interesting article :
Jose Mourinhohas challenged the “fragile” members of Manchester United’s squad to develop a winner’s mentality after admitting they risk losing his trust amid his persistent struggles to understand players who do not share his own fierce will to win.
The United manager said his biggest failing revolved around his difficulties working with players who have “a different mentality to what I have” and that he has to lean on his assistants to try to coax the best out of such players.
Mourinho cited Marcus Rashford as having the sort of mentality he relishes working with, but in pointed reference to the likes of Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling, whom he battled with throughout the campaign, the Portuguese conceded that certain players can lose their appeal to him.
Speaking to Rio Ferdinand in a revealing BT Sport documentary, Old Trafford Uncovered – with Jose Mourinho, that was filmed before United’s Europa League final win over Ajax, Mourinho said: “For me what’s more difficult [as a manager] is the fragile mentality.
“I think it’s probably my weakness as a manager, that it’s difficult for me to understand people with a different mentality to what I have. It’s difficult to understand so it takes me time to understand and sometimes I’m not able to feel attracted again [to the player].
“Sometimes I ask my assistants to help me on that because maybe they have a different profile to me. Because for me I want to be in love with the player with this character, with this personality and that kid Marcus is the best example of it, especially in this club.”
Mourinho’s remarks are likely to increase the pressure on Shaw and Smalling, both of whom face uncertain futures at Old Trafford, as well as Martial and even Henrikh Mkhitaryan ahead of next season.
Mourinho has made several references this season to the need for Martial and Mkhitaryan to toughen up mentally and deliver more consistently on their talents and used England striker Rashford, still only 19, as an example of the attitude and mentality he is looking for.
United’s Europa League success guaranteed qualification for next season’s Champions League and earned the club a third trophy after the League Cup and Community Shield but Mourinho believes players must raise their game next term.
“As players, you have to have that responsibility every day and it’s something my boys have to learn,” Mourinho said. “Some of them they can win a big match. What I think they can’t do is win it and win it and win it and cope with that intensity, especially that mental intensity, the focus, the concentration, the responsibility, the determination. This is something you only learn when you are at the highest level.
“I try to do it [teach and transfer it] in relation to the personality of the players. For example, what I love about this kid Marcus is he copes with the pressure. I can press him, I can be very demanding with him, he’s the kind of kid that when the training session finishes it doesn’t finish for him. He wants more. He lives for football.
“He was, of course, a tornado, when he arrived last season without pressure. No responsibility. And this season when the pressure was on him, when he was not scoring goals for one, two, three, four months, he coped with that pressure. This is the kind of character I like. I like to squeeze the player and the player to cope with it and react to it.”
Mourinho said he wanted his players to grasp the scale of United’s history but not feel overburdened by it. “I think it’s very, very important but at the same time they shouldn’t be over pressurised by that,” he said.
“That’s why I asked at the training ground, which is full of [pictures of] the previous history, to do a wall with the last FA Cup and last League Cup on it. And people can say this is not the Champions League, this is not Premier League. but this is their cup. They are the two cups they won.
“So of course it’s an amazing history and they have to feel proud with the same shirt of these people. The No. 11 has to know that shirt was Ryan Giggs’ shirt and the No. 7 must know that was Best and Beckham and Cristiano’s shirt, they have to know this and be proud of it but they cannot be over pressurised by it. There is not another Giggs, there is not another Scholes, there is not another Rio, there is not another Best. They have to be what they are and they have to cope with it. It’s part of my job that I have to be responsible for.”
Mourinho also admitted it can be harder motivating young players now who earn riches almost instantly.
“In the past you could think about being at the club for the rest of your life,” Mourinho said. “You became rich at the end of your career. Now they become rich at the beginning of their careers. Yes [that makes the job harder]. You need to be lucky with the players, you need to be lucky with their parents, with the people around them. Maybe it’s harder to motivate them and harder to make them focused on what they have to do. If they’re not the right mentality they can lose a bit of appetite ,if they have the right mentality and are rich even better but if you don’t have the mentality it makes it hard.”