Jose Mourinho has hit out at the lack of “character and personality” of Manchester United’s players.
[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live ]
United currently sit in eighth place in the Premier League table, seven points off the top four after a shaky start to the new season. Mourinho has time and again complained about the squad evolution and how the likes of Manchester City are way ahead of his side in terms of the level they can reach and the expectations.
But these comments ahead of United’s home game against Crystal Palace on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET online via NBCSports.com) seem a little too personal from Jose.
Talking to Univision, Mourinho revealed the following about the makeup of his current squad.
“They are spoilt kids now, the kids of today have a different life, an easier environment and I’m talking about the people around the players,” Mourinho said. “These people give them too much affection and too many excuses. People mature much more slowly now. We’re talking about Luke Shaw, Martial, Lingard, Rashford – young, big potential, but at the end of the day it results in the word I cannot say, but you use it a lot here… character, personality, they lack a little.”
Mourinho spoke to the media in the UK on Friday and refused to comment further when asked about the Univision quotes, saying something about the “context” and adding that he “wouldn’t play the game” of the media. It appears some of these comments may have been lost in translation, but Mourinho’s refusal to confirm that suggests otherwise.
It wouldn’t be the first and won’t be the last time he has hit out at young players, with the likes of Paul Pogba, Shaw, Rashford and Martial all on the receiving end of comments like this in the past.
Mourinho obviously feels this sort of talk will get the best out of the youngsters in his squad, as later on Friday he went on to reaffirm his belief that United would find themselves in the top four very soon.
“I know it’s a big gap,” Mourinho added. “But I also know until the end of December we have eight Premier League matches to play, and with eight matches we are speaking about 24 points. I believe we are going to be there.”
With a favorable schedule, at least on paper, between now and January, it really is time for United to put all of their issues to one side and kick on after a slow start to this season which relied on late comebacks to keep their hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League alive.
Whether or not this young group wants to keep playing for Mourinho, a man who has kicked them at pretty much every opportunity he can get, remains to be seen.