The British media hey? There is no national press quite like them in the world.
No other nation seems to seek a negative story quite as quickly or with quite as much gusto and glee as the rags in England.
A case in point.
Jose Mourinho has been lambasted in some quarters for his public criticism of Luke Shaw for the youngster’s part in the defeat to Watford at the weekend.
For the record, the Manchester United manager said of Shaw:
“Our left-back is 25 metres away instead of five,” he said. “But give him 25 metres and you have to press. But no, we wait. It is a tactical but also mental attitude.”
Shaw hasn’t had it easy at Manchester United and the criticism may seem harsh. And the response from the media has been to once more focus on the methods of The Special One.
The Guardian remarked:
Manchester United are not concerned about José Mourinho’s outspoken manner despite reports that Luke Shaw is unhappy at the criticism his manager levelled at him after the defeat at Watford on Sunday.
The MEN said:
Jose Mourinho’s criticism of Luke Shaw after the Watford game has not gone down well with the Manchester United defender.
Manchester United players ‘shocked’ by Jose Mourinho’s criticism of Luke Shaw after groin injury
And The Daily Mail also focuses on potential disharmony:
Mourinho’s public criticism of his players over the last 10 days has not gone down well with some of his squad, although it’s understood he has been far more outspoken inside the dressing room.
As well as a ludicrous article likening him to fictitious loser Alan Partridge just because, like so many foreign players and managers, he’s currently living in a hotel:
Jose Mourinho follows in the footsteps of Alan Partridge as the Manchester United boss continues hotel living… but Pep Guardiola has settled in well
Meanwhile, just down the road, Everton manager Ronald Koeman was widely praised for his handling of the regularly frustrating Ross Barkley. The Everton midfielder has shown flashes of brilliance in his time at The Toffees but is often criticised for a lack of consistency and his tendency to give the ball away cheaply in dangerous positions. And last week, Koeman said:
“I spoke to him and he understood – we showed the clips and there was no escape.”
“Ross needs to understand his role in the team and needs to understand there are some parts of the pitch where you can’t lose balls.”
But this was generally regarded as a managerial masterstroke. Even the brilliant team at The Guardian Football Weekly Podcast with James Richardson, Barry Glendenning, Iain Macintosh and Michael Cox noted:
‘They’ve got a bastard as a manager and that’s what they needed.’
‘He’s already hung Barkley out to dry after his woeful first half against Sunderland and then of course put Barkley back in the team and low and behold Barkley’s much more careful with the ball.’
The Guardian also stated, in mildly congratulatory tones:
If a half-time substitution at Sunderland last Monday and repeated calls for improvement were Koeman’s way of testing Barkley’s mentality as well as ability, then his satisfaction with the 22-year-old’s reaction was justified.
Earlier in the same podcast the same team opined that:
‘Mourinho said after the game you know when he was blaming the referee and Luke Shaw and pretty much everyone except himself.’
‘He’s saying individuals are probably feeling too much pressure. I’m beginning to wonder if maybe he isn’t feeling the pressure.’
‘This may be the job that is a little too big for him.’
And football pundit Jamie Redknapp stated:
‘Maybe he was trying to get a reaction from Luke Shaw, but I think this sort of thing should always be kept in-house.
‘It’s only when things start going wrong that these comments start slipping out — it’s never Mourinho’s fault and he’s usually pretty quick to shift the blame on to someone else.’
Mourinho is usually the first to cry foul when it comes to the decisions of referees and the opinions of critics which may go against him when he actually has a good point to make. But TFF feels that there is a definite desire, among the British press, to see the Manchester United manager fail. How else can we read the total hypocrisy of praising one manager and crucifying another for precisely the same act?