Less than two months into the season and Jose Mourinho is already stirring up controversy at Old Trafford. It hasn’t taken long for the Special One to get up to his usual antics.
This has been provoked by a sudden drop in form for Manchester United that was initiated by a home defeat in the Manchester derby. Three defeats in four games has seen morale frayed and Mourinho hasn’t held back.
While to many this would appear a questionable move, the Portuguese has openly criticised members of his squad. Surprisingly, Jamie Carragher of all people has in fact backed this decision.
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Dip in form
Everything was going so smoothly for Mourinho at Old Trafford. Scooping the Community Shield and bagging three consecutive wins in the league proves an undoubtedly good start.
Nevertheless, as soon as Pep Guardiola brought his side to the Theatre of Dreams, proceedings have taken a turn for the worse. In a game run by Kevin de Bruyne, Mourinho suffered the embarrassment of derby defeat.
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Feyenoord rubbed salt in the wound with victory over the Red Devils in the Europa League and Watford fired three past Mourinho’s men days later.
The 20-time league champions may have stopped the rot in mid-week, but in far from convincing fashion. A 3-1 win away to Northampton came in a sheepish manner at best and could easily have proven an unprecedented shock.
Mourinho’s reaction to these losses has been, well, to speak his mind. Few players have been void of criticism amid the side’s current run and its divided opinions.
Carragher though has in fact backed Mourinho and is of the opinion that managers should hit out at players more. The ex-Liverpool man thinks that some coaches protect their squad members far too much.
Writing for the Daily Mail, Carragher stated: “Mourinho was right in his assessment of the goal that led Manchester United to lose at Watford. I’m not condoning this happening every week but there is nothing wrong if a manager publicly criticises someone now and again to get a reaction.
“Yet Vicarage Road presented a problem for Mourinho, one that showed how football has become a game of double standards.
“Managers aren’t allowed to say anything bad about players now, not even if their criticism is valid, in case they get upset.
“I couldn’t believe someone chose to inform a newspaper on Shaw’s behalf that England’s left back was unhappy at the way Mourinho spoke about him. I was equally amazed to read a report that other players were ‘shocked’ by some of his words behind closed doors.”
It’s apparent that the 53-year-old has something of a fan in the Sky Sports pundit. Despite the unrest already brewing at United, Carragher doesn’t believe the Special One is the man at fault.
Regardless of the Liverpudlian’s comments though, it’s unlikely that Mourinho will be applying any filters to his interviews any time soon.
Do you think Jose Mourinho is right to publicly criticise his own players? Have YOUR say in the comment box below