JOSE Mourinho has made plenty of headlines in the past 10 days or so.
Manchester United’s Champions League exit prompted a 12-minute monologue from their Portuguese coach.
But it was Jose’s reaction to the performance of some of his players in the FA Cup win over Brighton that caused the biggest stir, in particular his summary of Luke Shaw’s display.
Mourinho was none-too-pleased with the full-back’s contribution, and substituted him at half-time.
Jose then made his frustrations public after the game.
That led to the media and general public having their say, and most have been critical of Jose’s handling of the situation.
They have branded his off-field tactics out of date and slammed him for, in their view, throwing his players under the bus.
That has led to many expressing sympathy for Shaw.
As far as I’m concerned, Jose is the manager of Manchester United, and it is entirely up to him to deal with his players as he sees fit – whether that’s in private or in public.
It is absolutely his prerogative.
Every manager, Jose included, does things to make sure the team wins as many games of football as possible, and they need to get the maximum out of players in order to do so.
So who am I to say he was wrong with the way he handled the situation with Shaw?
Jose has a more-than-decent record as a manager, and he will be using his experience and knowledge to handle dozens of different situations every day.
But I do have to say that when I was a manager, I never ‘called out’ any of my players in public.
It just wasn’t my style to do so.
That’s not to say that I was right on every single occasion by not doing so.
However, that was just the way I felt was best for me, as a manager, and for the dressing-room.
From the outside looking in, it’s very easy for any person to say ‘don’t do this’ and ‘don’t do that’.
But all managers don’t do what they do so that it can have a negative effect on the football cub.
Look, you stand or fall by every single decision you make.
Only time will tell if this has been the right move by Jose.
At the end of the day, as a manager, you are only as good as the group of players you have available to you.
At his previous clubs, Jose may well have been in similar situations. He may have dealt with them in the same manner.
But you must remember that what might have been successful in the past might not work in the present day.
It’s all about the here and now, and judging every situation on its own merit.
Every manager faces making dozens of tough decisions every single day. You just hope you get more right than wrong.
The toughest ones are made behind closed doors and the public very rarely get to hear about them.
Jose’s incident with Shaw is slightly different, in that it is out there for everyone to have an opinion on – and Jose has chosen for it to be that way.
It’s a manager’s responsibility to get the best out of his players and win games of football.
Perhaps this has also gathered extra attention because some people have said that it is now not right to criticise players in public.
I don’t know if it’s unusual or not, but you do what you think is right at that particular moment.
When I was a player, it made no difference to me if a manager praised me or criticised me, be that Jock Stein, Bob Paisley or whoever.
If it was a negative, it didn’t give me a greater incentive to go out and prove the fella wrong.
That was just me. That was my mindset.
I just wanted to give 100% in every game and deliver the best performance I could for the good of the team.
That’s exactly the kind of attitude Jose will want to see from his players between now and the end of the season.
They need to all be focused and they need to be playing to their maximum.
They have a chance of winning the FA Cup and they are also in with a shout of finishing second in the Premier League.
There is so much for them to play for – but it goes without saying that I want Liverpool to get that spot!
Nothing, of course, can be guaranteed on that front.
But what we do know for sure is that we are going to have an exciting end to the season at the top and bottom of the table.
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