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Concerns over Shaw's fitness date back to the World Cup and beyond

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England manager Roy Hodgson shares Louis van Gaal's criticisms of the United left back's conditioning

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Troubling news, friends. It appears that Manchester United may have spent a small fortune on a footballer who finds it impossible to walk past junk food.

You'll recall, no doubt, Luke Shaw looking a little Anderson-like in pre-season. And you'll recall Louis van Gaal being so horrified at the state of him that he moved the player onto a personal training regime. Well, it turns out that the England manager, Roy Hodgson, was worrying about Shaw's waistline during the tournament in Brazil, and so too was Mauricio Pochettino, way back at Southampton:

I think when he [Van Gaal] talks to Pochettino that Pochettino will say to him: ‘What you were saying about Luke Shaw and what you've been saying to him, is what I was actually saying to him.' He [Shaw] might also have had it mentioned to him a couple of times during the World Cup, by people like myself and [England's physiotherapist] Gary Lewin. So I think he's been aware of it.

Nobody can talk round a point like Hodgson, but the upshot is: everybody who has managed Shaw has had concerns over his fitness. But do not despair. What the Red Issue fanzine have referred to as Shaw's "pizza issues" may simply be a consequence of growing up:

He will get fitter and stronger, not least of all because he's still a very young man and his body has not yet reached its proper proportions for the level at which he wants to play ... his body is changing but I think he’s aware that the work rate which is required does mean that he’s got to work very hard on that aspect of his game.

TBB dreads to think what's happened while he's been sitting around for a month waiting for his hamstrings to heal.