Monday 18 December 2017

'It was his body with my brain - I made every decision for him' - Jose Mourinho's latest criticism of Luke Shaw

Manchester United's Luke Shaw and Henrikh Mkhitaryan wait to come on as substitutes as manager Jose Mourinho looks on last night
Manchester United's Luke Shaw and Henrikh Mkhitaryan wait to come on as substitutes as manager Jose Mourinho looks on last night
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Jose Mourinho has continued his damning assessment of Luke Shaw, claiming that the full-back's impressive substitute performance in the 1-1 draw against Everton on Tuesday night was "his body with my brain".

The United manager offered a harsh indictment of the left-back’s attitude and application last week, insisting he was a "long way behind" Ashley Young, Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian in the pecking order.

Shaw was recalled to the squad for the Premier League match against Everton, coming off the bench in the second half with United trailing and forcing an injury-time penalty that Zlatan Ibrahimovic slotted home to earn a share of the points.

"He [Shaw] had a good performance but it was his body with my brain," said Mourinho. "He was in front of me and I was making every decision for him.

"The communication was possible because we were very close. I was thinking for him, when to close inside, when to open, when to press the opponent, I was making every decision for him."

Shaw, a highly rated teenager when he joined United at the start of 2014-15 season, was making just his 16th appearance of the season after dropping down the pecking order under the Portuguese manager.

Mourinho said he wanted Shaw to accelerate his learning process to fulfil his potential at the club.

"At this level we need the fantastic body he has to play football, the very good technical ability he has, but he cannot play with my understanding of the game," said Mourinho.

"He must accelerate the process because he is 21 years old and that is old enough to have a better understanding of the game."

When asked about the former Southampton defender last weekend, Mourinho had not disguised the fact that their relationship was at an all-time low.

"Luke Shaw? It was difficult for him to be on the bench because I cannot compare him with Ashley Young, with Darmian, with Blind," Mourinho said.

"The way he trains, the way he commits, the focus, the ambition, I cannot compare. He’s a long way behind."

United are currently on a 20-game unbeaten run in the Premier League and visit basement club Sunderland on Sunday.

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