It has looked at times like one of the most awkward relationships in Premier League football.
As is typical of the man, Jose Mourinho has not held back in his criticism of Luke Shaw and his most recent statement on the matter seemed nothing short of brutal when he said:
“It’s difficult for Shaw to be on the bench because I cannot compare him with Ashley Young, with Darmian, with Blind. I cannot compare the way he trains, the way he way he commits, the focus, the ambition. I cannot compare. He is a long way behind.”
Shaw looks fragile and vulnerable at times. His massive transfer fee (£27m rising to £31m) made him the most expensive teenager in world football and he hasn’t really shown what he can do on a regular basis at Old Trafford.
TFF wondered whether Mourinho would have been better putting an arm around the player rather than dealing with him in the way that he has.
But perhaps the game against Everton was the turning point for the youngster.
It looked as if Anthony Martial was coning on but, at the last second, Mourinho turned to Shaw – more mind games perhaps – and gave him the job of piercing the opposition defence.
And it worked a treat. Shaw is obviously a bit rusty having played so few minutes this season. But he quickly got into the groove to demonstrate his quality and pace.
He injected speed and penetration in the left flank and it was his right footed shot which drew the penalty in the third minute of injury time – a penalty which preserved Manchester United’s five month unbeaten run in the league, on an otherwise frustrating night at Old Trafford.
After the game Jose said of Shaw:
“We need his fantastic physical and technical qualities but he cannot play with my brain,”
“He must accelerate the process. Twenty-one is old enough to have a better understanding. He has a future here but Manchester United cannot wait.”
TFF reckons that, with the team looking tired having played so many games, that Shaw will now be given the opportunity to impress. He has amazing talent and it would be a crime if he didn’t reach his potential at Manchester United.
So perhaps this is yet another piece of man-management mastery from Jose Mourinho.