Manchester United players were reportedly ‘shocked’ and ‘furious’ at Jose Mourinho’s treatment of Luke Shaw in the wake of the defeat at Watford.
Mourinho singled out left-back Shaw for criticism after the 3-1 loss – their third consecutive defeat of the season.
“Their second goal is a mistake that goes against our plan and our training, because our intention was for their wing-backs to be pressed and not let them progress,” said the manager.
“(Nordin) Amrabat receives the ball and our left-back (Shaw) is 25 metres from him instead of five. Even at 25 you have to jump and go and press but no, we wait.
“This is a tactical but also a mental attitude.”
According to both The Sun and The Times, Shaw and his teammates have been left ‘furious’ by their manager’s comments.
Matt Hughes of The Times reports that Shaw ‘is unhappy at being publicly criticised’. It has since been revealed that the 21-year-old had picked up a groin injury during the game, one which possibly restricted him from carrying out his defensive duties. This, Hughes writes, has merely added to his ‘frustration’.
It is also claimed that ‘many of Shaw’s teammates were shocked by Mourinho’s public criticism of player who has suffered with physical and mental frailties’, something backed up by Neil Ashton of The Sun.
Ashton reports that ‘senior United stars were left shocked by the brutal verbal assault’ from their manager towards Shaw. He writes:
‘It was Mourinho’s treatment of Shaw that stunned the dressing room after his failure to get tight enough to Nordin Amrabat for Watford’s second goal. The England left-back was hauled off just two minutes after Juan Zuniga scored.
‘Mourinho openly questioned his attitude. And the Portuguese also warned his players they are playing for their places ahead of the January transfer window.’
“One United source” also told The Sun: “The mystique about Mourinho has gone — it just feels like another manager passing through. Fergie would never go public. He always kept it in-house.”