Former Southampton academy director Jason Dodd: Luke Shaw can make you want to pull your hair out

by Leo Nieboer

Former Southampton academy director Jason Dodd has claimed that he is not surprised with Luke Shaw‘s current situation with Jose Mourinho.

The left-back was subject to yet another bout of public criticism from his boss after being taken off at half time during Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion last weekend.

His comments have caused an uproar from Man United fans, while teammates of Shaw were reportedly shocked by their manager’s continued victimisation of Shaw.

But Dodd, who oversaw Shaw’s development at Southampton, has claimed that the Englishman has always been a player who needs to be criticised to get the very best out of him.

“He does make you pull your hair out at times,” he said. “You have to try different things to get the best out of him.”

“I think they have tried everything and they have not got through to him to get him out on the pitch and perform.

“Luke is one of those players where you have to keep on, you have to keep pushing him and he needs to be challenged. I was constantly on him. He likes it. He needs more of a cuddle, and then give him a little dig.

“That is how you get him going. He is a fantastic player, but if you have to question some of it – his drive, training everyday, and giving absolutely everything.

“You are at Manchester United. Mourinho expects you to put it in every session and that is an area where Luke will struggle.”

Nobody is disagreeing with Mourinho’s claim that Shaw did not play well on Saturday. Nor is anybody oblivious to the notion that the 22-year-old hardly possesses the natural work rate of, say, Alexis Sanchez. Mauricio Pochettino, Roy Hodgson and Louis van Gaal have all expressed similar doubts over his work rate in the past.

None of that bothers United fans. What has upset supporters – and fellow players – is the way this latest attack on Shaw’s performance seems almost personal and beyond constructive.

Labelling him as one of the best left-backs in the world, dropping him for Ashley Young, throwing him into the starting XI for the first time in a month and then proceeding to shoot down his performance in front of millions is simply poor man-management.

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