This is the latest incarnation in a fairly long history of the José Mourinho persecution complex. Nothing is his fault and the whole world is out to get him.

In truth this attitude helped to develop a siege mentality during his successful years at Chelsea and Real Madrid . He managed to convince his players that they were universally hated and nobody, except their own fans, wished them well.

It is not dissimilar to the way Sir Alex Ferguson used to motivate his teams. Proving to be the best was always, in his opinion, the only way to show those doubters and haters how wrong they were.

Last season Chelsea’s players decided, after only a few games, that they didn’t want to play for Mourinho, according to Mourinho that is. None of the players has since come out and said as much but it was an opinion which appeared to be borne out by results and performances.

Whatever the case there was only a slight improvement when Guus Hiddink took over and it has taken a completely new broom, in Antonio Conte, to sweep away the cobwebs of failure and bring about hope of a new era at Stamford Bridge. Even the Chelsea fans appear to be quite happy that the “Special One” is no longer at the helm.

Now, with Mourinho in no imminent danger of losing his job, he has raised the subject of insubordination again. Without naming names he has mentioned that some players don’t appear to be over-enthusiastic about turning out for United.

He has pointed out that, after two dour years under van Gaal, some of them are finding it hard to accept different ideas and ways of playing. If that is true how come they, reportedly, sent a delegation of players led by Wayne Rooney, to discuss tactics and the changes the players wished to adopt, with the manager of the time? If they are so entrenched in his ways, why did they want to change it when he was there?

Citing Chris Smalling as saying he was in too much pain to play against Swansea and Luke Shaw as not being 100% right Mourinho did not succeed in his less than subtle attempts to not name any players. Indeed if these two are finding life difficult under Mourinho it is hard to see how it was any different for them under van Gaal.

Smalling was originally called “Mike” by the Dutchman who didn’t even know his name and Luke Shaw spent most of van Gaal’s tenure out injured with a broken leg!

Injured players should not be expected to turn out for the team in important Premier League matches so, if it is the case that neither of them were fit, then they were correct to voice their concerns. If, however, they are both fit then there is a problem which Mourinho needs to solve. The only way to do this is to sell the pair of them in January, if that is possible.

Smalling, after all, is no better than average and always looks likely to make a mistake, which he generally does, and Shaw was courted by Mourinho at Chelsea before deciding on a move to United and there may be a slight grudge there somewhere, who knows?

Either way, unhappy players, if that is what they turn out to be, cannot be kept at the club.

What is difficult to believe is that they don’t want to play for Mourinho. It was totally understandable, for example, that many players didn’t want to play for David Moyes after so many years under Ferguson. Moyes, after all, had won nothing whereas the vast majority of the players he was taking charge of had won medals galore. Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra jumped ship almost immediately and left Moyes to sink in his own self pity.

Mourinho taking over brought in a manager who has won every honour the game has to offer. He has won more than the vast majority of players at the club and will have had no problem being accepted on a professional level. It could be though, that his straight talking has upset one or two at the club and, if that is the case, they need to be moved on.

As previously stated, Manchester United do not need players who are at odds with the manager. Everybody needs to be rowing in the same direction and if one or two need cutting adrift then so be it.

Everything is in place for José Mourinho to become Manchester United’s second most successful manager, except for the players. The squad still isn’t good enough and he still needs to bring in some new ones and now, it would appear, he also needs to move out some dissenters.


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