'He didn't have a good enough World Cup' - Jose Mourinho picks out the big weak link in the England team
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has claimed Raheem Sterling should not have retained his place in the England team after what he described as a 'poor' World Cup from the Manchester City winger.
Sterling was guilty of missing some clear-cut chances in front of goal, yet there was an campaign among some England fans to support the City star against what was perceived as a negative media campaign working against him.
Yet United manager Mourinho has now suggested the 23-year-old was lucky to hang on to his spot in Gareth Southgate's team, as he summed up England's World Cup efforts in an interview with Russia Today.
"I was a little bit surprised that Sterling was in the team," stated Mourinho told Russian "He didn't have a good enough World Cup to be chosen for a match ahead of (Jamie) Vardy, (Danny) Welbeck, (Marcus) Rashford – people with probably better condition from a physical and psychological point of view."
Mourinho also suggested Southgate should have given his back-up keeper Jack Butland and Nick Pope to play in one of England's group games, or their third place play-off match against Belgium on Saturday.
"I think for the second goalkeeper to feel I didn't even play in the third match of the group phase (against Belgium), in the match for the third or fourth position," he added. "He will say: when can I play? It is quite frustrating for Butland or Pope."
Mourinho comments may not go down well with his old rival Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, with Sterling certain to be keen to make his mark when he plays against Mourinho's United in the new Premier League season.