Manchester United didn’t disappoint against Swansea despite being under pressure following another Europa League defeat.
Jose Mourinho watched the game from the stands, but his players didn’t let him down, Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring twice and Paul Pogba adding another with a superb strike.
Yet, it seems the United boss was still unhappy with two of his men after the game.
Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw both withdrew from the matchday squad of their own accord – Smalling carrying a knock, and Shaw feeling unwell.
That seems fair enough, except it didn’t wash with their manager. Never one to shy away from insulting his own players, particularly Shaw, who seems to have it in for, he launched a stunning attack on them in his post-match interview.
“We have players with problems but we have on the pitch players with problems,” he said, per the Mirror.
“I know in other sports – at the highest level – how many times you play and you are not 100 per cent.
“I have a friend who is a big tennis player and he remembers more the times he played with pain than the times he played without any pain.
“To compete you have to go to the limits. It’s a cultural thing for some. That is not my culture.”
It certainly raises an interesting debate about whether players should play through the pain, and United’s club doctors may well be put out by Mourinho’s comments.
The reality is, though, that the Red Devils are short at the back, with Antonio Valencia and Eric Bailly both out. Smalling and Shaw pulling out was the last thing Mourinho needed, but if he continues to alienate them, he’s hardly helping United’s chances.