England star makes Man Utd dig & responds to recent media criticism

Luke Shaw criticised Manchester United's media team in a recent interview.Luke Shaw criticised Manchester United's media team in a recent interview.
Luke Shaw criticised Manchester United's media team in a recent interview. | Getty Images
Luke Shaw has revealed that the Manchester United medical department handled his injury woes badly this season.

Luke Shaw has criticised Manchester United’s medical department and partly blamed them for his recent injury woes.

The left-back endured an injury-ravaged campaign and made just 15 appearances, the last of which came in February. Shaw suffered from three separate injuries throughout the season, while the likes of Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia, Mason Mount and Anthony Martial dealt with repeated or recurring injuries throughout the term.

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Erik ten Hag also made a subtle dig at his medical staff in March when he explained the decision to send Sergio Reguilon back to Tottenham Hotspur was made on the advice from his physios that Shaw and Malacia would be back soon. Instead, United finished the season without a fit left-back.

Shaw’s case was handled particularly badly. The ex-Southampton man returned from a three-month injury layoff in November and immediately started eight consecutive games. After missing the next three matches with another knock, Shaw was back again, and this time started five straight games across January and February.

In the penultimate match against Aston Villa, the 28-year-old was replaced at half-time, as he was the following week at Kenilworth Road, before it was confirmed that Shaw had suffered a long-term muscular injury.

“I felt something against Aston Villa and came off at half-time at Villa Park,” Shaw reflected. “It’s kind of ­everyone’s fault. Partly my fault, partly medical staff, I think everyone would admit that.

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“I didn’t train the whole week. The scan came back and there wasn’t too much there. But I didn’t train all week, then trained the day before the game. If the manager asks me to play, I’m never going to say no. I shouldn’t have played. No-one knows the situation, what’s been happening,” he added.

Despite the stunted season, Shaw was last week included in England’s Euro 2024 squad. His selection provoked criticism from certain quarters with suggestions that the defender had shown more allegiance to his international side than club team.

It’s an accusation that infuriates Shaw, who wrote a social media post after United’s FA Cup win in which he addressed anyone ‘questioning my loyalty to this club’.

“I think people have seen that there was a setback, but I was actually very close to returning to team training. I was, of course, pushing to try and get back for the games and the final and I think I pushed too hard,” he explained.

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“I came back too quick and I actually ended up getting another injury in my hamstring, which was three weeks from the final and they said it was a six-week injury, so that’s why there was that setback. I think people have been getting confused with what’s actually happened because nothing had been said.

“I got a few people coming up to me, saying: ‘How can you not be fit for United but fit for England?’ But the circumstances were that I did push to do everything I can to be fit for United, and that’s been really my whole season. It’s been disappointing for me, but I want to do everything I can, first and foremost, for United.

“It’s better for me to come out and say what happened, because I think there were a lot of questions over how I could be here and not United. That’s been playing on my mind a little bit because I don’t want people thinking that that’s what I’m doing.”

Shaw missed both of England’s warm-up games and is likely to be ruled out of Sunday’s game against Serbia as the Three Lions commence their Euros campaign. However, Southgate has revealed that he is hopeful the United star could be back for the second group-stage game against Denmark.

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