Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
April 5, 2017
Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw has said he remains committed to Manchester United and manager Jose Mourinho, despite the latter’s apparent criticism of the England international after Tuesday’s 1-1 Premier League draw with Everton at Old Trafford.
Shaw came off the bench to help win a penalty, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic converted it to salvage a point for the Red Devils. Now the 21-year-old wants to build on his contribution and save his United career, per David McDonnell of the Daily Mirror: “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. I want to play for the manager, and I want to help this team get back to the top.”
Shaw also praised United fans for their support during a difficult phase and said he won’t buckle under the pressure: “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.”
Shaw did his part against Everton.Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
The former Southampton defender even indicated the criticism has affected him: “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.”
Shaw probably thought he had taken the first step to redeeming himself in his manager’s eyes when he turned around the game against Everton. His shot at the end of a raiding run from the flank forced Toffees centre-back Ashley Williams into a rash handball to concede a spot-kick deep into stoppage time.
Yet Mourinho was still loath to give Shaw much praise when asked about the full-back’s impact afterwards. Instead, the United chief appeared to take the credit himself for Shaw’s display, according to Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News: “He had a good performance which was his body with my brain. Because he was in front of me and I was making every decision for him.”
Mourinho even called on Shaw to show greater maturity and intelligence if he expects to play more often: “He must understand the game, he must think and he must accelerate the process because 21 years old is old enough to have a better understanding of the game.”
Mourinho still didn’t sound too impressed by Shaw.OLI SCARFF/Getty Images
The words read like a direct critique of a player barely given a chance this campaign. Mourinho’s assessment is tougher when you consider Shaw missed the 2015/16 season with a broken leg.
Recovering from such a significant setback takes time, but Shaw is still young. He has the time and the room to refine the raw aspects of his game.
Mourinho’s blunt attempts to motivate the left-sided player who cost United £30 million in 2014 could have the adverse effect, though, eroding the player’s confidence permanently. At least Shaw is showing the right kind of bravado, but he’ll need games to prove his manager wrong.
Playing time could be hard to come by considering Mourinho has trusted Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and Ashley Young ahead of Shaw this season.
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