Mourinho: Why I Have Benched My African Star
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho: Why I Have Benched My African Star
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has revealed why his £30 million (R512 million) African signing has not featured much in the Red Devils' first team over the last couple of weeks.
There have been reports suggesting that Ivory Coast centre-back Eric Bailly, who was dropped for three of the Old Trafford side’s last six matchday squads, had fallen out with his manager but Mourinho rubbished those claims.
In a pre-match press conference on Thursday, Mourinho explained precisely why the African star has not been getting much game time in recent weeks.
"There's no situation," Mourinho said, as quoted by the Daily Mirror.
"He's fine, no injury, he is one of our five central defenders and honestly my work is not about World Cups and preparing players for the World Cup or giving chances to players at the World Cup.
"But he's the only central defender whose country is not in the World Cup, so if I have to make a kind of more emotional effective choice to help my players, he's the one I'm not going to help.
"Rojo, Lindelof, Jones, Smalling, all of them are wishing to make the squad for the World Cup, and Eric is not under that pressure.
"I try not to (make those sentimental decisions), I try to be a good team manager, and that means being a bit cold, a bit selfish but I'm not as bad as that, and I still have space for a little bit of feelings.
"So when I look at the other four central defenders fighting for a position in the World Cup, I'm giving less to Eric."
Th 24-year-old has struggled with injuries this season but has managed to make 16 appearances for Mourinho’s side until now.
Do you agree with Mourinho’s reasoning not to play Bailly? Have your say in the comments section below.