·5 December 2023
·5 December 2023
Former Manchester United and Chelsea ace Nemanja Matic has pinpointed both Paul Pogba and Jadon Sancho from his Old Trafford days as players who persistently angered the rest of the squad with their poor punctuality, which eventually led to the midfielder forming an 'internal disciplinary committee' in hopes of alleviating the problems.
The Serbian midfielder made his career-most appearances for the Red Devils after arriving in a deal worth £40m back in 2017 during José Mourinho’s stewardship - a manager he later returned to play under at AS Roma. A 48-cap Serbia international, he played 189 times in the fabled red of United and notched four goals and 11 assists in that sequence as one of the more senior assets.
Matic also worked under the watchful eye of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick before parting ways with the club for free at the end of the 2021/22 campaign. He also spent three years of his career in west London playing for Chelsea and became one of the most underrated midfielders of the Premier League era.
A mere 18 months since his departure and he revealed that both Pogba and Sancho were the two usual culprits that would often tip up to the training ground late, which, in turn, spread annoyance around the rest of their teammates.
Now 35 and plying his trade for French side Stade Rennais, Matic has recently revealed the ill-disciplined nature of the United players, claiming that a whopping total of £75,000 was racked up in fines during one season in particular.
In an interview with YU Planet, the former Roma man claims that he took matters into his own hands and was the spearhead of an ‘internal disciplinary committee’ during his five-season stay at Old Trafford as he looked to iron out the flailing standards away from the pitch.
“At Chelsea, players acted professionally, they were punctual and were never late for training, but at United, it happened almost every day. Among the players who would always be late were Paul Pogba and Jadon Sancho and a couple of other players,"
The midfielder highlighted the chasm in professionalism between the Greater Manchester outfit and Chelsea, suggesting that the latter were ‘punctual’ and that they acted to a professional standard on a day-to-day basis.
“The rest of us who were always on time were angry, so we decided to form a kind of an internal disciplinary committee with me serving as its president. “I put a sheet of paper up on the wall where I documented the names of individuals arriving late. During one particular season we collected around £75,000 in fines. We had planned to use the money to throw a party in London, but we didn’t due to the COVID-19 outbreak.”
While Pogba has now moved on from the club, Sancho’s poor behind-the-scenes demeanour continues to be a hindrance to his progression at the club, with Erik ten Hag even setting his schedule at least one hour earlier to avoid him turning up late.
The former Borussia Dortmund star remains exiled by the Dutchman, while unable to use any first team facilities, after claiming he was a ‘scapegoat’ in a belatedly deleted post on X (formerly Twitter). His days in Manchester now seem numbered with neither party rushing to sweep things under the carpet.