Jose Mourinho reportedly made a passionate team-talk ahead of Manchester United’s game against Swansea on Sunday after being moved by the fans’ loyalty towards him and his team.
Mourinho’s public criticism of Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling after the Red Devils’ 3-1 win over Swansea attracted the condemnation of many. However, there seems to be worse in store for the duo as Mourinho is ready to wield the axe on those not committed to the club cause.
The Portuguese manager had issued what is describe as ‘a rallying call’ to the team ahead of the match against Swansea City, according to the Guardian. The Red Devils responded with an impressive 3-1 victory to exorcise the demons of the mid-week loss to Fenerbahce in the Europa League.
Much has been made of Mourinho’s comments about his players after the game. While the Portuguese praised the trio of Wayne Rooney, Phil Jones and Ashley Young, he stated that Smalling and Shaw should be ready to give more for the team. The pair were late exclusions from his starting lineup after they intimated to the Portuguese that they were not fully fit.
Mourinho has been deeply affected by the faith that the Old Tafford faithful have shown in him. He is now putting in added hours at the training ground to assess who will remain a part of his long term plans at the club, according to the Guardian’s report.
The 53-year-old has set up Zlatan Ibrahimovic as a role model in the dressing room. The Swede volunteered to play against Northampton in the League Cup despite Mourinho wanting to rest him, displaying the kind of attitude that Mourinho wants to instil in all of his players.
According to reports after the Red Devils’ defeat to Fenerbahce, there are as many as eight players who will be allowed to move on in the course of the next two transfer windows. The players named did not include Smalling and Shaw, but did include Phil Jones and Ashley Young, which seems contradictory to the Portuguese manager’s comments this weekend.
The future of Smalling and Shaw now appears to be in doubt after Mourinho’s public dressing down. The latter’s relationship with Jose has been under scrutiny since the Manchester United manager publicly criticised him for a costly mistake during their 3-1 loss to Watford.
Chris Smalling has also been called into question after his reluctance to participate in the game against the Swans. However, the centre-back has been one of the most dependable players in the squad over the past couple of seasons and this will surely be on the back of Mourinho’s mind when he makes a decision regarding the Englishman’s place in his first-team plans for the future.