I HAVE always rated Jose Mourinho as a top manager and coach – and an inspirational motivator. Not so sure now.
Not for the first time this season – and probably not the last – he’s had a public pop at his players. What goes on in the dressing room, stays in the dressing room.
That’s the general rule, but apparently not according to the law of Jose.
The Manchester United blamed his side’s ‘sloppy’ forward players after Anderlecht grabbed a late equaliser in the ‘ Europa League quarter-final first leg.
United led 1-0 in Belgium until the 86th minute, when the Belgian side levelled with their first effort on target.
Still not a bad result from an away tie in Europe, but it didn’t stop Mourinho venting his anger. Ever the perfectionist; or ever the critical? The jury is out on that one.
He didn’t single out a particular individual this time – not even Luke Shaw! – but he did lay into his attacking players en-bloc.
As quoted on the BBC Sport website – http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39597077 – he said after the 1-1 draw United dominated: “If I was a Manchester United defender, I would be very upset with the attacking players.
“They did the serious work. The people who had to kill the game didn’t.”
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, United’s best player of late, scored in the 36th minute and despite having another 15 efforts on goal, the Red Devils failed to put the tie to bed. Hence Jose’s frustration.
Mourinho added: “It is the same problem. We had control, we had chances, but we do not score enough goals.
“In my poor English, I cannot find a better word than sloppy. You have to play more seriously.
“Put the performance of two or three of our attacking players together and you squeeze not much juice out of it. Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Anthony Martial – they were very similar.”