The Portuguese initially threw Shaw into the limelight prior to Manchester United’s clash with Everton, noting that his current levels of work rate were nowhere near the likes of other teammates.
He was then handed an opportunity to impress against Ronald Koeman’s side and treated Man United fans to an effervescent 25 minute cameo, only for Mourinho to once again cast doubt over his ability during the aftermath.
And Keown, speaking to the BBC, noted that Shaw, following another strong performance against Sunderland, deserves an apology from his boss.
“What about saying he played well, what about saying he came on and led to the equaliser against Everton?
“Saying he was only doing well because of what Mourinho was telling him to do is poor management. He should apologise sometimes for what he has said.”
This a prime example of the protectionist sphere cast over young English players in this country. The idea of promising internationals being criticised for substandard levels of work rate is just too much to handle for some, and then we wonder why they all crumble in miserable fashion at international tournaments.
Mourinho sees this United side in action more than anybody else and he could tell, almost from day one, that Shaw wasn’t producing the right level of commitment. His performance against Sunderland – energetic, brave and attack-minded – only further demonstrates that he was right to publicly call out the 21-year-old.