Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown believes Jose Mourinho‘s management of some first team members has created problems at Manchester United.
The 53-year-old was widely lambasted for his treatment of Luke Shaw following Man United’s 3-1 defeat to Watford in September.
Keown, writing for the Daily Mail, lambasted the Special One for his man-management at Old Trafford this season.
“I think Martial has suffered because of his relationship with the manager,” he said.
“When you feel publicly let down by the manager, there becomes an embarrassment for the player — everyone is looking for evidence that these guys don’t get on.
“Mourinho has to create a happy ship as quickly as possible. Martial showed his quality against West Ham and should be playing.
“Luke Shaw should be playing. Schweinsteiger should be in the squad. Obviously you can’t play everyone but don’t alienate the ones you can’t play.”
When you consider the soft-culture that exists at the heart of English football, Keown’s comments make sense. We live in a world where the idea of openly criticising players is viewed as criminal, Orwellian and counter-productive. It is a pervasive and ultimately detrimental mindset to have, as shown every two years where England, mentally shot from the start, limp out of a major tournament.
Mourinho is not, like most people say, a poisonous influence on the confidence of various players. He is a winner, and he won’t hesitate when it comes to pointing out deficiencies.
If you cannot accept his ‘harsh’ words, move on and play at Arsenal, where everybody is seemingly exempt from any form of criticism. If you want to improve as a player and win, take the manager’s criticism on board and work tirelessly. Such an attitude is why Mourinho boasts an illustrious trophy cabinet, and United fans will hope that their players adopt the same mindset as the 53-year-old in the coming months.