It has become quite fashionable to criticise Jose Mourinho of late. The Portuguese manager has cut a barbed figure this summer. Constant rumours have been brewing about his future and his every move and comment is analysed to the nth degree.
His treatment of young players has been constantly questioned throughout his career. A seeming reluctance to fully commit to youth has been a stick used to beat him with regularly.
It now appears as though he is set for a summer showdown with another talented youngster, as Anthony Martial has just added to Mourinho’s woes.
Set to be fined heavily for his failure to return to the Manchester United squad on time, following the birth of his child, today could mark the beginning of the end for the French International.
Martial and Mourinho were reportedly at loggerheads anyway. The forward’s game time under the Portuguese manager has been restricted and he ultimately missed out on the French World Cup party this summer.
Rumours are strong that he is seeking an exit and Mourinho has apparently questioned Martial’s mental strength.
This fractured relationship is bound to end badly. However this current stance by Mourinho is one that must be backed by the club.
“Nothing is allowed to come in the way of his happiness.”
These were the words uttered to legendary South American football journalist from one of his peers at a news conference in Brazil before the World Cup. The other journalist was talking about Neymar Jr.
Despite his importance to the Brazil national team, some journalists in the football mad country have little time for his brattish ways.
In this day and age, a manager has to be able to contend with these super egos at the very biggest clubs. Manchester United and Mourinho are no different.
The Premier League has arguably never been harder to win. The pressure on Mourinho to win the top honours have seen some disregard his already impressive achievements at Old Trafford.
The job on his hands is immense and he needs all hands to the pump. Martial is no different and will be expected to show the right attitude and desire to make a name for himself at United.
If the manager has doubts over the young forward then they are likely warranted. After an impressive start to his United career, his progress has stalled. After three years, the fact he is no longer a first pick for his club or country is telling.
Yes he is without doubt a quality player but talent alone is not enough at clubs like United. Attitude is key and Mourinho clearly has major concerns.
The feeling looks to be mutual and if a player is disrespecting his manager and club so publicly, it cannot be tolerated.
Mourinho is certainly not everyone’s favourite but in this case he is correct and everyday Martial stays away, he is proving his manager dead right. If his absence continues, a hefty fine is likely to be the least of his concerns.