Having been in the same situation, I am really worried for Luke Shaw .
Jose Mourinho had another pop at him after he went off early against Swansea, saying: “I think Luke Shaw’s must be a big injury, because to leave the pitch after nine minutes, I am expecting a very big injury.”
The worst thing you can do is question a player’s professionalism. And Mourinho has essentially called Shaw a liar.
He would never do the same to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
It is not the first time the Manchester United manager has targeted Shaw this season.
When he did it before I said in this column it is tantamount to bullying and it has reminded me of times in my own career.
One was at Aston Villa when John Gregory was in charge. He has come out since and said: “I wanted Stan to do well and could see he had lots of ability. It was my way of trying to get the best out of him” – but it was bullying.
He would try the stick and carrot approach. Make public comments, slag me off, and then be nice.
I also remember one training session at Aston Villa, as I was coming back from either illness or injury.
I scored a couple of goals and was bristling.
Jose Mourinho speaks after draw with Swansea
Then he came into the office and he said to me, ‘You should have scored three’. It was that kind of thing – setting the bar higher rather than putting your arm around someone saying,
‘Really well done’.
It also happened when I was an apprentice at Walsall. I came in as a second year apprentice. Was I lazy? Probably. But I didn’t know what was coming in terms of the demands of professional football back then.
We used to finish sessions in the training ground and would walk off, get to the gate, and the coach would say, ‘No, not you Collymore, back here’. And he would give me extra running to do or he would humiliate me in front of everybody.
At Walsall it was a day-in, day-out thing.
We used to have to mop the changing rooms and the coach would leave 1p and 2p coins in the u-bends of toilets where there were cobwebs and, if you didn’t find them, he would run you around the track.
My experiences with these individuals at Walsall and Villa were massively damaging for my career.
I left Walsall because of the way I was treated and had to call the careers office to keep playing. I was almost lost to the game.
It was only because Wolves took up the rest of my apprenticeship that I stayed.
As a former professional, I am worried for Shaw.
Some fans might turn around and say, ‘These players are cosseted and Mourinho is just saying it how it is’, but there is something more sinister here. This has been going on for months.
This is a young guy, an England international with years ahead of him.
But some of the things being said about him by one manager, a very dominant person, could have a negative impact on his career.
Shaw might have a mentality made out of granite but the public might now be thinking there is something weak and flaky about him.
Mourinho’s constant, public barracking of this young man is going to do nothing at all to help him.
The manager needs to take a step back, Shaw needs to get some really good advice, whether that is from his agent or the PFA.
He should be looking at getting out of United this summer and going somewhere he is going to get some positivity in his career, rather than be questioned as some sort of liar.
His situation has become that serious.
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