Mou slams United's 'lack of personality'

Mou slams United's 'lack of personality'
From ESPN - March 17, 2018

MANCHESTER, England -- Jose Mourinho blasted his Manchester United players despite watching them earn a place in the FA Cup semifinals with a 2-0 victory over Brighton at Old Trafford on Saturday night.

Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic scored either side of half-time to ensure United booked their place at Wembley and bounced back from their Champions League exit to Sevilla. But only Matic managed to escape Mourinho's fire after the game.

The United manager laid into his team -- particularly full-backs Luke Shaw, who was substituted at half-time, and Antonio Valencia -- andsaid a number of players appeared "scared to play."

"I want more personality in the team," Mourinho told BT Sport. "I felt like Matic was an island of personality, of desire, of control, surrounded by not water but surrounded by lack of class, lack of personality, lack of desire."

Mourinho said midfielder Scott McTominayhad his "worst game" in the first team, but he also praised the effort of the 21-year-old as he had "the big personality to cope with the mistakes."

"I have to say, for example, McTominay lost more passes today than in all the matches he played together," Mourinho added. "But he was a Manchester United player, and for me a Manchester United player is a player that when he plays bad, he gives to the team. That's a question of personality, that's a Manchester United player for me.

"The perfectManchester United player is the one that has quality and personality and is consistent on that, but when you play bad -- and as a football player you can play bad -- when you play bad you must have that personality that a kid with 20 years old had, and some of the others they did not have."

Shaw was handed his first start since since the last round of the FA Cup against Huddersfield last month. But the 22-year-old was substituted at half-time after 45 minutes during which Mourinho felt the need to scream instructions to the left-back from the touchline.

"It is my decision," Mourinho said in his news conference when asked why Shaw was withdrawn. "My reason behind it is that we work on the pitch with certain kinds of movements, where, for me, it was really important for the two full-backs to be aggressive and to be always in front, to create space for Matic and Scott to play in front of the two central defenders. And I did not have that with Luke and Antonio Valencia, with both of them.

"I had to change one of them and I chose Luke because at least Antonio defensively was capable of some good positionings. Luke in the first half every time they went in his corridor, the cross was coming and a dangerous situation was coming. So I was not happy with the performance."

Mourinho's criticism comes just a day after he made an emotional 12-minute speech during which he called into question United's "football heritage" in the wake of their Champions League exit on Tuesday.

The Portuguese manager said that after the defeat to Sevilla he dedicated time in training to improve United's ball movement in the midfield, but he did not see the results on the pitch against Brighton.


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