Jose Mourinho’s tenure at Old Trafford was all going swimmingly until the Manchester derby.
The Portuguese coach suffered his first competitive defeat in charge of the Red Devils and pinned the blame on ‘two or three’ of his players in his post-match interview.
Mourinho then endured a second consecutive defeat last Thursday, against Feyenoord in the Europa League, and that was followed up by Sunday’s embarrassing 3-1 Premier League loss to Watford at Vicarage Road.
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After suffering a third successive loss, Mourinho raised eyebrows by publicly digging out United’s left-back Luke Shaw.
“And here for the second goal, [Nordin] Amrabat receives the ball and our left-back is 25 metres from him instead of five metres. But even at 25 metres, you have to jump and go and press, but no, we wait,” Mourinho told reporters, per the Mirror. “This is a tactical but also a mental attitude. It’s something that doesn’t become perfect in a couple of weeks.”
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United fans weren’t impressed with the way Mourinho pointed the finger at one of his players - particularly as it wasn’t the team’s underperforming captain Wayne Rooney - and voiced their feelings on social media.
United players 'shocked' by Mourinho's treatment of Shaw
And it seems that some of Shaw’s teammates also believe their manager’s comments were harsh and unnecessary.
According to The Times, the reason why Shaw failed to close down Amrabat was because he had suffered a recurrence of a long-standing groin injury and was playing through the pain barrier at the time.
The 21-year-old was playing with a restricted physical capacity and, as a result, couldn’t get out quick enough to close down the Watford winger.
Mourinho failed to mention Shaw’s physical problem during his post-match interview or press conference and the player’s teammates are understood to be shocked by the former Chelsea manager’s treatment of the England international.
Shaw still working his way back to top form
Shaw spent almost the entire 2015-16 campaign on the sidelines, nursing a severely broken leg sustained in a Champions League match against PSV Eindhoven, and is still working his way back to top form.
The defender was substituted by Mourinho two minutes after the Hornets’ second goal and, it seems, is now a doubt for Wednesday’s EFL cup match against Northampton at Sixfields.
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