Jose Mourinho Hopes Chris Smalling Isn't in England Team, Rips Medical Staff

Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2017

Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho gives instructions to his players during a Champions League group A soccer match between Manchester United and Benfica at Benfica's Luz stadium in Lisbon, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)
Armando Franca/Associated Press

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has revealed a "selfish" desire for centre-back Chris Smalling not to regain his England spot and slammed the Three Lions medical staff for their treatment of Phil Jones.

The Portuguese boss said he was not informed of the six painkilling injections Jones received before he exacerbated a thigh problem playing for England in the last international break and admitted, for United's benefit, he'd rather Smalling did not get back into Gareth Southgate's Three Lions squad, per the Daily Mail's Chris Wheeler:

"No [I did not speak to Southgate], I think it's a conversation between doctors because I'm not a doctor. I just get information from my doctor, and the info was they consult my doctor in relation to Phil Jones with a little problem in the knee when the national team starts working and then no more contact, and then the local injections before the match.

"We were not informed. Apart from that I don't have to speak with Southgate, I just wish well and want him to be successful.

"I hope [Smalling] doesn't get his spot because somebody comes injured, he comes injured, Jones comes injured – and real injuries because there are other injuries where the players cannot play on the Wednesday and are perfect for the Saturday...

"Of course (he wants to play in the 2018 FIFA World Cup). I say in a selfish perspective, but it is not a real perspective because what I want my players to be happy and go to the national teams and an event like the World Cup."

Mourinho has been on the warpath concerning England recently after centre-back Jones, 25, lasted just 25 minutes when he started for the national side in a friendly against Germany at Wembley.

He subsequently missed United's first game back after the international break—the 4-1 home defeat of Newcastle United on Saturday—and, according to Mourinho, will be absent for upcoming games against Basel and Brighton & Hove Albion, per Wheeler.

The Red Devils manager said last week he had been "naive" to allow Jones to join up with England when he had a problem and speculated the likes of Manchester City's Fabian Delph and Chelsea's Danny Drinkwater would both be fit to play for their clubs despite having been unavailable for England selection, per Andy Dunn in the Mirror.

Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane (R) and Tottenham Hotspur's English midfielder Dele Alli react after Arsenal's first goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium in Lond

Drinkwater and Delph did indeed play for their clubs at the weekend, as did Tottenham Hotspur trio Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Harry Winks, Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson and City winger Raheem Sterling, who also withdrew from international duty.

It is understandable then that Mourinho has been irked by the fact Jones was played by Southgate in a friendly match when he was already carrying a knock.

And it seems unlikely in future the United manager will allow his players to go on international duty if they are carrying any kind of injury.