Verheijen puts injury blame at Mourinho’s door

Joe Williams

Dutch football coach Raymond Verheijen has explained why he thinks Jose Mourinho’s training methods are to blame for Manchester United’s injury list.

Both Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw were singled out by the United boss after the win over Swansea last weekend with Mourinho unhappy that the duo made themselves unavailable.

Smalling was struggling with a foot problem he picked up against Fenerbahce last month, while Shaw, who suffered a broken leg last season, claimed he was unfit to play.

“Smalling doesn’t feel that he can play 100% with his pain, Luke Shaw told me this morning that he was not in the condition to play, so we had to build a defensive line,” Mourinho told MUTV to only later discover that Smalling has in fact sustained a double fracture of his toe.

But Verheijen, who has in the past heavily criticised Arsene Wenger, believes Mourinho “should look in the mirror” and suggests the training the Portuguese boss employs on small pitches is to blame for United’s injury list.

Verheijen tweeted: “If coaches think it’s ok to publicly blame players…would it also be ok for them if players publicly question the tactics of the coach?

“Maybe Mourinho should look in the mirror & question the relatively static exercises due to relatively small pitch sizes he uses in training?

“Always using relatively small pitch size means players are standing still a lot in training which has significant effect on football fitness.”

Verheijen, who was assistant coach to Gary Speed at Wales in 2011, last month hit out at Jurgen Klopp’s training methods, prompting the following response.

“We have less than 48 hours between games. Then this Dutch guy, the funny athletic coach (Raymond Verheijen) says ‘training is not too good’…How can you prepare teams for this?”

Meanwhile, he labelled Chelsea boss Antonio Conte “outdated” and accused Conte and Klopp of “destroying players”.

“In past weeks media reported how intelligent coaches like Conte & Klopp do ‘too much too soon’ with double & triple sessions in pre-season,” Verheijen tweeted in July.

Eric Bailly is currently missing with a knee injury, Marouane Fellaini has a calf problem, while Antonio Valencia is recovering from a broken arm.