Cape Town - Manchester United's ball boys have been replaced after they failed to live up to the expectations of Jose Mourinho.
The Red Devils’ boss is known as a man who likes to have things his way, and he reportedly decided to sack the Old Trafford ball fetchers after he felt that they didn’t really understand the game and were slow to return the ball when United were on the attack or toward the end of games where the home side needed a goal.
The Mirror reported that previously the club’s ball boys were being supplied by the Manchester United Foundation, but have been replaced by players from United’s under-16s, who Mourinho felt have a better feel for the game.
The change was made ahead of the recent 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Old Trafford, with Mourinho’s patience running out after a 2-0 win over Hull in the EFL Cup earlier in January.
Quoting a United source, the report said: “The manager wasn’t happy with what was on offer before from the ball boys and girls. He wanted a much slicker operation — especially when United are on the attack or time is running out.
“He felt by bringing in lads from the Academy teams — boys who understand the nuances of the game and the urgency of certain occasions, it would help speed up play at crucial moments.
“Of course, people may speculate whether opponents are given the same courtesy if they are on the attack or chasing the game.”
It’s not the first time that Mourinho has become involved in matters related to ball boys. He once lectured a Crystal Palace ball boy for slowing down play, and when at Chelsea he mocked Newcastle United and Leicester ball boys for time wasting.