Mourinho issued a veiled critique of his team ahead of Wednesday’s clash against Arsenal…
Sam Allardyce believes Jose Mourinho is ‘trying to pass the buck’ to his Manchester United players with his comments ahead on Wednesday night’s clash against Arsenal.
However, rather than criticise the manager, the former England boss has told talkSPORT the United stars deserve to face criticism for their performances this season.
Mourinho has come under fire for his man-management, or apparent lack of it, during a turbulent campaign so far.
The United boss has publicly hammered a number of his players in an attempt to get a reaction from them on the pitch, but those tactics have so far failed to produce consistent performances from the below-par Red Devils.
United currently sit eighth in the Premier League table and on Wednesday host an Arsenal side eight points ahead of them in fourth place.
Ahead of the crucial clash Mourinho issued a veiled critique of his team, and it appears only he knows what he was actually trying to say…
When asked if he still felt his players were all behind him, he issued a lengthy response, saying: “I still don’t understand that story. If you think a player only plays when he is, in your words, behind the manager, what I have to call these players or, in this case, what you are calling them, is dishonest.
“A football player is paid – and very well paid – to be a football professional. What is that? It is to train every day in his limits, to play every game in his limits, is to behave socially according to the nature of his job, is to respect the millions of fans around the world and to respect the hierarchies in the club.
“If a player doesn’t do that…one thing is perform well and perform not so well, another thing is to be a football professional.
“If you say that a player plays well or bad because of who the manager is, you are calling the player dishonest.”
Mourinho’s comments have had several interpretations from the media – one of which is that he may have been commenting about some of his players’ lack of commitment to the club.
Asked for his take on Mourinho’s latest comments, Allardyce said: “It sounds like he’s trying to pass the buck over to the players.
“But I think he has done all he possibly can and the responsibility at the end of the day lies on the player to do his all for the club, the fans and for his own standards.
“That’s Mourinho slightly having a go at all the players again, saying they are not giving enough or doing enough consistently for Man United and what’s expected of them.
“So he’s tried another tactic but, unfortunately for him and for Man United, whatever he’s trying at the moment is unfortunately not working.
“The players get so much scrutiny now on a daily basis that you try and defend them as much as you can.
“But there are some games where you just cant, and publicly you have to go out and say that you’re just not good enough.”
United go into the clash against Arsenal a massive 19 points behind bitter rivals and Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Mourinho maintains his side are still fighting for a top four finish, but Allardyce says the gap between the Manchester clubs is vast.
Big Sam added: “You look at Man City and the intensity they play at, and then you look at Man United and you just say, they are not just technically a long way away, tactically and physically they are long way away from Manchester City too.”