AS Roma manager Jose Mourinho has praised Luke Shaw following his performance for England in the ongoing UEFA Euro 2020.
Writing in his column for The Times, former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has heaped praise on Luke Shaw only a few days after a scathing attack over the defender’s performance against the Czech Republic.
The Portuguese tactician, set to take charge of AS Roma next season, has hailed the left-back for starring in England’s group stage triumph, with the Three Lions finishing top of Group D.
It was a surprise for many as Mourinho and Shaw’s marred relationship has already been well-documented in the media spheres. The manager had even launched a fresh attack on the England left-back a few days ago, calling his set-pieces “very poor” and “dramatically bad”.
Shaw did respond to Mourinho’s comments, claiming he was bemused by the criticism. “I don’t really understand it, to be honest,” he said. “I don’t know why he is still going on and wanting to point at me. “There is no hiding that we didn’t get on,” he added. “I think he was a brilliant manager but, you know, the past is the past. It is time to move on. I am trying to move on, but, obviously, he can’t.”
Mourinho, who was the head coach for Manchester United from 2016 to 2018, did give Shaw a tough time at Old Trafford. The Englishman was often frozen out of the team sheet and singled out on multiple occasions, causing the player to endure a steady decline.
The former Chelsea boss was eventually sacked in December 2018, after which Shaw has enjoyed a swift revival under the leadership of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He starred for Manchester United in the 2020/21 campaign, with his performances helping him return to the national team fold after a considerably lengthy absence.
Mourinho, though, appears to hold no grudge against Shaw. “For me, Shaw has played well, better than in the first match, took more risks, didn’t make mistakes,” he wrote in his column.
“For me, he is not a guy to take set pieces or be in the box to win a duel in the air. He is very fast, and a perfect position is to stay back on corners to cope with transitions. He is a good left-back with a level to be where he is. I just wish him good at the club but especially good in the national team,” added the 58-year-old.
Mourinho’s column for the Times and his blessing to Luke Shaw for the remainder of the tournament is the latest indicator of his changed, more laid-back persona. It is perhaps an off-putting look for most football fans who know him to be an eccentric and condescending character on and off the pitch.
Shaw went on to star in England’s win over Germany. He was immense in the famous victory, assisting Raheem Sterling’s winner that helped England end their 55-year Wembley hoodoo against the Germans and secure their place in the quarter-finals. Gareth Southgate’s men will now lock horns with Ukraine in the quarter-final in Rome, with the opposition head coach Andriy Shevchenko suggesting his team is not scared of the Three Lions.