SportSoccer

Neville suggests Shaw is 'mentally and physically' immature

SoccerBy Martin Grant
Mourinho's criticism of Shaw and Smalling has caused a stir
Mourinho's criticism of Shaw and Smalling has caused a stir

Manchester United legend Gary Neville has suggested Luke Shaw is a 'complex character' who needs to mature quickly, after he was openly criticised by his manager Jose Mourinho for a second time this season.

Mourinho caused a media storm when he claimed Shaw and his team-mate Chris Smalling had opted not to play in Sunday's Premier League game at Swansea after voicing injury concerns.

That stance was criticised by Mourinho, as he suggested he needed to 'change the culture' at United and encourage players to play through the pain barrier for the good of the team.

Mourinho also questioned Shaw's approach in a defeat at Watford in September, with his comments sparking plenty of discussion in recent days.

Now Neville has joined the debate that followed Mourinho's inflammatory remarks, as he suggested Shaw may need some tough talking as he looks to make his mark at United.

Having worked with the full-back who recovered from an horrific double leg break last season during his time on the England coaching staff, Neville offered up these views on the former Southampton defender.

"I think Luke is a complex character," Neville told Sky Sports. "He is young, has moved away from Southampton, and he needs to mature physically and mentally.

"He is such a huge talent, but obviously has had injury problems and is not over them from a mental point of view and he needs to work on that.

"He is a young person with big expectation, but he is now in the spotlight at a big club, and Manchester United doesn't take prisoners.

"Jose Mourinho won't either because it will be him or the players that are going to survive and he doesn't work on the theory it will be the players.

"Jose is looking to make his name at Manchester United and he has to make sure he has the players alongside him he wants.

"As a manager you pick the players who are available to play and trust in them.

"They were very strong comments, he sees things on the inside and, having being part of coaching teams in the last three or four years, when you see things you are not happy with, it's not always apparent to the public on the outside."

Neville was a little more positive as he offered an insight into Smalling's character, as he suggested the centre-back was a model professional during his time in the England set-up.

"I find it difficult to believe he has ever been anything other than completely committed to wanting to get out on the training pitch every day," he continued.

"So I am not quite sure what Jose has seen, but he is the manager of the club and has to make the calls he sees fit.

"Having worked with him for four years he has always been incredibly impeccable and trust worthy, someone I always felt would run through a brick wall, so I am surprised by that one."