There is a reason why Eden Hazard claimed that Jose Mourinho starts criticizing his own players when things don’t go how he wants them to. He has done it at Real Madrid and then at Chelsea and now at Manchester United.
Here are 5 times he has criticized his own players openly this season…
#5 Phil Jones
Being a defender, Phil Jones can never really be expected to score from the spot. Mourinho, too, knew that United were in trouble when he was going up to take the penalty against Derby County in the Carabao Cup.
“When I saw [the penalties] going after the sixth, seventh [takers], I knew that we were going to be in trouble with Jones,” he said.
Maybe – and this might sound ridiculous to Mourinho – just maybe, the game should perhaps not gone that far against a Championship side for Phil Jones to take a penalty in the shootout?
#4 The ‘youngsters’
Manchester United youngsters Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard came under the passive aggressive wrath of Jose Mourinho during the early weeks of the season.
He claimed that they lacked “character” and “personality” that the Portuguese required of them. Perhaps if the attacking players had been dug deep in their own half and defended instead of doing what they do best, Mourinho would have been as happy as a kid with a candy.
“They’re lacking maturity,” he told Univision, a US Spanish-language TV channel. “For example, Luke Shaw. When I got here two years ago, the boy didn’t even know how to compete. Great potential, yes, but he doesn’t know how to compete. And when we talk about Luke Shaw, about Martial, about Lingard, about Marcus Rashford, we’re talking about boys with great potential but who still are lacking – a word I can’t say but you like to say a lot – having that [courage]. They’re lacking a bit of this.”
Were his exact words.
The absurdity of Mourinho’s words here properly reflects the point I tried to make previously. The Portuguese was the one who sanctioned the purchase of the Brazilian, who also attracted Manchester City’s interested. However, he recently seemed to suggest that Fred didn’t have the defensive qualities which he was looking for and took a cheeky dig at his own player.
According to the former Real Madrid manager, Fred needs defensively strong players around him to be at his best. This, however, is just another way of Mourinho subtly insinuating his other players to be more defensively-inclined.
“I think Fred when the team is defensively stronger and doesn’t need in midfield people that are more worried in giving some balance to the team than being involved in creation and attacking dynamic, the day we are stronger defensively I think the horizons for Fred change completely.”
#2 David De Gea
David De Gea is someone who literally saves Manchester United every week. He has been their best player for a long time now but Mourinho didn’t spare even him with his words.
Against Young Boys in the Champions League, the Spaniard made a superb quick-reflex save and Mourinho praised him for it but also stated that he would have done just as a good a job in goal against Young Boys.
“I think David performance [against Young Boys] you have to say for 92 minutes, to be David there or myself would be the same.
“I can kick as well as him and zero saves, zero shots, to be David or myself would be the same.”
#1 Paul Pogba
Who else did you expect here? Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba might never work again after they part ways. The Portuguese has been vocally critical of him and actually had somewhat of a bust-up in the training ground a few weeks ago.
At the beginning of the season, Mourinho made Pogba the vice-captain of the club but soon changed his decision and then stated that “no player is bigger than the club.”
But perhaps the manager is, eh Jose?