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Something ‘fundamentally wrong’ with Shaw treatment

No Shaw thing: the United defender has been hung out to dry by his manager (Photograph by Martin Rickett/PA via AP)

My search for Luke Shaw statistics drew a blank yesterday ... but then I realised I was looking up the wrong person.

I remembered, of course, that while the human shell of the Manchester United full back was in play against Everton, someone else was doing the decision-making, like one of those Men in Black aliens.

Apparently, the buttons were being pushed by José Mourinho, who said that Shaw used “his body with my brain”.

Very publicly, José has inferred that the 21-year-old has the football intelligence akin to a rare fungus.

Phil Neville immediately sprang to Mourinho’s defence, claiming something must have gone “fundamentally wrong” since he scouted him at Southampton. Either that or Neville inadvertently admitted he’s a s*** scout.

The thing is, José may be correct in assessing that single-cell organisms can think for themselves better than Shaw, but the decision to air this opinion through the media is cut-throat.

Some have said that it’s a legitimate challenge to the player to raise his game; it seems more of an attempt to crush him. Rather than help the player, Mourinho is shoving him towards the exit door.

For the record, Mourinho played 25 minutes, had 36 touches, an 80 per cent pass completion, one shot and committed one foul.

11am kick offs unless stated


Tottenham Hotspur v Watford, 8.30am

Tottenham’s remarkable late turnaround at Swansea suggests they are made of title-winning stuff. And that’s without leading marksman Harry Kane.

This does not bode well for Watford, despite two straight wins on the bounce. Prediction: 2-0

Manchester City v Hull City

City flickered impressively against Chelsea but the latter’s ability to find an end product and get the job done illustrated the difference between the teams.

Hull beat Middlesbrough 4-2 at home in midweek but their away form is not so hot and City should end their four-match winless streak.

Fun stat: under Marco Silva alone, Hull would be fourth. Incredible. Prediction: 2-1

Middlesbrough v Burnley

Burnley got back to winning ways with a win over Stoke but they have still yet to win away this season. Boro have the joint worst home form in the league, have not won in five and may have had the stuffing knocked out of them at Hull.

Sticking my neck out here and backing Burnley to finally end their away-day hoodoo. Prediction: 0-1

Stoke City v Liverpool

Liverpool have not won without Sadio Mané in their team, which is a worry. Add in their problems beating the so-called lesser teams and the top-four drive is touch-and-go.

Stoke have lost three on the bounce and Liverpool have more on the line. Prediction: 1-2

West Bromwich Albion v Southampton

West Brom suffered a disappointing result in the week and will be pleased to return to home comforts, having won eight of their past ten at the Hawthorns.

Saints have a lengthy injury list. Prediction: 2-1

West Ham United

v Swansea City

West Ham haven’t won since the start of February and are just five points above the drop. Slaven Bilic is under pressure after five straight defeats and this is a vital match.

Swansea will be crushed after the late defeat by Spurs. This will test their mettle. Prediction: 2-2

Bournemouth v Chelsea, 1.30pm

Bournemouth have been in fine form and eased their way to safety.

Their open style of play, though, could play into the Chelsea’s hands as they push towards title glory. Prediction: 1-3


Sunderland v Manchester United, 9.30am

Wonder if David Moyes will offer to give Mourinho a playful slap after his team get beat once again. Unlikely. Prediction: 0-3

Everton v Leicester City, Noon

Craig Shakespeare has won every match as Leicester manager but they go up against Everton, who have won their past six at Goodison.

Tough to call but Ronald Koeman to halt the champions’ hot streak. Prediction: 2-2


Crystal Palace v Arsenal, 4pm

Palace have a really tough run-in and while Sam Allardyce has given them hope, they are still in the danger zone.

Arsenal beat a limp West Ham side but this will be tougher despite the distraction of Arsène Wenger’s (yawn) will-he-stay-will-he-go saga. Prediction: 1-2