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Has Mourinho lost his man management touch?

United, Arsedevils, Mourinho

New rumors are surfacing that apparently Manchester United forward Jesse Lingard and manager Jose Mourinho had a secret conversation. This was prior to the Crystal Palace match up, which ended in a dud 0-0 draw.

Lingard seemed to have knocked on Jose’s door and stated his wish to play in the middle and not out wide. Mourinho agreed to his wish, but pulled him out after an hour and Jesse was back in the team sheet against Young Boys in the Champions League fixture, but was subbed off again.

According to Dailystar, football pundit Andy Goldstein was at Old Trafford for the Crystal Palace match up, and he said,

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“I heard a story at the weekend, when I was at United.

I don’t know if it’s true or not, but the story is that Lingard had knocked on Jose’s door.”

He said,” I don’t like playing out wide, I want to play in the centre midfield role behind the number 10.

I don’t know if it’s true or not, but Jose played him there for 60 minutes then he took him off. He played okay.”

– Andy Goldstein[/perfectpullquote]

Andy Goldstein is talking about the pressure the young players of United squad have to deal with, players like Marcus Rashford and Lingard under the scope every time, to be scrutinized for their limited impact on the game with their performance, be it in the starting lineup or off the bench.

This is not the first time Mourinho has subbed off players prematurely in his United tenure, Bailly was brought off after just 20 minutes during this season. Pogba was subbed against Palace even though he put up a half decent performance.

He has not given many players a continued run of games to build form. Andreas Pereira started the season brilliantly, that too out of his natural position, but still he couldn’t continue to play for United because Mourinho couldn’t afford that much time for his players to pick up pace.

Diogo Dalot has had a hard start to life at United, with a very good debut in the Champions League, but he picked up an injury, which sidelined him for months. And since recovering he’s facing a slow return to the first team.

This is not just about this season, the feud between Jose and Paul Pogba in the Tottenham game last season at Wembley is another incident of how Mourinho demands excellent week in week out be it at whatever cost.

Luke Shaw is another example of how the Gaffer is known for publicly criticizing his players and this has not been the case just at United. He’s known for his criticism of players out in the open with his stints at Real Madrid and Chelsea, as their boss.

At Real he famously dropped club legend Iker Casillas for the then second choice shot stopper Diego Lopez. At Real he regularly aimed at Mesut Özil, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo. And many of his senior players at the Santiago Bernabeu were unhappy with his way of treating young players.

At Chelsea, in his first stint, in the twilight of his first tenure, he got entangled with his captain, John Terry, which was quite shocking to most as both of them addressed each other with the utmost respect and dignity. Back after from Real and in his second stint, his third season syndrome took of in fantastic style, and the scapegoats were Hazard who had won the PFA player of the year award, his midfield maestro Nemanja Matic, who he famously brought to United, and other senior players in the Chelsea dressing room.

He has received a lot of stick for his way of treating players, but at United, everyone will admit, he’s wrong to behave in this manner. Former manager Sir Alex Ferguson is known for his man management skills and boldness, he’d never shy away to scream at a player, but he’d also put his arm around the shoulder of the player when required.

Eric Cantona, David Beckham, Rio Ferdinand and Cristiano Ronaldo, all of them were big personalities and Sir Alex brought the best out of them even when the scenario off the pitch might not have been on good terms. Mourinho’s expression at the Rashford miss showed his discontent as he looked away towards his bench. No player would be happy to receive this kind of reaction during the game from his boss.

This also puts the players in a position of constant fear, where they know if they don’t produce they might not get another chance to prove themselves, and it forces them to play in a reserved manner which will at least ensure them that they can still contest for the spot in the coming match day.

No one in this United team is a proven leader, and we’ve lacked that ever since Sir Alex Ferguson left. Neither is Mourinho proving that he has full control over the dressing room, neither are the players stepping up to the task to share the blame and responsibility with their manager.

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