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LONDON. – Jose Mourinho’s spectacular US tour meltdown is affecting his Manchester United players, with the new season just nine days away.
The United boss has cut an angry and frustrated figure on the club’s US tour, with players, staff and officials said to be on edge around him.
Mourinho singled out Anthony Martial and Antonio Valencia for criticism on tour, his cutting remarks on the former causing concern among club staff.
The United boss gave an interview to MUTV in which he claimed Martial – who left the US for the birth of his second child – should have rejoined the tour after his son was born.
United were concerned at the potential inflammatory effect of the remarks, but they were broadcast before they could be vetoed, with club sources since claiming there was no problem with them being aired.
One senior United player was so concerned about Mourinho’s reaction to an interview he gave on tour, he insisted his answer to one question was pulled to avoid further antagonising his boss.
Against that backdrop, the United hierarchy, led by executive vic-chairman Ed Woodward, have become increasingly concerned at the negative tone set by Mourinho, ahead of a crucial season for the club.
Mourinho has moaned during United’s tour about the lack of players at his disposal, the perceived failure of Woodward to land all of his summer transfer targets and cut a disillusioned figure throughout.
It was clear Mourinho wanted to make a point regarding his feelings about Martial, who he felt could have rejoined the United squad in Michigan or Miami following the birth of his son last week.
Manchester City’s Fabian Delph flew home from Russia midway through the World Cup for the birth of his third daughter last month and rejoined the England squad within 48 hours.
But Martial has failed to rejoin the United squad after his son’s birth, despite the fact Mourinho is without a recognised striker, with Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford on post-World Cup breaks.
Mourinho then took aim at skipper Valencia, criticising his physical conditon and claiming the full-back had enjoyed “too much holiday” after having to return home injured after the second game of the US tour.
The United boss also wrote off the youngsters on United’s tour, who have been forced to fill the void left by the absent established stars, by stating most of them will be shipped out on loan next season.
Mourinho’s mood was not helped by the enforced loss of Nemanja Matic, who joined up with the squad in Los Angeles, only to be unable to train and require abdominal surgery in Philadelphia, ruling him out for weeks.
That means Matic, along with skipper Valencia, will miss the start of the new season, while Mourinho has a total of 17 players unavailable due to injury or extended post-World Cup breaks.
After United’s emphatic 4-1 defeat to arch rivals Liverpool in Michigan, Mourinho then effectively branded the US tour as being worthless to him.
With so many players absent, Mourinho claimed it was “not our team” and dashed the hopes of the young players trying to impress on tour by saying most of them will not be at United next season.
Mourinho then put the boot into the International Champions Cup by saying he would not buy a ticket for United’s games if he was a fan, because so many high-profile players are missing.
That was on top of Mourinho criticising Woodward for failing to land all of his transfer targets and branding the referee and his assistants “baseball officials” in the wake of the Liverpool defeat. – The Mirror.