Jose Mourinho is not hesitant to publicly criticize a player if he believes it is necessary, but he has had mixed outcomes in this area throughout his career. Mourinho has traditionally relied on psychology to elicit a response from his players or to exert pressure on opponents. "Everything I say and do is mind games," he revealed in 2014. The results are the only thing that aren't mind games. Here are seven instances of his openly criticizing one of his players, as well as what transpired next.
1. Samuel Eto'o
Following a goal at Stamford Bridge, the manager infamously sparked conflict with the striker by questioning his age, prompting the striker to brandish him "an idiot" and celebrate with a "walking stick." However, it appears that the duo are now on good terms, with Eto'o subsequently saying, "I am tired of having to justify why this man [Mourinho] is one of the best individuals in the world of football."
2. Tanguy Ndombele
After Tottenham's 1-1 draw with Burnley in March 2020, new manager Mourinho decided to dig through his large bag of scapegoats to find a new person to blame. This time, a €62 million record signing Tanguy Ndombele was the scapegoat in Mourinho's wrath, with the Spurs manager openly criticizing the midfielder's lack of commitment during his post-match press conference. After seeing his form deteriorate in recent weeks, Mourinho questioned how many more chances Ndombele would be allowed to impress.
3. Joe Cole
"When he scored the goal, the game was over for him," Mourinho stated. I required 11 players for my defensive organization after that, but I only had 10. What occurred next: Until Mourinho took over as manager of Chelsea. To the Portuguese's chastisement, the attacker established himself as a regular for both club and country, to the point where we still adore him.
4. August 2005 – Ricardo Carvalho
"Ricardo Carvalho appears to have issues understanding things; perhaps he should have an IQ test or go to a mental facility or something," Mourinho stated. What happened next: Carvalho was disappointed that he was not selected for the first match of the 2005-06 season, but he battled his way back into Mourinho's good graces and joined Real Madrid for the third time, having previously worked with him at Porto.
5. Luke Shaw
For the bulk of Mourinho's time at Manchester United, Luke Shaw was the target of his wrath, with the Portuguese often ripping strips from his left-back. Mourinho famously ran up and down the touchline with Shaw, who had just returned from injury, during a game against Everton in 2017, giving basic positioning advice and then claimed credit for his performance after the game.
6. May 2014 – Eden Hazard
"When remarks like Eden come from a guy like Eden, it's normal because he's not the type of player to give himself for the team," Mourinho added. Normally, you get statements like this from guys like him, players who can't overcome problems like the one we had in the first goal. Eden is the type of player who isn't mentally prepared to turn around and abandon his life to his left-back. What happened next was as follows: Mourinho's first season back at Chelsea ended in defeat, but the Blues went on to win the Premier League the following season, with Hazard earning the FWA Footballer of the Year and PFA Players' Player of the Year honours.
7. Sergio Ramos
Even Sergio Ramos, the former Real Madrid captain, was not immune to Mourinho's fury during his tumultuous tenure at the Bernabeu. Following a 1-1 draw in the Champions League round of 16 against Manchester United in February 2013, Mourinho singled out Ramos as the guy responsible for Danny Welbeck's opening goal after allowing his man to slip free from a corner. You can see what happened if you watch it on television. We practice, we organize ourselves, we assign jobs to each player, and we watch footage of the opposition to learn about their strong spots when it comes to dead balls. When you lose your individual battle, though, organization becomes irrelevant. The game was transformed when they scored on their opening attack.
8. Henrikh Mkhitaryan 2017.
Since joining Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund , the Armenian international only showed flashes of his talent, leaving Mourinho disappointed by his performance. Rather than allowing for development, the Portuguese asserted that it was all downhill from here. He stated, " "I was dissatisfied with his recent efforts. I'm not talking about one or two, but three, four, or five. He started the season well, but his output, in terms of goals, assists, high pressing, and leading the team as number 10, began to dwindle as the season progressed."
9. Paul Pogba
The connection is obvious: certain things are just not meant to be together. The pair's tumultuous relationship put a pall over the latter months of Mourinho's time at Old Trafford, but the truth is that they never saw eye to eye. One such outburst was as follows: "It's not about us getting the most out of him, in my opinion. It's all about him putting out his best effort. I believe the World Cup is the ideal environment for a player like him to be at his best. Why? Because it's for a month and he can't think about anything but football. When he's at a training camp with his team, entirely cut off from the outside world, where they focus just on football, where the game's dimensions can only motivate. He allegedly referred to him as a "virus," stripped him of his vice-captaincy, and engaged in a public spat with him during a training session.
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