Stuart Pearce: Jose Mourinho needs to stop blaming Man United’s youngsters

by Leo Nieboer


Former Nottingham Forest defender Stuart Pearce has criticised Jose Mourinho for blaming Jesse Lingard and Luke Shaw following defeats to Manchester City and Watford.

The 53-year-old singled out Jesse Lingard – who had only just returned from injury – after the derby defeat, whilst failing to acknowledge his glaringly miscalculated game-plan.

Mourinho then cited Shaw’s failure to press Daryl Janmaat, which lead to Watford’s winning goal on Sunday, as one of the reasons behind Man United’s defeat on Sunday.

Pearce, who managed the England Under 21 side for six years, believes Mourinho is wrong to place blame on youngsters in the wake of a defeat.

“He looked at Lingard after the derby game and said it was too much for him,” he said.

“He blamed Luke Shaw for the second goal [against Watford]. You think he’s probably better off not having a pop at the youngsters.

“What he needs to do is probably pull [Shaw] aside, get him in front of a video and educate him on how to play the game. It’s difficult for me to tell Mourinho how to coach and educate – he’s the best in the world at it.”

Demeaning young, promising English players – whilst ignoring obvious structural faults and ‘big’ players radically underperforming – has proven to be an unwelcome staple of Mourinho’s managerial persona. He did the same with Joe Cole at Chelsea and, needless to say, the midfielder suffered as a result.

The most recent episode with Shaw is perhaps the most galling, however. To set-up a team with no natural defensive midfielder, witness Watford score two goals as a result of a collective failure between Wayne Rooney, Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini to track back, and then go on to blame Shaw – who had been excellent all game – is startling, especially when you take note of the fact that this is someone who requires a therapist to help with the psychological battle that returning from a long-term injury presents, alongside the sheer pressure of playing under such high expectations.

In the interest of preserving Shaw’s brilliance, Mourinho needs to adopt a change of tone. And fast.

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