Jose Mourinho's impassioned defence of his record as a manager surprised quite a few people on Friday. It was even more surprising that he choose to fiercely criticise his players after a 2-0 FA Cup win vs Brighton on Saturday. Only Nemanja Matic escaped Mourinho's withering comments, and it seems like the Sevilla defeat has had a big effect on Jose.
It looks to us like he is washing his hands of his team's lacklustre performances. As he pointed out on Friday, the stats show that he is a world class manager, so performances like the one against Sevilla can't be his fault. So as ever, the players go under the bus and Mourinho is leaving the world in no doubt that he is not to blame.
Mourinho: McTominay Had Worst Match Yet
Mourinho described Matic as an ‘island of personality' after the Brighton win. However, he was a lot less complimentary to the rest of his players. On Scott McTominay he said: “Scott played the worst match since he played with me in the first team…He is the player that made mistakes, passed the ball so badly tonight, lost so many passes.”
Jose's favourite target, Luke Shaw, was hooked at half time and both he and Valencia were singled out. He said: “I could have changed both of them at half-time. I didn't change both because it was too aggressive to do it.”
“I had to change one and I chose Luke because at least Antonio defensively was capable of good positioning. Luke, in the first half, every time they came in his corridor, the cross came in and a dangerous situation was coming. I was not happy with his performance.”
No Place For Pogba
In just under two seasons under Jose Mourinho, Paul Pogba has gone from one of Europe's best to serial bench warmer. Plenty will point the finger of blame at the player, including Jose obviously. However, he was at the heart of everything good about Utd in the early part of the season. That was when they played their best football, a spell that ended when Pogba was out injured.
Mourinho spoke about players lacking personality on the pitch on Saturday. Whatever is said about Pogba, that is not an accusation that can be levelled at him. It looks to us like Mourinho is a man who refuses to believe he can do any wrong. His press conference on Friday suggested as much. Judging by what he said on Saturday, he is pointing the finger of blame squarely at his players. Whether the fans will buy his bluster remains to be seen.