Jose Mourinho hasn’t had the best time in Manchester and his ‘tough love’ treatment to the likes of Juan Mata, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Anthony Martial, Mkhitaryan and Luke Shaw has surprised many Manchester United fans.
It’s surprising that none of these players have used their “Player Power” to force a move away or at least speak out against Mourinho, so maybe there is a lot going on behind the scenes that we don’t know.
Many who understand Luke Shaw’s potential and don’t understand what he has done wrong can only speculate and go by what Mourinho is saying.
Once seen as England’s next apprentice at left-back
Luke Shaw was seen as the future England left back for the next 10 years when he moved from Southampton to Manchester United at 19 years old.
Unfortunately for Luke, injuries have hit him quite hard and England and Manchester United have had to move on with Danny Rose and in Manchester, Luke is the only natural left back but his place has been taken over between Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian.
Mourinho: “The only thing I can say is that Luke Shaw is working well. He doesn’t have any problem and he is fighting hard.”
Getting the Mourinho discipline
Jose also said the same about Martial and Mkhitaryan prior to Jose putting them back into the team.
José Mourinho: “Martial deserved the chance. He has worked harder than ever in the last two weeks in the way I like - silence but hard.”
And about Mkhitaryan he said, “Sometimes we don’t play players and we protect them. Mkhi was one of these cases, he was protected. He was adapting. Mkhi is playing really, really well. You see the magic he does on the pitch, but I also see other things I want to see.”
So clearly there is hope for Luke and it’s not like Jose isn’t a fan.
Prior to signing for United, Jose was very keen on bringing the young Englishman to Stamford Bridge but wage demands put the former Chelsea boss off.
“If we pay to a 19-year-old boy what we were being asked for, to sign Luke Shaw, we are dead,” he said. “We would have killed our stability with financial fair play and killed the stability in our dressing room.
And recently Mourinho said: “Luke Shaw has to work and wait. Against Watford I wanted one defender on the bench who can play in more than one position.”
This is understandable from Jose but a slight contradiction to the ‘I need specialists’ speech he made upon being his appointment as Manchester United boss, so to play two centre backs and a right back instead of the only natural left back in your team certainly indicates there is something Shaw isn’t showing Mourinho on the training pitch.
Needs to fight for his spot
So, the message for anyone in the Manchester United team that has been ‘frozen out’ is to keep fighting, train harder than ever, remain patient and take your chance when the opportunity arises.
We will have to wait and see if Luke gets back into the team and becomes a regular but if not, he won’t be short of suitors vying for his signature with Chelsea and Tottenham reportedly monitoring the situation.
Written by Jonathan Roberts
Follow Jonathan on Twitter @missingstuds
Check out his awesome football blog, Missing Studs Football
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