EPL 2016-17: Jose Mourinho slammed by PFA chief over public criticism of Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling
Despite a 3-1 win over Swansea City, Jose Mourinho was in the news for all the wrong reasons again as he indirectly yet publicly criticized Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling for missing the game due to respective injuries. The Portuguese was miffed as a result of the duo's absence, though his United team cruised to a win at the Liberty Stadium thanks to a stunner from Paul Pogba and a brace from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Mourinho's decision to go public against his players has been criticised by the PFA chief, Gordon Taylor who took the side of the players in this case.
As a result of injuries to Smalling and Shaw, coupled with the existing injuries to Eric Bailly and Antonio Valencia, Mourinho had to field a makeshift back four against the Swans which featured Ashley Young at left back, Matteo Darmian at right back and a start for Phil Jones who made his first league start since January.
Mourinho in an interview with MUTV before the game revealed that the duo informed him about their lack of fitness as the Portuguese commented that the players must be ready to put their bodies on the line for the club.
Taylor was unimpressed by Mourinho's decision to go public against his players as he believes that this may have dangerous consequences on the players. He said, "I was disappointed by that because, knowing the individuals, they are both highly thought of." The PFA chief was speaking at the VSI Sporting Director's governance dinner where he took some shots on the United manager.
He continued, "They've got personal problems which I don't need to relay, but sometimes a manager needs to be a psychologist as well, and also to be a counsellor because you can't treat everybody in the team the same, every manager must know that. Every player in a team is different.
“When you see what happened with Welsh football and Gary Speed, that brings it home to you that somebody can look on top of the world, with no problems, but in reality, it's quite different and that's why we have a 24-hour counselling service.”
Taylor stressed on the fact that a player's psychology has to be kept in mind by the managers. He said, "We get some 200 calls a year to those lines because a player could be out of the team, he could be injured. It's a short-term career and we're all human beings."
Mourinho's reign at United has not gone on like he would have hoped for as the Red Devils sit in the seventh spot, eight points behind leaders and bitter rivals, Liverpool. He was also suspended from touchline duties for the game against Swansea because of a feud inside in the tunnel during halftime against Burnley and was sent to the stands by referee Mark Clattenburg in that game.
He was also fined £8,000 for his antics in the game against Burnley and had earlier received a fine of £50,000 for his comments on referee Anthony Taylor before the game against Liverpool.