Manchester United: failing Mourinho uses Luke Shaw as his ‘punchbag’
Jose Mourinho might be every bit as irritating, self-serving and sly to his Manchester United team as he appears to most football fans. On Monday, before Manchester United drew 1-1 with Everton, Mourinho was using Luke Shaw as a cautionary tale to the rest of his squad.
“It’s difficult for him [Luke Shaw] to be on the bench,” said Mourinho. “Because I cannot compare him with Ashley Young, or with Matteo Darmian, or with Daley Blind. I cannot compare the way he trains, the way he commits, the focus, the ambition. I cannot compare. He is a long way behind.”
Or to put it another way, they are a long way ahead in the contest to be United’s left back. So all eyes were on Shaw where he played in the Everton match, coming on as replacement for Ashley Young with 25 minutes to go and United trailing. “He had a good performance,” said Mourinho,” but it was his body with my brain. He was in front of me and I was making every decision for him. He was in front of me and I was making every decision for him. He has to change his football brain.”
Is this kind of public humiliation going to help Shaw improve? Is yet another verbal attack going to help a talented but rusty player striving for form and confidence after the trauma of a double leg break two seasons ago? The feeling is that Shaw has become Mourinho’s “punchbag”, as TV pundit Trevor Sinclair put it. The feeling’s right. It’s ugly.