Jose Mourinho has the right to criticise his team, some understand the approach, others seem offended


During the course of Jose Mourinho’s managerial career at Manchester United, currently in his second season with the club, many supporters, pundits, and journalists have spoken about the fact the Portuguese manager has criticised his player, sometimes publicly. Some seem offended by this, others seem angered by it all, I just feel that people are trying to defend privilege. If someone is not doing their job properly, should you ignore that and carry on, or should they be told?

Anyone not putting in the effort they should be is letting the team down. That means they should be told, whether they like it or not. I am sure the manager will have had a quiet word with the players who have been letting him and the team down and when that has not worked, criticising them publicly seems to be the only other option, which can embarrass the particular player(s) and maybe lead them to putting in the required effort.

Romelu Lukaku, Luke Shaw, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Paul Pogba, and others have all been the victims of criticism from the manager this season, whether it be one-on-one with the manager or publicly. If someone is not playing as they should be, they deserve to be criticised. In this day and age, many don’t like criticism and that is one of the reasons that there has been so much offence caused by the manager’s approach. I am not offended, I am proud that these footballers, who really do get overpaid for what they do, are being hounded to do better.

Why should these people be paid excessive amounts for the privilege of playing a game they apparently love? Most have not done a hard days graft in their lives and those that do work hard for five, six or even seven days a week to keep their existence, should be the ones who are offended that these people who play football for a living seem to be immune from criticism, according to the reaction of those who use this to oppose the manager. I really don’t know what the world is coming to, people are not as tough as they were a decade ago.

Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Gerry Francis has spoken out in support of Mourinho after the Portuguese branded his side as the ‘masters in complication’ after the 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Sunday, which has resulted in many calling for Mourinho to be sacked again, which only seems to come after a defeat or a draw. Mourinho also threatened to drop under-performing players from the Emirates FA Cup semi-final against Spurs on Saturday. Francis, understanding of Mourinho’s approach, said to Sky Sports:

“You cannot fault what he has done and what he has achieved. The medals he has won, the trophies he has won in all different countries. He is a phenomenal manager in terms of winning things. He does things differently to how I would do things in terms of the players.

“Generally for me, it was always an in-house situation as in ‘we were good’ or ‘we were bad’ but Jose seems to change that around sometimes as in ‘they were poor but I’m still good’. He does what he does and he has been very successful in doing that so can you fault him?

“I watched the West Brom game and I agree with him 100%. United were overindulgent on the ball, they took too long and were slow in their build-up. There were too many flicks and messing around and he was absolutely right. In many cases, they got what they deserved on the day. West Brom did very well.”

Mourinho is a winner, which is why so many of Manchester United supporters were, in effect, begging for the Portuguese manager to replace Louis van Gaal in December 2015. Some of those who said Mourinho would be the only manager to guide United to the promised land, have seemingly turned against the manager, which is pretty fickle based on the words they said over two years ago. I bet those same people have deleted posts on social media from that period to cover up what they wanted then and want now. Is that not fickle?

Granted, things have not gone the way many had envisioned, but when does life hand things like this in an easy way? Nothing is ever easy. There are always unforeseen circumstances which stop something from completing United’s return in the way that seemed possible. That is life. I think many supporters actually thought Mourinho would be the gut to come in and do this easy job, which David Moyes and Van Gaal had failed in before him. The truth is, it was never going to be an easy task to steer the club in the right direction.

The underinvestment from the Sir Alex Ferguson era was prevalent. There was hardly even any value in the market, which seemed to come from the Glazers not wanting to spend vast amounts of money, which in turn had to happen with United falling further and further behind. Post-Ferguson, United finished seventh in the Premier League under Moyes, which saw him sacked. They then finished fourth in Van Gaal’s first season, fifth the season after. Last season United finished sixth, this season they are second with five matches remaining.

Whatever any of you say, there has been an improvement. United won two major honours under Mourinho last season; the EFL Cup and the UEFA Europa League, which gave the club UEFA Champions League football. That was the minimum requirement last season, to play in Europe’s elite competition and it happened, along with two honours. This season, Champions League football is all but in the bag. The playing style is not great but neither is the level of patience amongst the supporters, especially the ones who seem to vent on Twitter, unless United win, of course.

Patience is a virtue that many of you should adopt, adapt even. Jose Mourinho is the Manchester United manager, he has been handed a contract extension. When he arrived at the club, he initially said it may take three years of work to rebuild the club. We are coming to the end of year two right now. Why do people feel they know more than those who are actually in the job, knowing all of the facts? Supporters that use social media seem to think everything in the newspapers is fact, when they see fit at least, which generates discontent, leading to more negative ‘stories’.

Open your eyes people. Get behind Manchester United, the team you support, Get behind the players, the manager and show that support whether you are at the game, watching on television or by other means. United need you to be that extra man, how it used to be. Spur the team on to win, create an atmosphere at the game. Show them that you are behind them. But with the ‘social media generation’, I doubt that will happen as fans have been accustomed to moaning, not supporting. Moaning about anything and everything. That is not ‘support’.

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copyright: JW

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