Jose Mourinho is being hammered once again, this time for his comments about Manchester United’s young players.
Mourinho has been criticised for saying that some of his players are ‘lacking maturity’ and are ‘spoilt’ – although as we pointed out last week, some of his comments were taken out of context by the majority of the British media.
Those comments did, however, precede what was an insipid performance at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon, as Manchester United laboured to a scoreless draw against Crystal Palace, with the Premier League strugglers probably unlucky not to come away with all three points.
Now, United legend Rio Ferdinand has said that their performance this weekend was hardly a surprise considering Mourinho’s criticisms, and described the former Chelsea boss as volatile and prickly.
“When you get comments that come out of the club where he’s hammering four or five of the young players at the club, saying their mentality isn’t right, what do you expect?” Ferdinand told BT Sport.
“Do you expect to have the players on side or do you expect the players to think, ‘hold on a minute, my manager’s hammering me in public again’?
“I just don’t think that’s right for a football manager to be doing.
“Some players are going to react negatively, some are going to react positively, so I don’t think you’re going to get productivity out of those comments. I don’t think it’s productive for the club.
“What he’s said, that might be true. He’s behind closed doors, he sees these boys day in, day out. He might look at those four or five kids and go, ‘you know what, this is exactly how I feel about you.’.
“He’s got his right to say that but I think behind closed doors, in the changing room, embarrass them in front of the team. I don’t think you get positivity doing that and the fans don’t like that either.
“You don’t want to see someone who’s done so much for the English game, let alone in Europe… What he did when he came here, he was the Special One, he had the charisma. Everyone from other teams was like ‘I don’t like Chelsea but I love him’.
“And it’s kind of almost spun the complete opposite in that sense. He’s volatile, he’s prickly in press conferences. There’s always an underlying dig or message that he’s trying to get out there.”
The draw leaves United 14 points off table toppers and reigning Champions Man City, but only 13 above bottom-placed Fulham after just 13 games, as Jose Mourinho’s third season syndrome looks set to strike once more.