The Portuguese publicly criticised Shaw back in early April for not possessing the right work rate in training, noting that the 22-year-old needed to play with his manager’s brain – and not his own – on the pitch.
He responded with a series of strong performances at left back after personally telling Mourinho that he would prove him wrong, only to then suffer ankle ligament damage against Swansea City that sidelined him for the remainder of the season.
And Keown, reflecting on Shaw’s campaign, noted that he felt sorry for the way Mourinho casted him into the limelight on several occasions.
“It made me cringe – it gave licence to all the dads who shout at their sons from the touchline.”
When it comes to misinformed, painfully English footballing opinions, you can always count on Keown to deliver. I would love to hear him explain exactly how Mourinho’s advice to one of his own players – at a professional club at the very highest level – mirrors in any way the nonsense some dads shout at their children during Sunday games.
For one thing, Mourinho is a world-renowned coach with European trophies at three different clubs and league titles in four different countries. He has every right to do what he sees fit to improve his players. Your dad, on the other hand, is probably only there to get out of the house, isn’t he, and it’s just an unfortunate state of affairs that he vents some of his pent up anger towards a bunch of 11-year-olds every weekend.
A stupid comparison, then, and also somewhat misguided: criticise Mourinho all you like, but he did, prior to his injury, evince a response from Shaw on the pitch.