We seem to have reached ‘year three Jose Mourinho’ a little early at Manchester United.
The Portuguese has a very clear pattern when he takes over at clubs: immediate success, followed by a breakdown in relations with his players in the third season, and then he moves on.
Maybe it’s the pressure of the job, but he seems to have bucked a trend at United.
Ever since taking over from Louis van Gaal, the one formerly known as the Special One – that tag is being used less and less – has acted a little erratically.
Luke Shaw has been the victim of his latest outbursts.
In a press conference last week, the left-back was described by his manager as being “a long way behind” the other players.
Granted, the 21-year-old does not look fit, nor has he played well when given his opportunities this season.
There is a general feeling, however, that Mourinho has gone too far in his treatment of the youngster.
Shaw has now responded to the criticism, though, and he has given a much more professional interview.
“Like Jose said, he wants to see me fighting, and I’ll fight to the last second because I want to be here for the club,” he said, quoted by the Mirror.
“I want to play for the manager and I want to help this team get back to the top.
“I’m loving it here at United, the fans are incredible and have been incredible the last couple of days, for obviously what’s been going on.
“But I’m keeping my head up and I’m going to fight to the last. I’m not going to give up.
“I love this club and I’ll give everything to be here. I’m working really hard at the moment — now more than ever.
When asked about his recent woes, he added:
“I’m going through a phase where everything sort of is going against me, but I want this so badly, I want to prove everyone wrong.
“Obviously with the stuff that’s been going on it’s hard for me to take because, deep down, that’s not me as a person.”