Friday, 11 November 2016

Smalling's broken toe leaves Jose red faced after Swansea comments

Jose's comments about his players commitment have badly backfired with the news that Chris Smalling is likely to miss the rest of the year.

The centre-back is unlikely to return before Christmas having been ruled out for up to six weeks with a broken toe in two places that he aggravated in training. 

The news further calls into question Mourinho's handling of his players after he publicly criticised the centre back, and team mate Luke Shaw, for missing the weekend win at Swansea.

The United manager questioned the pair's 'bravery' and willingness to play through the pain barrier but now has cause to regret those remarks. 

It's not the first time that Jose has hit out at the players in public having criticised Shaw's performance in the defeat at Watford and then slamming the side in the media after last week's loss in Fenerbahce. 

Henrikh Mkhitaryan started the derby defeat in September when not 100% fit despite being given the all clear to play and the same seems to have happened with Smalling.

Smalling - under Jose's instructions - played with a pain-killing injection and suffered a torrid time in the 4-0 defeat at Chelsea.

He was badly off the pace at Stamford Bridge and got caught napping for three of the visitors four goals in a shambolic showing. 

The centre-back is set to miss games against Arsenal, the two matches with West Ham, Everton, Palace, West Brom and the European ties against Feyenoord and Zorya. 

With Eric Bailly out until January with knee ligament damage and then AFCON duty -   Antonio Valencia is also sidelined with a fractured arm - it leaves injury-prone Phil Jones, not good enough Marcos Rojo and left-back Daley Blind as our only fit senior central defenders. 

Tim Fosu-Mensah impressed in a breakthrough campaign last term and highly rated young centre-back Axel Tuanzebe - although raw- could be called up to fill the void. 

Jose Gimenez of Atletico and Benfica's Victor Lindelof have caught Jose's eye and are being monitored ahead of the January transfer window. 

Louis Van Gaal was always transparent with injuries and it's an approach that perhaps Mourinho should take.
Smalling and Shaw are players to be valued and - out of anyone in the squad - they would be the two I'd least likely to expect to 'cry off' with injury.

Shaw has shown immense courage and bravery to recover from his horrific injury last season and 'Mike' has always given me the impression that he'd run through a brick wall for his manager. 








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