Football really is a funny old game. Luke Shaw was handed a start under Jose Mourinho for the first time following the international break and some pretty heavy criticism from the manager. However, the 21-year-old handled the pressure excellently and put in a real pleasing performance.
Throughout the sixty minutes he played, he looked great going forward and even picked up an assist for Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Defensively, he looked very switched on as he didn’t give Sunderland’s attackers a sniff of a chance.
Then Mourinho explained why Shaw was later substituted, with Daley Blind coming on just after the hour mark. Personally, I thought he was injured but the gaffer explained it was tactical reasons which is good.
“I told him it was a very solid performance,” the manager told Sky Sports News. “He didn’t make mistakes, he was confident on the ball and he was focused so easy for me to tell him it was good, solid performance.
“He came off because he had a yellow card and the crowd was putting pressure on the referee. We fear that situation but the performance was quite solid.”
This is just brilliant to read. Maybe Jose Mourinho is showing yet another man-management masterclass – this time with Luke Shaw. Whatever he said seems to have really worked because the England international looked really good.
If he is fit to play against Anderlecht on Thursday I’d definitely hand him the start, particularly if Ashley Young is still out injured. A full-back pairing of Valencia and Shaw is one that really sounds exciting on paper and it’s by far our best combination in my opinion.