For a man who has won just about everything, it must be difficult setting new targets. Still, Jose Mourinho has found himself a fresh record to break; unfortunately for Manchester United fans, it’s not one they had envisaged when he signed.
Mourinho is famous for making absolutely everyone in the dressing room hate him with a passion within three years of joining a club. At United, it seems the Portuguese has decided to attempt the feat in just one season.
Of course, it’s very difficult to criticise every single member of a club to the point they all despise you – it would simply take too much time, and even fawning reporters can only give the controversial manager so much coverage.
Instead, Jose normally takes the approach of alienating one or two individuals and besieging them with abuse to the point that everyone else around the place takes the victim’s side and a mutinous atmosphere develops. An ingenious tactic perfected in his treatment of Eva Carneiro at Chelsea, where he crafted an exquisite approach so abhorrent that John Terry actually thought he was being unkind.
At United, the main target is of course Luke Shaw. That isn’t to say others haven’t had the honour of being defecated on in public – Mkhitaryan, Rashford, Martial and even Eric Bailly amongst the names to have been sledged thus far – but the former Southampton player has undoubtedly been singled out.
The first case came against Watford in September, just a month into the season. There, Mourinho managed to lay the blame at Shaw’s door despite the whole team playing awfully and Wayne Rooney performing as well as the amazing video below indicates.
Since then, Shaw has struggled to even make the bench despite United’s chronic problems at left-back, where they seem to have several players capable of being average but nobody with the England star’s talent.
Mourinho unleashed his most acerbic attack yet earlier this week, with time running out on his dream of turning all players and staff against him before the campaign is over.
Then, against Everton, Shaw came off the bench and had a terrific impact. It was a much improved display that culminated in his winning a penalty, leading to United grabbing a last minute equaliser.
In his amazing post-match comments, which can only be described as artistry, the 57-year-old coach denigrated his man’s performance.
“He had a good performance, but it was his body with my brain, because he was in front of me and I was making every decision for him.”
Please take a moment to admire, ladies and gentlemen. Mourinho has now managed to imply that a young, talented player who has seemingly struggled to regain form and confidence since an almost career-ending injury is both stupid and fat since the start of the year. Surely he’s one public “yo momma” joke away from the chaos he craves.