According to reports, Manchester United players were left stunned and angry after Jose Mourinho slated Luke Shaw following their 2-0 FA Cup win over Brighton.
Mourinho was critical of many of his players but saved his harshest treatment for Shaw.
The Portuguese boss hauled him off at half-time and then made it clear after the game the move was not a purely tactical one.
Mourinho has called out Shaw before, and according to the Telegraph, the defender’s team-mates believe he is being unfairly singled out and bullied.
“I was not happy with his performance,” Mourinho said after the match.
“We worked in training on certain kinds of movements where it was really important the two full-backs to be aggressive and to be always in front, to create space for [Nemanja] Matic and Scott [McTominay] to play in front of the two central defenders.
“I didn’t have that with Luke or [Antonio] Valencia.
“I had to change one and I chose Luke because at least Antonio, defensively, was capable of some good positioning.
“In the first half every time they came into Luke’s corridor, the cross was coming and a dangerous situation was coming.”
Shaw’s future at Old Trafford is once again looking very bleak, with many now predicting he is a certainty to depart at the end of the season.
As for Mourinho, quite why he decided to lay into his players after a 2-0 victory over Brighton, and not their awful 2-1 defeat to Sevilla, isn’t exactly clear.
Many would have felt the players deserved criticism after their Champions League performance, but Mourinho seems to have been far more angered by their most recent showing – and Shaw’s performance in particular.