Luke Shaw has been working hard in temperatures exceeding 40 degrees celsius in Dubai with Gary Walker, Manchester United’s head of strength and conditioning, ahead of returning to Carrington next week.
The Englishman endured another nightmarish season under Jose Mourinho, suffering public criticism from the boss and making only nine starts since the turn of the year.
He was exposed to widespread ridicule from supporters when a tabloid photo of Shaw on a boat in Ibiza shows him to be looking slightly paunchy.
And the 22-year-old has sent an emphatic response to those deriding him, posting a photo of himself looking in good shape as he gets put through his paces by Walker in the searing Dubai heat.
Luke Shaw spending all of this week training with Gary Walker, United's head of strength and conditioning, at the Nad Al Sheba Complex in Dubai. Temperatures of up to 45C out there. Due back at Carrington for start of pre-season on Monday #mufc
— Ciaran Kelly (@CiaranKelly__) July 5, 2018
To see United fans – not for the first time – hitting out at Shaw for being on holiday was deeply upsetting. That they bought into a tabloid picture, released in order to garner this exact reaction, and genuinely believed it, genuinely got angry, is dispiriting to say the least – especially when it came at a time when most footballers were on holiday.
Shaw’s problem, as we can see with his Dubai trip, has never been related to work rate. Nobody plays for Man United if they aren’t a relentless worker. The issue, aside from injuries, lies with his mentality, his temperament, his confidence in his own skin, which makes the idea of slamming him even more ridiculous.
Supporters should learn to support Shaw. It really could make a difference.