Jose Mourinho has come out in defence of Daley Blind following the Dutchman’s poor mistake that allowed FC Basel to claim a late winner against Manchester United on Wednesday.
The Dutchman, whose painful lack of pace gave the hosts a route back into the game, failed to spot the onrushing Michael Lang as the ball skimmed across the six yard box and the right wing back duly snuck in ahead of him to net a dramatic late winner.
Blind accepted blame for Basel’s goal in the aftermath, but Mourinho was quick to point the finger at his side’s poor finishing in the first half instead.
“I don’t think it’s fair for Blind to blame himself because he had a very positive game and we have to blame everyone that was on the pitch because we lost so many chances we put ourselves in a very risky position.”
Mourinho’s comments about his players are always geared towards a particular end, and while he has chosen to criticise players like Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial in the past, there is a clear reluctance to throw Blind under the bus in this instance.
Regardless of the 54-year-old’s mind games, one inescapable truth has risen from this galling defeat: that United need a proper left back.
Renato Steffen and Lang bombed past Blind all game, ensuring the home side had an attacking avenue to exploit all evening, and the most worrying aspect of it all was that, actually, you couldn’t really imagine any of Ashley Young, Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian or Luke Shaw doing much better.
Supporters will just hope to see their boss, despite his strange comments, address a problem in January that was staring him in the face against the Swiss champions.