Jose Mourinho has hit out at Luke Shaw‘s defensive performance at left-back during Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion.
The Englishman was handed his first Man United start for exactly a month as the boss made five changes from the side which capitulated against Sevilla on Tuesday.
But following a cagey first 45 minutes from the left-back he was hooked off at half time for Ashley Young, who supplied the cross for Nemanja Matic’s goal late in the second period.
And Mourinho, when asked about Shaw’s substitution, noted that Shaw was incapable of giving sufficient defence cover.
Mourinho on Shaw sub, "I wanted to defend better, I wanted more personality in the team because many many times I felt Matic was an island, he was surrounded by a lack of personality, a lack of class and a lack of desire."
— Chris Winterburn (@cmwinterburn) March 17, 2018
Just a couple of months – and, weirdly, just three starts – have passed since Mourinho declared that Shaw was one of the best left-backs in the game, but we appear to have gone back to ground zero again.
Shaw was not, as Mourinho insinuated, defending as well as Antonio Valencia on the other side, with Jurgen Locadia and full-back Markus Suttner finding room on United’s left. He displayed good ambition with the ball at his feet but, having hardly played in recent weeks, looked less assured of himself in tight defensive areas.
But herein lies the great frustration surrounding Shaw: you sense that, with a run of games, he would become a genuine asset for United, yet Mourinho seems reluctant to give him those chances.