Redemption for Luke Shaw after Jose Mourinho barbs as he becomes England’s special one

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
Redemption for Luke Shaw after Jose Mourinho barbs as he becomes England’s special one
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Luke Shaw started the week with a withering take down of Jose Mourinho — but his destruction of, first, Germany and then Ukraine was even more brutal.

The Manchester United left-back can do his talking both on and off the pitch.

This is an England squad with many personal narratives, but none more compelling than Shaw’s.

Not John Stones nor Kyle Walker — both jettisoned since 2018 and then recalled. Not even Jude Bellingham, who has gone from Birmingham City youth team player to European Championship semi-finalist via a multi-million-pound move to Borussia Dortmund.

Shaw’s road to redemption never looked like coming. Once the most expensive teenager in world football, he seemed destined to be a talent unfulfilled.

When Gareth Southgate led England to the World Cup semi-final, the 25-year-old was in Dubai with a personal trainer, desperately trying to get his career back on track.

Despite his war of words with Mourinho, it was his former manager who called him mid-holiday, lying on a sun-lounger, to offer encouragement that he could yet realise his potential.

It would be stretching things too far to suggest Shaw has not looked back since. After all, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw it necessary to sign a prospective replacement in Alex Telles at the start of last season, such was the ongoing uncertainty surrounding him.

But it is to know where Shaw was mentally and physically when England were last at a major tournament to underline just how remarkable his comeback has been. In 2018, he was entering the final year of his deal at Old Trafford, having seen his dream move to United wrecked by a career-threatening double leg break and ongoing issues with fitness and form.

A man seen as an England international for years to come watched winger-turned full-back Ashley Young leap ahead of him for club and country at the age of 32.

Mourinho had not been the only one to publicly throw Shaw under the bus.

Another former United manager, in Louis van Gaal, openly questioned his fitness — forcing him to train individually. It has been a running theme of his career that managers have seen one thing and wanted more.

His form over the past 12 months and at these finals justifies that sentiment — but also suggests Mourinho deployed the wrong methods to get the best out of Shaw.

Both Solskjaer and Southgate are more empathetic, which is something Shaw has definitely responded to.

His ascension from outcast to England’s first-choice left-back and most creative force at the Euros is evidence of how talent has to be nurtured and that progress is not always a straight line.

It is also a testament to Southgate’s open-door policy. No one is written off. The chance of redemption always remains — as in the cases of Stones, Walker and Kieran Trippier, who have come in and out since their starring roles in 2018.

But most of all it is a personal triumph for Shaw, who has shown the mental resilience to come back from the brink or simply hang in there when his career was heading south.

Read More

England team news: Bukayo Saka expected to be fit for Denmark Euros semi-final after missing Ukraine win

England player ratings vs Ukraine: Luke Shaw shines as Harry Kane leads from the front

Gareth Southgate: Young stars are forging bond with fans and learning to have fun in England shirt

Rome steward sings Football’s Coming Home through loudhailer with England fans

Harry Kane and Harry Maguire ‘not settling for Euros semi-final’ after England thump Ukraine

Ukraine 0-4 England: Fearsome Three Lions reign in Rome to reach Euros semi-final

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting