Manchester United host Arsenal in their Premier League clash tonight knowing they need three points if they are to keep their slim chances of finishing in the top four alive.
But the players will step out at Old Trafford under the microscope following their 2-2 draw with Southampton on Saturday.
Manchester United are a fractured camp with Mourinho and Pogba’s feud worsening. After the Southampton draw, the United boss reportedly called the World Cup winner a ‘virus’ – with the player himself then ‘laughing it off’.
Express Sport will not look at the situation at Old Trafford and who is siding with who amid the current crisis.
Team Paul Pogba: The case
Football pundits and fans alike may despise Paul Pogba’s laid-back attitude – but the United star is still a hugely popular player on and off the pitch.
It is easy to see why. The World Cup winner is a bubbly character and, in an environment as hostile as football, that is welcome.
Pogba is also a poster boy for not just the club, but the sport in general. Back in September, he beat the likes of Steph Curry and Anthony Joshua to become the world’s most marketable athlete.
That, coupled with Pogba’s friendly approach to his team-mate and club staff, means several players are on his side.
Man Utd star Paul Pogba has a bad relationship with manager Jose Mourinho
Man Utd star Paul Pogba is a confident player around Old Trafford
Team Pogba: Who is backing the United star?
Eric Bailly, like Pogba, is also at war with Jose Mourinho. The United star has not made a single appearance since being hooked just 19 minutes into their 3-2 win over Newcastle in October.
The Ivory Coast international’s unhappiness with his manager means he is very much on Pogba’s side. The duo can often be seen sitting near each other on the team’s bus.
Fred has recently hit out at United boss Mourinho, blaming him for his failure to make the 55-year-old’s starting line-up on a regular basis.
He is another close to Pogba. But still, their manager is reluctant to pair them together in midfield.
Man Utd star Fred has barely featured under Jose Mourinho
Man Utd star Eric Bailly has been exiled by Jose Mourinho
Jesse Lingard is actually just part of a handful of players who have improved under Mourinho over at Old Trafford.
But his form has gone off the boil over the last few months and his friendship with Pogba may be why. The United star played alongside the France international for the club’s youth teams and have remained close ever since.
Mourinho has tried everything to motivate Marcus Rashford but the United striker’s body language does not look good. He appears irritable this season, a tetchy teenager.
And he is another in Pogba’s corner. Mourinho has done nothing but criticise him and play him out of position since replacing Louis van Gaal in 2016. Rashford has the maturity to give his all but it seems to be against his better judgement.
Team Jose Mourinho: The case
Footballers have it all. The money, the attention, the cars, the girls. They never get any of the flak.
And that bugs Mourinho, clearly. The United boss has spoken at length on how today’s players are ‘spoiled’ and ‘maturing slower’ than a few years ago.
What also annoys him is that he himself does not get the credit. Why would you sack a manager who has won every major honour possibly over the last 15 years or so?
He remains capable of charming his players, despite his sulky demeanour. Mourinho is a modern-day great and many should be excited to play under him. But not everybody is…
Man Utd boss Jose Mourinho remains a charming and charismatic figure
Team Jose Mourinho: Who is backing the United boss?
Romelu Lukaku may have recently been dropped by Mourinho, but he definitely still backs the United boss.
Speaking last month, the Belgium international insisted he would ‘run through walls’ his manager. If that isn’t a sign of commitment, then what is?
Nemanja Matic has been toiling recently but the United star is firmly behind his manager.
The Serbia international was hardened by Mourinho’s brutal treatment of him at Chelsea and is, therefore, aware of what his manager requires from him. Their relationship at United has, so far, been good.
Man Utd star Romelu Lukaku would do anything for Jose Mourinho
Man Utd star Marouane Fellaini feels indebted to Jose Mourinho
Hated, adored, never ignored. That’s Manchester United’s unofficial mantra but it could easily apply to Marouane Fellaini.
The United star is loved by Mourinho – and knows it. His decision to embrace his manager after his Champions League winner against Young Boys last week spoke volumes.
Scott McTominay has Mourinho to thank for his United career so far. Without the 55-year-old, the Scotland international could yet still be in the reserves.
So he is the final Mourinho loyalist at the club. And, as a result, do not be surprised if he starts tonight’s Arsenal showdown.
On the fence?
In the summer, Anthony Martial’s Manchester United career looked over. But, under Mourinho’s tutelage, he has regained his mojo. It is now unclear how he feels about his manager.
David De Gea
Reports have claimed David De Gea wants Mourinho to leave before signing a new United contract. But is that really the case? The Spaniard remains on good terms with his manager. And there has never been a single reported feud between them.
Luke Shaw was another player whose Manchester United career was uncertain in the summer. However, the England international has been a huge influence at Old Trafford this season. Did Mourinho’s brutal methods pay off? Or did they merely stagnate the talent that was already there?