Jose Mourinho has criticised his own Manchester United defenders as lacking “technical quality”.
The Portuguese manager has hardly been consistently supportive of his players in the media while in charge at Man United, and this was yet another odd comment from Mourinho.
United’s defenders have been heavily criticised this season by pundits and fans. But hearing such comments from Mourinho will hardly inspire confidence in United’s squad which already severely lacks confidence after only one win in the Reds’ last five games.
Mourinho said he wasn’t too displeased with United’s 0-0 draw against struggling La Liga side Valencia, but spoke of why his team’s build-up play broke down at moments.
“We tried to play but in some crucial positions in the building up phase we don’t have players with the technical quality to play out from the back,” Mourinho said, unleashing a small but scathing criticism of his own players.
“We know we’re not going to create 20 chances,” the 55-year-old continued, speaking to BT Sport.
“We know our attacking players are not in their best moment of confidence or individual performance level. It’s not a good result, but it’s not a bad result.”
It’s very true that United’s defence lacks quality, particularly on the ball. Chris Smalling, for example, is Mourinho’s first-choice centre-back but can’t seem to control a pass without turning his entire body. He can’t pass with great confidence and almost always turns back to David de Gea in goal.
Antonio Valencia, meanwhile, has a terrible left foot. Eric Bailly seems all-too prepared to shoot from 40 yards, as he did against Valencia, and all-too ready to launch a hoof upfield rather than pass properly. United’s defence are hardly strong off the ball, but Mourinho’s right that their poor on it too.