Mourinho not the first boss to put Luke Shaw in his crosshairs

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Controversy is never too far away when Jose Mourinho is in management. The divisive Portuguese’s latest storm comes amid a three-game losing streak with new club Manchester United and focuses on England left-back Luke Shaw.

The defender was singled out for criticism after the Red Devils’ 3-1 loss to Watford last time out, as his manager lamented a lack of closing down out wide in the build up to the Hornets’ second goal.

Media reports of a shocked United dressing room following the former Southampton defender’s public dressing down indicate that Mourinho has yet another player revolt on his hands, but this isn’t the first time Shaw has copped a tongue lashing from one of his managers.

There seems to be something about the 21-year-old that boss’ love to lambast. When Louis van Gaal was first appointed at Old Trafford, in the same summer that Shaw arrived, he ordered the full-back to train on his own in a pre-season tour of America and criticised his fitness levels.

“He needs to be fit and is not very fit or fit enough to do what I want. So first he must be fit, then he has to train,” the Dutchman said at the time.

Later that same summer, then-England manager Roy Hodgson backed up Van Gaal’s dim view of Shaw’s fitness, revealing the player had to be consulted on more than one occasion over his fitness levels at the Brazil World Cup.

Hodgson even suggested that Mauricio Pochettino had the same issues with Shaw at Southampton, saying:

“I think when he (Van Gaal) talks to Pochettino, then Pochettino will say to him, ‘what you’ve been saying to Luke, is what I was actually saying to him.

“Luke might have had it mentioned to him a couple of times during the World Cup when we were together, by people like myself and Gary Lewin.”

So while Mourinho may be under the microscope for harming squad unity so early on in his Old Trafford tenure, he isn’t the first to take aim at Shaw.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.