Things have been spiraling downwards at Manchester United for a few weeks, and it was inevitable that the issue of playing through injury would come to the surface for Jose Mourinho at some point.
This time it is Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw who are feeling the wrath of their manager. Both told him they were unable to play on Sunday due to last minute injuries. Jose was not happy about this.
He responded with a stinging attack directed at the pair, mentioning the “culture” of Manchester United which it was implied the pair had damaged by refusing to play when not at 100%.
They should have seen it coming. Jose has had numerous fallings out with players over fitness, with the most famous example being Arjen Robben when Mourinho was in his first spell at Chelsea.
The winger didn’t like to play when he didn’t feel he had recovered fully from the last game. This annoyed Mourinho, who ended up selling the Dutchman to Real Madrid.
We aren’t sure that Los Blancos will be coming in for Smalling and Shaw any time soon, but it seems like that their failures this weekend will certainly moved those two much closer to the exit door at Old Trafford.