The pair were unable to travel with the first-team to Swansea on Sunday after being deemed ‘not 100%’ and therefore mentally unprepared.
Mourinho, speaking after Man United’s 3-1 win in South Wales, criticised the pair for their reluctance to play, claiming that top players often perform despite being far from 100%.
Walker believes Mourinho, through his public criticism of Shaw and Smalling, is trying to push the pair out of the door at Old Trafford.
“Look at the players he’s used to working with. John Terry, [Frank] Lampard, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, you can tell these guys are playing through the pain barriers,” he said.
“I think what it does tell you is he cannot trust Luke Shaw, he cannot trust Chris Smalling. When a big game comes along they won’t be considered, because he’s clearly trying to get them out of the club I think.
“Nobody is advocating that you have a hamstring injury and try to play through it. But the mentality to play with a knock or play with something uncomfortable, how many times has John Terry played through that under Mourinho?
“He’s looking for a certain type of player. Remember, it’s early days in Jose’s tenure as manager, he’s just trying to shape the squad, and these transfer windows only come around twice a year, and I don’t think he can trust Smalling or Shaw given his comments.”
Some may view Mourinho’s words as harsh, perhaps even unnecessary. But what supporters are hearing is the voice of a winner, a warrior-like pragmatist with an unyielding demand for optimum dedication. Mourinho wants you to play through pain; Mourinho wants you to suffer and come out victorious on the other side; Mourinho wants you to be hated – vilified, even – by the rest of the world; Mourinho wants you to grab your crotch and eyeball Nicolas Otamendi; Mourinho wants you to be arrogant.
But most of all, Mourinho wants his players to win, win and win. And this can only be achieved by those unafraid of pain – those who will do whatever it takes to batter the opponent into submission. With this in mind, refusing to play as a result of being ‘not 100%’ is a truly laughable claim, and one can’t help but understand Mourinho’s decision to brush Smalling and Shaw aside.