Football

Jose Mourinho Gets Tough With Crackdown On United's Social Media Activity

Jose Mourinho Gets Tough With Crackdown On United's Social Media Activity

Jose Mourinho is a man who likes the world to know how his tactics work, but only at a time that suits him. For example, he will carefully break down his gameplan after a success -  the recent victory against Chelsea at Old Trafford is a prime example. Conversely, Mourinho will dedicate considerable energies to preventing his tactics from being known before a game, and his descent into madness at Real Madrid became dominated with a frenzied pursuit of what he perceived to be a dressing room mole. Here follows an extract from the incomparable The Special One by Diego Torres.

The presence of a mole at Real Madrid worried Mourinho so much that between 2011 and 2012 he ordered two sweeps of the hotel where the team stayed to search for hidden microphones. The investigations were unsuccessful. The Sheraton Mirasierra was apparently clean.

The control of information was another thing that deeply exercised Mourinho; he assigned a group of people to carry out a daily analysis of everything that the media said about him. Every morning Mourinho received a package containing the summary. His day began at 8am in his office at Valdebebas, studying videos, articles and broadcasts. He realised that he and his colleagues were not the only sources of the content, and that certain things that were being published did not exactly project an image of infallibility.

He began to suspect that there were leaks in his organisation. The proximity of the Clásico ramped up his sense of suspicion. According to club sources, the growing fear of leaks made Mourinho ask the directors to set up a study of the phone records of players and club employees. Some players were warned about this informally, as it was in their interest to be careful about whom they spoke to on their mobiles. The secrecy, however, did not prevent the boss’s intentions becoming widely known. In fact they were obvious in every training session.

When Marca got hold of a Real Madrid line-up ahead of a Clasico  in April 2011, Mourinho sobbed loudly in the dressing room after the game, roaring at the players: "You’re traitors. I asked you not to speak with anyone about the team selection but you’ve betrayed me. It shows that you’re not on my side. You’re sons of bitches".

While there is no suggestion that things have gone anywhere near this level of absurdity at Manchester United, Mourinho has cracked down on his players' use of social media. Per Jack-Pitt Brooke of the Independent, Mourinho has forbidden his players from posting on their social channels from training, from the 48 hours leading up to a game or especially from the team bus on the way to games.

This may be one of the first examples of United's hierarchy - specifically the commercial department - being in opposition to Mourinho. Paul Pogba, for example, was allowed launch a hashtag, and flash it on the advertising boards during January's 1-1 draw with Liverpool. One of their commercial partnerships, for example, includes a link-up with 20th Century Fox, in which the players tweet and post to Instagram inane and highly positive reviews of Fox's latest blockbuster release.

The report also contains an interesting nugget of information about Luke Shaw, which may point to one of the reasons behind the deterioration of their relationship:

When Luke Shaw posted footage of himself training at home in November as he recovered from an injury, Mourinho was furious. Shaw was upbraided by Rui Faria for painting the club in a bad light, as if the video suggested United were not doing their own job properly to get the player fit.

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Mourinho has been publicly critical of Shaw in recent weeks, ahead of his re-introduction into the first team. Shaw, however, went off injured at the beginning of Sunday's draw with Swansea in the Premier League, and scans today confirmed that he has suffered ligament damage, and he may be out until the beginning of next season.

Read the full report on the Independent's website here.

[Independent]

See Also: Awkward Moment As MNF Remembers Alan Pardew Calling Out Carragher Over Benteke Dive

See Also: Michael Carrick Had The Perfect Attitude To Taking Roy Keane's #16 At Man Utd

 

Gavin Cooney
Article written by
Changed the spelling of his name upon pressure from Michael Owen.

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