Do not underestimate Paul Pogba… he’s a clever guy and his problem with Jose Mourinho is serious

All about parties, pranks and one laugh after another. And all true — to a point.

But Paul Pogba the man goes way beyond Paul Pogba the image.

The truth goes far deeper than the public persona of someone obsessed with Twitter, Instagram and style.

Which is why anyone trying to dismiss his powderkeg words after a goal-scoring display in Manchester United’s opening day win is so very, very misguided.

Pogba may still be only 25, but we are talking a highly intelligent, highly articulate, deep thinking young man.

A guy who is fluent in four languages. Someone who knows full well what the fallout from a wrongly chosen phrase or a careless slip of the tongue can be.

And it should be pointed out, when Pogba emerged to address the media on Friday, no one had an arm up his back.

He did so because he wanted to, pure and simple.

After all, he had already spoken to TV, already fulfilled his commitments, it was a good 90 minutes after the final whistle.

Had he, like so many of his team-mates, chosen to, the Frenchman could easily have ducked out and headed home.

After a week when his future was one of THE topics of debate — with tales of bids from Juventus and Barcelona and a fractured relationship with Jose Mourinho — you could have understood why.

So Pogba knew better than anyone what he was doing when he spoke. Just like he knew what the ramifications of one tinderbox sentence could be.

When asked nothing more rib-poking than, “Are you comfortable and happy,” his reply, “There are things I cannot say or I will be fined”, was one of those “wow” moments.

Bear in mind, the manager’s name hadn’t been mentioned. Neither had his future — although it should be stressed there is no suggestion he is unhappy at Manchester United.

Admitting he wants to win the Premier League is proof of that, because Pogba knows he won’t be going to another English club to achieve it.

His point, shrewdly and cleverly made, was clearly there is no issue with the club, team-mates, fans or coaches — all of whom got a nod. It is with Mourinho.

And unlike the last occasion he locked horns with an Old Trafford gaffer, this time the outcome could be far different.

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Seven years ago a teenage Pogba dug his heels in and KO’d a new deal when the first-team path he felt should have been clear was blocked by Paul Scholes coming out of retirement.

The gaffer then was Sir Alex Ferguson, the emperor of Old Trafford and a man who no one questioned when Pogba left for Juventus in summer 2012.

This time, though, he takes on the boss as a World Cup winner, the shining jewel in United’s glittering crown, with his stock higher than it has ever been.

This time the manager hardly has the 100 per cent backing of the fans OR the board — that was proved by the mish-mash of a transfer window and so many missed targets.

Not to mention the historic and long list of public digs at his players.

Mourinho is anything but an undisputed king of all he surveys.

So this time, if you were to have a wager on the winner, there would be as many bets on the player as the boss.

And Pogba is well aware of that fact — now, just as he was in the bowels of Old Trafford on Friday evening.

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