Man Utd news: Jose Mourinho will not drop Nemanja Matic because of one player | Football | Sport
Manchester United boss Mourinho has come under-fire for sticking with Matic, whose form for the Red Devils has left much to be desired.
The Serbia international signed from Chelsea in the summer of 2017 and played a key role as the club finished second to Manchester City and reached the FA Cup final.
But, this season, the Manchester United midfielder has failed to kick on with many fans and pundits furious at his lacklustre displays.
Reports have even claimed that players within the club are baffled by Mourinho’s decision to stick with the 30-year-old.
Pereira, meanwhile, is a popular figure at the club.
The United youngster returned from a loan spell at Valencia back in the summer, having impressed over in La Liga.
However, he has found minutes tough to come by at United, with the Brazilian failing to feature since struggling in a 3-2 defeat to Brighton in August.
And the Manchester Evening News’ Ciaran Kelly has claimed Mourinho is reluctant to drop Matic because Pereira does not offer enough balance.
“You have to go back to the August defeat to Brighton for Andreas Pereira’s last start and that is not a coincidence,” he said.
“Jose Mourinho is not one for scapegoats but it is telling he has not returned to that proactive trident of Pereira, Fred and Pogba since then after United’s midfield failed to cope with the intensity of Brighton’s terriers pressing and snapping at their heels.
“Pereira was hooked at half-time and is struggling to even make a match day squad despite offering that midfield something very different in the No 6 role.
“For Mourinho, it is all about balance and that is why he is so reluctant to drop the out of form Nemanja Matic.”
Meanwhile, ESPN pundit Steve Nicol has defended Matic amid his struggles.
“I don’t think so,” Nicol said when asked if the midfielder deserved criticism.
“I love this, people complain, ‘We don’t have enough cover for the back-line.’ The back-line has to do a job every now and again when it’s asked to defend!
“Matic, I think, doesn’t do a bad job considering the players he’s been playing with I don’t think help him out.
“He ends up half the time being caught too deep because the defenders want him in front of him and sometimes he ends up too high because the others are trying to push him further up.
“He ends up not doing the job that he’s best at and that is finding a good position right in the middle so that if the ball is knocked out when they’re attacking, he gets it deep enough – but not too deep – so that when they defend they win it back at a decent position on the field.
“All these other geezers, guess what – United are sixth in the league at scoring goals.
“All these guys on that list [Pogba, Martial and Sanchez] are getting a lot of money to score goals. That’s what the game is about.”