Jose Mourinho hasn’t been afraid to publicly criticise his Manchester United since arriving at the club in 2016.
Other managers tend to keep such matters behind closed doors. But not Mourinho.
Nobody has received more criticism from the Portuguese coach than Luke Shaw, who has shown great resilience to knuckle down and turn his career at Old Trafford around.
Shaw has been arguably Man United’s best player this season. And his performances were rewarded when he signed a new five-year contract that pays around £160,000-per-week in October.
Yet, despite the turnaround, Mourinho just can’t keep Shaw’s name out of his mouth.
The 23-year-old was included as one of four Man United players that Mourinho said “are still missing something” in an interview last month.
Shaw, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were described by their manager as “young lads but who also are still missing a word that I can’t use but you like to use... Character, personality, as they say in Spain as well, bad blood, that natural aggression.”
Shaw responds to Mourinho
Shaw was asked about Mourinho’s comments when he spoke to the media ahead of Tuesday’s match against Young Boys.
His response was very professional.
"I kind of enjoyed it," Shaw said of Mourinho's rebukes. "It was a very big challenge for me with some of the things he’s said in the past, especially in the last year or two years.
"What he said the other day, that was more a generational thing, I don’t think it was really aimed as much at us as individuals.
“He’s talking about nowadays’ generation, as opposed to when he was a bit younger.
"You need a thick skin, of course, playing for the manager. But 100 per cent this club, it’s the biggest club in the world and we as players need to take what’s said on board and I keep saying it but we need to fight for the team, the manager and the fans and the club.”
A player with a weaker mentality might have downed tools, given the amount of criticism Shaw has received from Mourinho.
But the former Southampton defender has shown great maturity to turn it around and and establish himself as a key member of the squad.