Jose Mourinho is a gem of a manager, and his resume and relationship with players is out there to prove that. However, the Portuguese gaffer has had the habit of being critical of his players.
Anyone in the competitive sports will know just how important criticism is, and how it often goes a long way into turning the performances of talents around. Only, there is a major flaw in Mourinho’s technique, and that is in his choice to criticize them publicly and often in heated and sour press conferences.
The most recent victim of this is Luke Shaw, whose half-time substitution after Manchester United’s FA Cup encounter culminated in a post-match bashing on part of his manager.
But the young left-back isn’t the only one under his leadership to have been subjected to a public humiliation, and here are some instances:
Starting all the way back during his Inter Milan days, Mourinho’s knack for being a hard leader was obvious. Having joined with much hopes pinned on him, Quaresma’s days didn’t go as well.
And Mourinho didn’t mince words when he attributed the winger’s fall from grace and eventual loan departure: “Quaresma is likely to come back, but he will have to present himself with a different mentality in order to do what he hasn’t done for Inter yet.”
Incidentally, the Portuguese player himself seemed to have had his fill as he later went on to remark: “My biggest regret was joining Inter.”
2. Kevin De Bruyne
Currently one of Premier League’s most dangerous midfielders, the De Bruyne under Jose Mourinho’s leadership at Chelsea was a sorry sight to look at. Deprived of game time, his frustration was added to due to Mourinho’s constant critical comments.
In fact, when his frustration came to a head and he started expressing a desire to leave, Mourinho didn’t leave him there either, stating: “With De Bruyne, if you have a player knocking on your door and crying every day he wants to leave, you have to make a decision. He was not ready to compete. He was an upset kid, his training very bad.”
3. Eden Hazard
While KDB’s case was that of a youngster struggling for game time, Hazard’s situation was even direr. Mourinho’s season after a brilliant Premier League win was one to forget. Nothing seemed to be going well for the London Blues, and the big man was swiping at targets left, right and center to account for his side’s dismal showing.
For Hazard, he had choice words: “Eden is the kind of player who is not so mentally ready to look back at his left-back and live his life for him. Today we’re playing with 10.”
Even before, a similar wrath was wrecked onto Romelu Lukaku and Juan Mata, both of whom are incidentally happy players under him at Old Trafford.
4. Iker Casillas
Despite his largely successful career, it goes without saying that Mourinho will consider his time at Real Madrid as one that was futile, and where he didn’t achieve what he set out to do.
At the La Liga side too, he found many a chance to school his players in public, but perhaps none was more outright and blunt than the spar with his goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
Several spars preceding Clasicos occurred between the duo, including a major one where the Spaniard was accused of leaking a lineup in the build-up to a high-profile encounter.
This was in addition to him dropping the world-class goalkeeper, and later remarking: “Would I do anything differently if I had the chance to do the past three years over again? I should have brought in Diego Lopez after my first year. We didn’t do enough to sign him. It’s a real shame.”
Clearly a dig at Casillas, the saga also ensured that he had issues with Pepe and Sergio Ramos on the subject.
5. Bastian Schweinsteiger
Brought to United to much acclaim, the German’s sole contribution during his years at the side seemed to be the shirt sales he brought along. And much of it can be attributed to how Mourinho didn’t really do his playing style much justice.
In fact, when the former Bayern Munich star eventually moved onto Chicago Fire, Mourinho himself expressed regret over his treatment of the midfielder, saying: “He’s in the category of players that I feel sorry for something that I did to him. I feel sorry for the first period with him, he knows that. I am happy that he knows because I told him.”
Players like Mkhitaryan have also faced his wrath at Old Trafford later on, and as of now, the manager is yet to be as apologetic.
It now remains to be seen who is next on his public hit list, and whether or not it will have the intended effect of motivating them to perform and excel.