Jose Mourinho: Leaving these Manchester United players out really hurts me

by Leo Nieboer

Jose Mourinho has expressed the difficulty that came with leaving both Ashley Young and Memphis Depay out of the match-day squad for Manchester United’s 4-1 win over West Ham in the League Cup on Wednesday night.

Man United, just three days after the agonising 1-1 draw with West Ham, dispatched Slaven Bilic’s men with braces from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Anthony Martial to reach the semi-final.

Young and Memphis, who have made just 12 appearances (with only two of those being starts), were both omitted from the match-day squad.

Mourinho, speaking after the game, bemoaned the difficulty that came with excluding the pair.

“It hurts me a lot to leave Memphis and Young at home just like it hurt me to leave Martial at home last week,” he said.

Leaving players – players that have worked tirelessly all week for a place in the squad – at home is probably one of the hardest things for a manager to do.

Then again, football at this level is ruthless; players around the world spend months trying to secure first-team minutes and often fall short.

It has been reported on several occasions that Mourinho, known for always preferring a small squad, has expressed a desire to trim the numbers in his first-team. And yet, one cannot help – at least from a fan’s point of view – that such an impressive level of squad depth will be valuable as United enter the business end of the Premier League season.

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