The Football League Paper - - GRAHAM WESTLEY -

MANCH­ESTER United man­ager Jose Mour­inho has re­ally turned up the heat on left-back Luke Shaw. His at­tack on him was re­ceived and in­ter­preted dif­fer­ently by the var­i­ous com­men­ta­tors.

It is pretty clear that Mour­inho con­sid­ers that Shaw isn’t earn­ing his money. Ev­ery man­ager will know the feel­ing: Player X or Player Y just doesn’t give you what you know you need to win games. In gen­eral, in train­ing, in games; this per­son is not per­form­ing to any­thing like the right level.

The first port of call in a sit­u­a­tion like that is al­ways to sit and chat. It is vi­tal for a man­ager to lis­ten. De­pend­ing on your re­la­tion­ship and the trust built, you’ll learn more or less. There can be deep is­sues which need un­der­stand­ing or it can be ob­vi­ous that a player needs time and un­der­stand­ing whilst some­thing works its way through.

Play­ers are hu­man be­ings just like doc­tors, den­tists, brick­ies and plumbers.

I can com­pletely un­der­stand why Mour­inho may have cho­sen to go pub­lic and crank up the pres­sure on Shaw.

The de­ci­sion is a brave one and nowa­days an in­creas­ingly dan­ger­ous one. Dress­ing rooms are more united than ever and not al­ways just to­wards a win­ning way.

Mour­inho was ousted at Chelsea; Clau­dio Ranieri at Le­ices­ter. The re­la­tion­ship be­tween a man­ager and his play­ers is a very sen­si­tive one.

Clubs don’t back man­agers like they used to, of­ten be­cause of the sums in­volved in squad con­tracts.

But it will swing back. Be­cause there is value in dis­ci­pline and dis­ci­pline isn’t about what the masses want. Dis­ci­pline isn’t al­ways pop­u­lar. But in the end it has to be about what it takes to win con­sis­tently in the long run and the smart chair­men know that.

Mour­inho clearly be­lieves that he can take ex­pen­sive earn­ers to task and the game needs that.

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