Opinion

Mourinho’s Smalling Frustrations Return With Ongoing Injury Issues

RomaPress Staff
I

Most AS Roma fans had their eyes firmly glued to the visit of Udinese to the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday evening, but manager Jose Mourinho is notoriously known for very quickly turning the media headlines on himself, and in his pre game comments about defender Chris Smalling, he not only managed to achieve it again – but he simply furthered the division that many believe exists between them.

During their spell together at Old Trafford and Manchester United, the pair presumably fell out when Mourinho openly attacked him in the press for missing games if he was not feeling 100% fit, and with them both reuniting in Italy, it very much seems that the 60 year old has simply not changed his opinion on the 34 year old former England centre half. An online system bet calculator is likely to calculate where this particular spat will end up in the very near future.

With Smalling again being unavailable for the Udinese clash, it appears that their relationship may again be on the rocks – even though upon arrival at the club, Smalling was integral to a great first season that saw us lift the Europa Conference League.

With injuries again blighting his campaign, particularly a chronic knee problem, that have restricted him to only three appearances so far in the term of 2023/24, Mourinho’s frustrations with the player have returned, his thoughts ‘leaked’ out in Saturday’s press conference. Those thought mainly being Smalling’s mentality and his desire to help the club push into the European places once again.

“In Smalling’s case, there is an injury. Even among normal people, there are those who can tolerate pain better. Smalling is not a boy who knows how to play in pain. He pulls back a little. His injury is difficult, a great frustration for me because he is in the position where we need it most. We have to be patient. I can’t kill myself, and I don’t have to do it for him. Let’s see when he comes back; in the last week, he hasn’t even been out of the infirmary for a minute.”

Mourinho barbed further.

“He doesn’t even know if it’s cold because he hasn’t been outside in a while. Next week, we hope that Smalling can go on the pitch, not with me but with the trainers. He’s late; I don’t expect him in the next two or three weeks. And I don’t know if he’ll be back before 2024. Hopefully.”

Given we are again treading a very familiar path given their history, the January transfer window and then the summer could be particularly interesting as it pertains to Smalling’s future in Rome.

For now, Mourinho will simply be content with securing a 3-1 victory on the day.

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MatchDay 37
19 May 20:45
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