Neville says Mourinho not to blame for United mess

Grant SmithOct 02, 2018

José Mourinho defended his decision to play Anthony Martial instead of Alexis Sánchez after a 3-1 loss away to West Ham on Saturday condemned Manchester United to a third defeat in seven Premier League games - their worst start to a domestic campaign in almost 30 years.

In addition to the problems on the pitch, Mourinho confirmed last week that Paul Pogba would not captain the side again after he had implicitly criticised the manager by urging the team to attack more.

And luckily enough for the United manager, the man who asked the question was sitting right in front of the man who wrote the story: Sun journalist Neil Custis.

The smell of blood meant there was a heavier media presence than usual at Old Trafford, where the players will line-up on Tuesday fresh from their manager questioning the attitude of some of them. I see upset people, some people that don't look like they lost a game, I see 'so-so'. It was incredible what he walked into and he sustained it at Real Madrid which is a hard job and you have to respect him for that.

"If you want the truth, I think it was honestly horrendous", Shaw said.

Mourinho refused to name names, but it was a striking comment at a time when his relationship with the group is under scrutiny more than ever before.

Meanwhile, Alexis Sanchez's future at Manchester United is also said to be in serious doubt.

His job is not under immediate threat, with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward determined to give his manager time to arrest the slump, but results will always dictate the outcome of any managerial reign.

This latest reverse added to the pressure on under-fire coach Mourinho.

"I'm not asking you who did you speak with this morning, who was your last phone call, that's a private matter".

The Daily Mirror reports that Mourinho's precarious position has left 12 players unsure of their futures, with the likes of David De Gea, Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw all in the final year of their deals.

"We didn't play well on Saturday, but we gave our best in that moment", Matic said. It's all of us, everybody has a role to play. "Sometimes it can help but most important is on the pitch".

"I like that perspective, but I don't agree totally".

"After 20 years of football, I am still the kid that I was 20 years ago and I am still naïve, but I still don't believe that a player is not honest".

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