Gary Neville gives his verdict on Jose Mourinho and the Man United boss will not like what he has to say
Gary Neville believes Jose Mourinho is using the furore he has created around his exiled full-back Luke Shaw to deflect attention away from a disappointing season for Manchester United.
Mourinho has come under fire after he substituted full-back Shaw at half-time in last Saturday’s FA Cup game against Brighton and was then highly critical of him in his post match press conference, with some observers suggesting his treatment of the defender is tantamount to bullying.
The United boss has also been criticised for failing to get the best out of high profile signings Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez and former United defender Neville believes Mourinho’s outspoken comments in press conferences are designed to deflect attention away from his own failings.
“What I would say about Shaw is that the talent and ability are there, but his job as a footballer is to be prepared to perform every day and do every single thing in his life well to be a United player,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“At the moment, his potential is not being recognised. I've got a great belief in Luke Shaw and the reality is it would be a great shame if he leaves United without fulfilling his potential.
“I can't help feeling the whole Luke Shaw issue is a distraction from the critical aspect of the season. United spent a lot of money and the aspiration was to win the Premier League and go as far as they could in the Champions League and obviously neither have happened.
“The issue for me isn't the individuals - whether Shaw, Paul Pogba or Alexis Sanchez are under performing - but that the team aren't very consistent, which over the course of Mourinho's career his teams have always been.
“The reality of it is the only thing that will shut people up when you're at Manchester United is winning matches and trophies - everything else is irrelevant.
“It is okay pointing towards pundits, fans or referees, but the only people who can make that pressure go away are those at the club getting results.
“The FA Cup will really help the club this season. If you'd have asked me at the start of the season whether second place and the FA Cup would be a successful season I would have said no, because the league had to be the priority.”
Neville went on to back Pogba to defy his doubters and make a success of his second spell at United, despite being dropped from Mourinho’s starting line-up in recent weeks.
“Paul Pogba has got the character and personality to play for United, there's no doubt about that,” he added. “He's played in the biggest matches in Europe at a huge club in Juventus.
“What he has got to do is perform consistently. Some will say it is down to the position he plays, while some will say it is his lack of concentration and focus.
“It is never a matter of a black and white in the sense that there's always a player's reason and always a manager's reason, but as I look at it he needs to play with higher levels of concentration.”