Wayne Rooney: Criticism will have effect – Jose Mourinho

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Wayne Rooney: Criticism will have effect – Jose Mourinho

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says captain Wayne Rooney is likely to have found the criticism of him this week tough to deal with.

Rooney apologised over “inappropriate” pictures that emerged of him at a wedding at the England team hotel.

Mourinho said: “Even if you build a wall around you to protect you from what people write or think, it always has points of fragility.

“We are flesh and blood, so I think it has an effect.”

United return to Premier League action this weekend and host Arsenal at Old Trafford on Saturday (12:30 GMT kick-off), with the fourth-placed Gunners six points and two spots above the Red Devils in the table.

Rooney, 31, has trained this week after recovering from the knee injury that led to him being released from the England camp prior to Tuesday’s 2-2 friendly draw against Spain at Wembley.

Mourinho refused to respond to questions about whether it was appropriate for his and the national team’s captain to have been in a hotel bar drinking in the early hours of Sunday after England’s 3-0 World Cup qualifying win over Scotland on Friday.

There have been reports a number of Rooney’s England team-mates were out late themselves after being given the night off by interim manager Gareth Southgate.

Mourinho said: “If you go one by one, to see where these 23 players were, some of them were in worse places than the hotel bar.”

The Football Association has refused to say where the rest of the squad were, although Everton defender Phil Jagielka was pictured with Rooney.

Mourinho, 53, said the FA should examine how it looks after England players in future.

“I learned since I was a kid, if someone lends me something, I have to take care of it even better than if it was mine,” he said.

“You have to build something to protect what is not yours.”

What other managers said about Rooney

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola: “When I was an international I sometimes had a drink. I was lucky there were no pictures.

“Everyone is entitled to a private life so we have to respect what other people do.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: “All the legends we love and admire drank like devils and smoked like crazy.

“Once when Borussia Dortmund had 11 points and were last in the table, I had a party with some friends in the city. Nobody had seen me because I had a mask.

At the end, when I was a little bit drunk I lifted the mask. The next thing there is a picture. The next day Bild said “That is how Klopp celebrates 18th!”

Sunderland and ex-Manchester United manager David Moyes: “He got some time off, so I don’t see too big a problem.”

‘I don’t get any respect’

Mourinho has an excellent record against Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, winning eight and losing one of their 15 meetings.

The Portuguese has won three Premier League titles, over two spells as Chelsea manager, and has won the Champions League twice. Wenger has also won the Premier League on three occasions – in 1998, 2002 and 2004 – but is yet to win the Champions League.

However, Mourinho claims the media have more respect for the Frenchman.

He said: “Tomorrow is a match between two managers with the best record in the Premier League.

“Should we be respected even in periods when our results are not the best? Mr Wenger has that from all of you.

“I don’t think I have even though my last Premier League title was 18 months ago, not 18 years.”

Mourinho was criticised this season for his treatment of defenders Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw – who he suggested could have played through injuries after the 3-1 win over Swansea earlier this month – this season and for a run of four league games without a win.

“Maybe it’s my fault. I put the level so high that people don’t expect anything different,” he added.

“I won in four different countries. I won in Europe. I always won in the first or second season so nobody is saying, ‘let’s see if he can win with Manchester United in the third season’. Nobody says I deserve time or credibility.

“I want to be champion in every club I have worked. I want to do that at Manchester United.”

‘You do the big headlines on Smalling’

Mourinho said Shaw would play at some point in the next few games and refused to comment on the fitness of the left-back’s England international team-mate Smalling, who has broken his toe.

“You have your sources. You trust them. You believe them,” he said.

“You did that for 15 days. Now you are not going to ask me to comment on your trusted sources. You wrote, spoke, comment, criticised. I don’t say a word.

“You do the big headlines.”