The roller coaster relationship between Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and defender Luke Shaw continued in a 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion. The victory secured a place in the FA Cup semifinals for United, but Mourinho completely slammed most of his own team on multiple levels after the game nonetheless.
Only midfielder Nemanja Matic was spared from heavy criticism, as Mourinho lit into his team, saying they lacked class, personality and desire. Today saw Luke Shaw make his first start since since the last FA Cup win, a clean sheet victory over Huddersfield Town last month.
However, Mourinho took Shaw off at half-time and it was extremely clear that the Red Devils boss was not happy at all with the young Englishman’s performance.
“It is my decision.My reason behind it is that we work on the pitch with certain kinds of movements, where, for me, it was really important for the two full-backs to be aggressive and to be always in front, to create space for Matic and Scott to play in front of the two central defenders,” Mourinho said, “and I didn’t have that with Luke and Antonio Valencia, with both of them.”
Mourinho went on to say that Shaw more ineffective than Valencia.
“I had to change one of them and I chose Luke because at least Antonio defensively was capable of some good positionings,” he continued.
“Luke in the first half every time they went in his corridor, the cross was coming and a dangerous situation was coming. So I was not happy with the performance.”
This is far from the first time that Mourinho has publicly thrown Luke Shaw under the bus, but in recent months it was thought that things had changed, and for the better. Shaw, whose career at United has been extremely up-and-down to say the least, had seem to have regained his groove.
This benching and callout is certainly a step back.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.
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