and I asked if Pogba can do that all the time, the way he played against City. The answer is nope."
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