'Coaches need protecting!' - Mourinho hits out at player power amid Pogba rift claims

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The manager claims a different club structure is required at Man Utd from the days of Sir Alex Ferguson to handle the current generation of players

Jose Mourinho believes today's coaches need to have a club structure that will ease their burden in dealing with this current generation of players, who are different than their predecessors. 

The Portuguese manager was sacked after two and a half seasons at Manchester United with the club floundering in their top-four challenge.

Mourinho’s tenure at Old Trafford saw him engage in public clashes with his charges, with the most notable involving Paul Pogba.

The manager resorted to dropping Pogba in the final weeks of his time at the club – the midfielder did not feature at all in the 3-1 loss to Liverpool, which was Mourinho’s final game.

And speaking as an analyst on beIN Sports , Mourinho explained that the game has changed where it can no longer just fall on a singular manager figure to handle all discipline with the club’s players.

“Nowadays, a coach needs a structure and the support of clubs to manage his staff,” Mourinho said. “It is increasingly difficult to have direct relationships with players.

“Each club must have a representative who communicates with the players, like that it will be more organised. The coach should just train, not the one who preserves the discipline.”

The Red Devils are reportedly keen to bring in a sporting director or director of football in the aftermath of Mourinho's sacking.

And the Portuguese believes that a clear hierarchy at the club is required in order to handle a more modern generation of players who hold a greater sway than the previous.

“The club without the structure, which creates a situation where the player is not anymore in a situation of a direct relation with the manager, but instead a relation with the structure,” Mourinho added.

“A club must have an owner or president, a CEO or director executive, a sports director or football director, and then the manager. And this is a structure that can cope with all the modernity that football brings us.

“For me the club must be very well organised to cope with these type of situations. Where the manager is only the manager and not the man that is trying keep the discipline and trying to get the players.”

Mourinho spoke on the notion of player power growing, and thinks that the days of Sir Alex Ferguson’s mantra of "club before the player" has gone by the wayside.

“Ferguson said after Beckham's departure that the day when a player becomes more important than the club, he must be sold,” Mourinho said. “Today, that no longer exists. There is no longer this balance.

"I repeat it needs a structure to protect the coach, because it's not for the coach to preserve the order and the discipline.”

Anthony Martial Paul Pogba Manchester United 2018-19

However, the manager also made certain to point out that his development does not make the current crop of players better or worse than the older generation.

He believes it is just different – and does not think it extends to just footballers, but everyone in the younger generation.

“Everything I was saying – it was not like ‘your generation was perfect and the new generation is not perfect,’” Mourinho added. “It’s just the way it is.

“When I was a kid, if my father told me to go buy a newspaper, I go immediately and the only thing I ask him is if I can keep the change.

“If today, I tell my son to go and buy the newspaper, he tells me, ‘why?’”

“It’s a generational change and I don’t think it’s fair to say one was good and that those professionals were all top and the next generation are all bad boys with a difficult situation to manage. It is not true at all.

“You have to share the leadership. It can no longer be unidirectional. You need the structure.

“And when I was speaking before, I was not speaking about my experience with Manchester United, at all. I’m speaking in general.”

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However, despite the negative moments that have been the focus around Mourinho this season, the manager noted that he still has a good relationship with many of his former player – though he thinks that is less popular to cover.

“Today, Wesley Sneijder came here (at Doha) to greet me,” Mourinho said. “But this is not the kind of news we love!"

“We only like bad news and polemics. This is what we put forward above all else. We don't emphasize the good relations between players and coaches.”