Jamie Carragher believes Jose Mourinho’s hurtful comments about Manchester United’s young players could come back to haunt him.
The Red Devils manager, who is currently without a host of first-team regulars on United’s farcical pre-season tour of the US, aimed a dig at his youngsters after losing 4-1 to Liverpool in Michigan.
“This is not our team, this is not our squad. We start the game with almost half of the players, they aren’t going to belong to our squad,” Mourinho said of his young side.
“On August 9, many of them are not going to be here. This is not our squad.”
He added: “Do you want Alexis Sanchez to be very happy with the players he has around him?”
Carragher, who made 737 appearances for United’s bitter rivals Liverpool, suggests those kind of comments will only anger fans and put the 55-year-old’s job in jeopardy.
“When he questioned the younger players after the Liverpool game, that would’ve wound the United fans up,” he told talkSPORT.
“That was a massive kick in the shin for a club which has always had a youth player involved.
“That will have hurt them more than the result against Liverpool. If he continues to speak like that off the pitch, he may have as much of a problem if he doesn’t get results on it.”
Mourinho has called on senior players such as Antonio Valencia and Anthony Martial to help the team out across the pond as they prepare to face Real Madrid.
Carragher insists that pre-season can be stressful for managers and reckons Mourinho is beginning to feel the mounting pressure caused by poor results.
“Managers don’t want to lose games in pre-season,” he added.
“I remember when we had Gerard Houllier as manager, he came up to my room and begged Michael Owen to play in a pre-season game when he wasn’t 100% fit because the results hadn’t gone well.
“Every game you play is on TV, everyone’s still watching. Managers still feel under pressure and you can see that with Jose when he’s demanding some players should play.”
However, Carragher remains a fan of Mourinho and describes him as ‘a winner’ – arguing that to complain about him is often to misunderstand his purpose.
The former Reds defender continued: “He’s a winner and that’s why United got him. Sometimes when I hear Untied fans moaning about the football, I think ‘what did you expect?’
“You brought him in to win. You accepted this great football was not going to happen. Mourinho always causes one or two problems off the pitch, that’s something he’s done throughout his career so again that was something you had to expect.
“It was all about winning. He’s got to do something big this season and win one of the big trophies, that will decide whether he stays or goes.”