Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho singled out left-back Luke Shaw for criticism in his post-match interview after the 3-1 loss against Watford. Reports suggest that the United dressing room was left 'shocked' by Mourinho's decision to criticize a player who is struggling with a groin injury.
“I knew I had a task. But the first Man City goal [during the 2-1 defeat last weekend] and this second goal, you can find incredible similarity.
“[Aleksandar] Kolarov has the ball in a difficult situation in the corner and my player instead of going up and pressing decides to give him space. Today for the second goal, [Nordin] Amrabat on the right side, our left back is 25 metres distance from him, instead of five metres.
“But even at 25 metres, then you have to jump and go press. But no, we wait. This is a tactical but also a mental attitude. In a couple of weeks, everything like this becomes perfect. That's my job,” Mourinho said after the match at Vicarage Road, reported ESPN.
Left-back Luke Shaw is expected to undergo a scan on a recurrent groin injury, and the 21-year-old has reportedly been playing through the pain barrier for United against Watford. But that did not garner any sympathy from the Portuguese manager, who is under pressure after suffering three consecutive defeats in a single week for the first time since managing Porto in 2002.
On Sunday, Marcus Rashford canceled out Etienne Capoue's opener in the 62nd minute. However, Watford took the lead once again in the 83rd minute through Juan Zuniga, and Shaw was substituted by Mourinho just two minutes after that goal was conceded. The cameras caught Shaw and Mourinho exchanging strong words on the bench after the incident.
According to reports in the English media, Manchester United players have been left in “shock” by Mourinho's treatment of Shaw, who was doing a job for the club despite struggling with an injury.
Meanwhile, former Manchester United manager Ron Atkinson has urged Mourinho to avoid instilling the “us against the world” mentality at Old Trafford, something which the Portuguese manager has done at all his previous clubs.
"I have never been a huge fan of this siege mentality he brings to his clubs.
"There's nothing wrong with being fiercely protective of your players, but that doesn't mean you have to antagonise everybody else.
"I don't think that approach would work at Manchester United because it can lead to the club becoming claustrophobic,” Atkinson said, reported Goal.com.