José Mourinho has surprisingly opened a second front of criticism of Manchester United fans by claiming they did not offer Romelu Lukaku enough support during Saturday’s 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford.
The centre-forward created Anthony Martial’s 81st-minute winner by heading the ball into the Frenchman’s path. Earlier in the second half Lukaku hit the post, yet the manager was unhappy at the Belgian’s reception from the home crowd.
Asked about Lukaku’s contribution Mourinho said: “I would like the supporters to explain to me why they don’t support him so much because he gives everything and I think it is not fair when scoring the goal or not scoring the goal makes the whole difference. I don’t think it is fair at all. So I’m a bit disappointed – but not with him. With him [I am] very pleased.”
Mourinho voiced his disquiet to MUTV, United’s in-house broadcaster which is always careful to avoid controversy. It underlines his unhappiness that he gave the response to a question that made no mention of how Lukaku had been greeted by fans.
The discontent follows Mourinho’s criticism of those fans who booed Martial’s replacement of Marcus Rashford. He told Sky Sports: “I really don’t understand some reactions why. Are they [the fans] Red Devils? Sometimes I don’t know because they [strikers] work amazingly well.
“Today there were two strikers playing together against three top central defenders – the best we have in Europe – and they had to do the defensive job of pressing them when they were coming out with the ball which they do very well because they have big routines of playing with three in the back.”
Mourinho made a shushing gesture at the end of the win over Spurs. Asked about that he said: “Some people speak too much. You know, calm down, relax. Relax a little bit. Don’t speak too much – speak, speak, speak. You know, relax.”