Jose Mourinho has had a lengthy history when it comes to singling out his players for public criticism.

By 90Min
July 24, 2018

Jose Mourinho really is a breath of fresh air on Manchester United's preseason tour of the United States, isn't he?

He's looking fresh faced, well rested, typically jovial...just really glad to be back!

What a lovely season football fans have to look forward to, because Jose - one of the greatest managerial minds in the world - is ready to lock horns once again with old foe Pep Guardiola, while Jurgen Klopp, Mauricio Pochettino and Maurizio Sarri are there too, ready to play their nice football for the lovely high-paying audiences across the country.

Life with Jose is wonderf...O.K., can't do it anymore.

You'd swear Jose would be better served just packing football in altogether, given the way he's moaning about every single thing there is to life. He's the guy who moans for the sun when it rains and the rain when it gets too hot. He's the one who buys a really expensive tool for his garage and then blames it when it doesn't work properly. He's just typically Jose Mourinho.

The United boss has, by the seems of it, had a right old go at something for every day that's gone by since his return to pre-season training. Ed Woodward's got it in the neck (some would say rightly so), he's blamed the World Cup for taking away too many of his actually-really-good players and, of course, he's taken aim at the players themselves.

They've literally not played a competitive game yet, but that won't stop him.

His criticism of Paul Pogba on Tuesday is the latest in a long line of rants aimed at getting the best out of his players (yes he does this to get the best out of them, keep this in mind) and we've had the bright idea to bring together all of those occasions he's dished out the "tough love" to his United boys over the past couple of years. 

Well, we couldn't do all of them - that's impossible - but he's a nice bunch of the best ones.


Paul Pogba

Aurelien Meunier/GettyImages

Paul Pogba has just won the World Cup. He scored in the final and was one of France's most influential players throughout the tournament.

But Mourinho and the midfielder fell out last season, and Jose never forgets. Here's what he told the media this week on how to go about bringing the best out of the United fan favorite.

"I don't think it's about us getting the best out of him, it's about him giving the best he has to give. I think the World Cup is the perfect habitat for a player like him to give [their] best. Why? Because it's closed for a month, where he can only think about football. 

"During a season, you can have a big match then a smaller match, then one even smaller, then you can lose your focus, you can lose your concentration, then comes a big match again. In the World Cup, the direction of the emotion, of the responsibility, of the big decisions is always growing up."

Simple really. Not Jose's fault.


Antonio Valencia

Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Next up - Jose's likely next captain of Manchester United following Michael Carrick's retirement - who picked up an injury early on during one of United's recent pre-season friendlies and put himself at risk of missing the next game.

He said of the right back: "He’s injured. We need to get used to it. Last season he was already in this kind of situation and probably this season we’re going to have more of that."

Simple really. Mourinho has nothing to do with Valencia's body, it's his own problem to look after himself. Not Jose's fault.


Chris Smalling and Phil Jones

On injuries - center halves Chris Smalling and Phil Jones got it in the neck last season for not trying to come back from injury before they were ready to come back from injury.

Jose said this time: "It’s time for Jones and Smalling to be brave - to [take a] risk - because for the team you have to do everything. You can’t do miracles but you have to try to do everything to accelerate the process.

"They cannot make miracles. They have injuries and even in the crazy mentality they cannot play Sunday. There are no miracles but with special spirit you can sooner than expected."

Asked when he thought they should come back, he said at the time: “If it was me I think tomorrow.”

Simple really. Not trying hard enough, don't care enough. Not Jose's fault.


Romelu Lukaku

Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

Seems like there's a pattern here. Mourinho particularly doesn't like players who have injuries.

Perhaps Jose expects robots to play for him, instead of humans. They won't get muscle issues, will they? They're getting rather affordable nowadays, so a massive football club like Manchester United will be well placed to start buying and playing them soon enough.

Romelu Lukaku, however, is not a robot: "When a player tells you he is not ready to start, then the question is how many minutes do you think you can play. How can I convince a player who tells me he is not ready to play?"

Simple really. Doesn't have the passion for it. Isn't a robot. Not Jose's fault.


Tatith Chong

Christian Petersen/GettyImages

It's not only the senior players who'll get it either.

Tatith Chong has been impressing for United in the US. But while Mourinho has had a right moan that he's having to play a bunch of kids instead of players who cost £40m in meaningless friendlies against San Jose Earthquakes, he's also been lovely and complimentary. 

Chong will have really liked what Mourinho told MUTV this week: “I have plans to make him train the most possible times with us, because that increases his evolution."

Then, obviously, there has to be some kind of negative in there. He might be speaking a little bit of the truth, but there's a time and a place...

"Physically is where he is not ready. Technically he is very good, tactically he understands the game and he understands his position but, by the physical point of view, when the game gets into contact situations, he is in trouble, he is fragile, he is still a kid."

Simple really. Chong is too young. Jose didn't decide when he was born. So not Jose's fault.


Andreas Pereira

Alex Caparros/GettyImages

This kid might well get his chance in the United team this season. But last year, he decided to go out on loan to Valencia - and Mourinho admitted in public that he didn't like it.

He said, via the Mail: "I think his decision can be considered a decision of a young player who wants to play every weekend, but can also be considered a decision of a young player that is not ready to fight for something difficult - and it's difficult to play in Manchester United's midfield.

"You have to be ready to fight for the position and I am a bit disappointed that he left."

Simple really. Wasn't committed. Not Jose's fault.


Anthony Martial & Marcus Rashford

Dan Mullan/GettyImages

United fans have been crying out for Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford - two of United's hottest prospects - to show their best under Jose. They had their chance at the end of last season, and ended up being part of a team that lost to Brighton.

Mourinho - who'd come in for some stick for not giving his young lads enough of a chance - explained it with: "The players that replaced others they didn’t perform at a good level and when individuals don’t perform at a good level, then it’s difficult for the team to perform at a good level. Now you understand why some players play more than others.

"I wouldn’t say [I'm] disappointed, because I know them. But I thought for some of them, the possibility to start, the possibility to give reasons to all the critics towards my choices - why always Lukaku, why always Lukaku, why always Lukaku, why always this and this - well you have the answer.

"So probably we are not as good individually as people think we are."

Simple really. Didn't take the chance when they got it. Not Jose's fault. 


And finally...

Luke Shaw 

Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Saving the best for last - remember that time where Mourinho essentially said Luke Shaw didn't have a brain? 

He's another of United's biggest unfulfilled talents, but while some of the criticism that comes his way is justified, this attack was just uncalled for.

“It was his body with my brain,” Mourinho said on his performance against Everton in April 2017. “He was in front of me and I was making every decision for him. The communication was possible because we were very close. He cannot play with my brain.

“He must accelerate the process: 21 years old is old enough to have a better understanding but his contribution was good to improve the team. After 30 seconds he was almost in an assist position. He goes today in a positive feeling because his performance was positive.”

Simple really. None of this is Jose's fault. None of it.

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