Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho should do more to defend Victor Lindelof, according to Sven-Goran Eriksson.
Lindelof started United’s opening two Premier League matches before being dropped to the bench against Tottenham.
His performance as a second-half substitute in that 3-0 defeat left plenty to be desired from a player who has struggled since joining for £30.75m in summer 2017.
But Eriksson feels his compatriot deserves more support from his manager.
“I have to say he did two great mistakes last match I thought. And he was lucky he got away with it, both of them,” Eriksson told Sky Sports.
“But you don’t expect that from him. But, anyhow, we’re talking about a very good football player.
“For Sweden he’s been fantastic and Sweden got to the quarter-final [of the World Cup]. He was important in the qualification so he is a great player, no doubts about that.
“And, of course, when you are criticised as a player, as a coach, life is difficult. You have to come back. But, if you don’t have the manager, the coach defending you, life is even more difficult, much more difficult.
“So, I think – me, and now I am talking about me – in all the teams I had, if it’s a club or you, you had to defend your players.”
Asked whether he believes Mourinho’s demand for “respect” was far, Eriksson replied: “Maybe. Maybe not.
“But I don’t think he should say it, I think that should be automatic.
“It’s always like that, when you are criticised as a coach – and I’ve been it many times in England, outside England and wherever – it’s better to keep quiet.
“Don’t try to defend yourself because the results defend yourself. It’s only by result you can defend it, and that’s in the paper, read it, don’t talk about it.
“Especially when you start to argue with the press, you will never win. You will always lose because if you are the journalist, you have the last word – you write it.
“So keep quiet, put your head down and go on working and show people in the next game we will play good football and we will win.
“I think that’s the only way to answer, now I’m talking about me and how I was. Don’t start to talk about ‘show me respect’. Respect is everyone knows in football what I have done, I know what I have done, I know what I’m good at and what I’m not good at and every manager is the same.
“So when you’re criticised, swallow it.”