Jose Mourinho has revealed that he dropped Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Manchester United’s starting line-up as he was “not happy” performance against West Bromwich Albion.
The Armenia international was named among the substitutes for Tuesday’s meeting with Everton after being replaced by Wayne Rooney in the 74th minutes of Saturday’s 0-0 draw.
After that stalemate, Mourinho publicly criticised the training level of Luke Shaw and, speaking to BT Sport before Tuesday’s kick-off, he censured his second player in the space of a week.
When asked why Mkhitaryan had been dropped to the bench, Mourinho said: “The thinking is because I am not happy with Mkhi's performance in the last match and Pogba was not ready to play last Saturday, is because after 48 hours he is not in the best of his game so good to have him on the bench to give one more option.”
Rooney, United’s club captain, was left out of the matchday squad entirely, though Mourinho claimed the 31-year-old was suffering from “pain in both ankles” and could not train on Monday.
Antonio Valencia was rested for the visit of Everton, with Mourinho claiming that the right-back, one of United’s stand-out performers this season, was “really, really tired” following the draw with West Brom.
“He come from Ecuador, arrive here, play 90 minutes, was a big effort for him, we need to protect him,” Mourinho said.