Much has been made of Jose Mourinho’s public criticisms of this players this season. When he has questioned the positioning or mentality of a Manchester United player on camera some have suggested that it smacks of his meltdowns at Real Madrid and Chelsea.
TFF believes that players are too wrapped in cotton wool these days. They have the best jobs in the world and they should be able to deal with a bit of criticism considering their ridiculous levels of compensation.
But we do wonder whether this is the beginning of the end for Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling. Jose Mourinho’s chagrin was thinly veiled when he said after the Swansea game:
“Smalling doesn’t feel that he can play 100% with his pain. Shaw told me this morning that he was not able to play.”
“For the team, you have to do anything.”
“There is a difference between the brave, who want to play at any cost, and the ones for whom a little pain can make a difference,”
“If I were to speak with the many great football people of this team, they will say they played many times without being 100%.
“We have players on the pitch with problems. In every sport, how many times do you play and you’re not 100%?
“It is not just the players, but the people that surround the players,”
“Yes, it takes time, but with the help of people like Phil Jones, who was playing without having even trained, Ashley Young and Wayne Rooney – with these people it will not be an impossible mission but a possible mission.”
There is no doubt that Jose is a volcanic character and one who is drawn to dispute. But, for 95% of his career his methods have reaped rewards – he remains the most successful coach in the game over the last 15 years, in terms of trophies won.
It would be a huge shame if Shaw were to leave the club. At 21 he looks a bit heavy right now but he still has the potential to be one of the very best with his speed, dribbling ability and lovely left foot.
As for Smalling, Louis van Gaal got the best out of him last season and he’s a decent athlete. But we have always questioned his ability with the ball at his feet. If Manchester United want to get back to the top perhaps they should be trying to find the next Rio Ferdinand to play alongside Eric Bailly. Because Smalling still looks woefully inadequate at times, when in tight situations.
Jose struggles to keep his emotions in check at times but Manchester United need their fire and passion restored and TFF still believes that Jose is the man to do it.
With the next international break out of the way club football fans have four months of unbroken football to look forward to and perhaps then we shall start to see Manchester United roar again.