After a disappointing weekend falling to a bottom table team and relegation-threatened WestBrom home, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is now going hard on his players, as he is now demanding a performance from them against Bournemouth in order for any player to make his next weekend starting lineup in a must-win FA Cup semi-final game against Spurs. The Portuguese who told the Manchester United website about his plans for the two games said the only thing he is going to use to determine who plays in these games is a performance in the midweek.
The game against Bournemouth is a crucial game and a must win if they hope to keep their hope of finishing this season second behind city rival and confirmed league champions, Manchester City alive. He even jokes about saying, he will not look at the beautiful faces of his players, or the huge wages to pick a team, but a response from the bad result at the weekend. This statement clearly was him making references to the poor performances from Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez at the weekend against WestBrom. He said:
Asked about his team sheet for the FA Cup and if there is any plan to rotate at the midweek, he said, Rotation is not the right word. If I play a player against Bournemouth and the player is phenomenal, he will play in the semi-final, so it is not rotating, because rotating looks like a player that plays against Bournemouth is to give a rest to somebody that is going to play against Spurs in the semi-final. He said:
“So the word is not rotation, it is an opportunity for some people to play and to try to get a place in the team against Spurs and some of the guys that played today [against West Brom] don’t have a place in that team.
“What is the criteria for a manager to choose a team? I only know one criteria, the way they play. It is the only way I can select players, or do you want me to go for the price they cost, or their salary, or their beautiful face, or… [no], the only way is to go with performance.”
Mourinho when asked about of his team lack of consistency after their defeat by WestBrom said:
“Consistency has nothing to do with age. It has to do with personality, with the way you live for football, what your priority is in your life, what your ambition is. It has not to do with age,” he replied.
“I met players who are 30 years old, not consistent at all, and I found boys of 18, 19, 20, real men, real pros, so it is not about the age.”
When asked by Manchester United website about Paul Pogba’s performance against Manchester City and that of West Brom where he almost got a red card, Jose Mourinho dismissed the talk of him replacing Pogba in the second half was because the French man was nowhere to be found in the game, he said.
“It was not just him. He had a yellow card so he was in a more difficult position than others,” explained the boss.
“Playing with only two midfield players, you cannot play with one player in risk of not being able to make a foul.
“You can do it if your team is not losing the ball but our team was losing the ball so easily with the complication, everything was complicated, so we were losing lots of balls. By losing lots of balls, with turnings and flicks and tricks, the midfield players and central defenders are at risk of one touch, one late challenge and they are out.
“So, Paul was out because of the yellow card, because of in terms the way he played he was not worse than some of the others who were on the pitch for 90 minutes.”
…we wait to see what Jose Mourinho starts with tomorrow against Bournemouth as he looks to get a back to back win against Bournemouth and Spurs this week.