Jamie Redknapp attacks Jose Mourinho for not using Juan Mata despite using three substitutes already

by Leo Nieboer

Jamie Redknapp’s punditry is often scoffed at for its outright lack of nuance or insight but the claim he made during Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Arsenal trumps anything which has come before.

Romelu Lukaku had been forced off early in the second half with a foot problem to be replaced by Marcus Rashford.

Jose Mourinho then injected the pace of Anthony Martial and physical presence of Marouane Fellaini into what was a quickly wilting encounter, thereby using all of his substitutes.

But there was one man who did not grasp this. And it was Redknapp, who just happened to be providing in-game insight for Sky Sports – a internationally recognised, multi-million sports channel. Why, he thought, was Juan Mata not playing?

“Look at Juan Mata, just sat on the bench, not warming up,” he said. “I just don’t get it, I wonder what United fans must be thinking about that.”

This is no biggie if somebody in the stands says this. Sometimes we briefly lose track of how many substitutes a team uses in a game.

But as the one responsible for giving insight and opinions on the country’s biggest sporting network, at a game being watched by millions around the world, those watching – the people who pay £330 a year for the package – deserve more.

We do not receive much in terms of ‘insight’ – in other words, not just talking about what is in front of you and offering good soundbites, but talking about the game in a way that sheds light on the broader picture and stimulates thought, discussion, all of that – from Sky apart from Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher.

But, please, can we have accuracy at the very least?

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