'He didn't know how to compete' - Jose Mourinho accuses four Man United stars of lacking 'character'
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes Luke Shaw, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are lacking in maturity, in comments that are certain to spark a huge reaction ahead of the return of the Premier League this weekend.
In an interview with Univision that has been widely reported in the UK media, Mourinho offered up quotes that are certain to cause a stir in his dressing room, with Match of the Day host Gary Lineker describing these comments from the United manager as 'a disgrace', if they were genuine.
If these quotes are genuine then they’re a disgrace. https://t.co/or5wp3WLT9— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) November 23, 2018
"They are lacking maturity. Maturity that when you played, I think the youngsters… look at your situation, at my situation," he said.
"I wasn’t a player, obviously, but when I say maturity I mean on a personal level. We were more like men. We were more mature. We were more prepared for life. Let’s say it like that. We were less protected.
"In English they call it ‘spoilt’, ‘spoilt kids’. Our kids are more spoilt than we were by our parents. We are more mature, we are better prepared. For young people now, it’s a different life on a social level compared to ours.
"Today plays also in their surroundings, they have a word that was used a lot in Barcelona, entorno [environment] that they use in a more global, holistic sense in relation to the club. When I use the word I use it more in relation to a personal environment. To the people who surround the players, who protect them too much, who give them – in my opinion – too much care, too many excuses. There’s always an excuse for everything.
"People are maturing more slowly. For example, the young lad Luke Shaw, who is the left-back of the national team, who arrived there [at United] two years before me. He didn’t know how to compete. He had great potential, yes, but he didn’t know how to compete.
"When we talk about Luke Shaw, [Anthony] Martial, [Jesse] Lingard, Marcus Rashford, we’re talking about young lads but who also are still missing a word that I can’t use but you like to use. They are missing a bit of that.
"Character, personality, as they say in Spain as well, bad blood, that natural aggression that you had."
These comments follow up claims from Mourinho's former assistant Rui Faria suggesting the United manager was struggling to adapt to the modern dressing room culture that does not respond well to his brand of discipline, with the now departed Ireland management team of Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane also accused of 'old school' management tactics that were not appreciated by their players in recent months.
However, United striker Romelu Lukaku has a different view of Mourinho's abrasive approach, as he believes his team-mates should be willing o accept criticism from a coach who has achieved so much in the game.
"I think he has a good relationship with the players," Lukaku told Bleacher Report. "I don't really pay attention to what his relationship is with the other players, to be honest. I don't think it's something that should affect me.
"If he has an argument with somebody I mean, deal with it, man. You're a grown-a*** man, deal with it."