According to former Celtic player Andy Walker, Jose Mourinho is trying to force Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling out of Manchester United.
The comment comes in the aftermath of Mourinho’s typically bombastic outburst following the club’s 3-1 win over Swansea on Sunday.
Mourinho was quoted as saying that:
“Smalling doesn’t feel that he can play 100 per cent with his pain. Luke Shaw told me this morning that he was not in the condition to play so we had to build a defensive line.”
The comments were made in such a way so as to leave the viewer in little doubt. Mourinho was less than impressed with their attitude to pain and unwillingness to play through it.
The 53-year-old’s decision to publicly admonish players has raised eyebrows in recent years as it has appeared to become his first tactic rather than that of last resort. Lambasting players after a victory however, seems like a step too far even for Mourinho.
Walker believes there could be more weight to these criticisms in particular given the type of player the Portuguese manager is used to managing (via Sky Sports):
“Look at the players he’s used to working with. John Terry, [Frank] Lampard, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, you can tell these guys are playing through the pain barriers.
“I think what it does tell you is he cannot trust Luke Shaw, he cannot trust Chris Smalling. When a big game comes along they won’t be considered, because he’s clearly trying to get them out of the club I think.”
Luke Shaw’s form at Manchester United had been stellar up until his injury, while Chris Smalling was one of club’s most consistent performing players until his leg break at the start of last season.
Despite this, one gets the impression that once Mourinho has made up his mind about a player, he is not one for changing his opinion of them.
Colm Egan, Pundit Arena