In an exclusive chat with ESPN, Eleven time Premier League winner and Manchester United Legend Paul Scholes bared his mind on selfish Sanchez, the wantaway Lukaku and Jose Mourinho.
The player was very critical of the team and didn’t hide his displeasure when it comes to performances.
On The Present Team
“Whether Jose has a clear way in the future, I don’t know, because the form is that bad. United are all over the place.
“It feels like every player who comes into the team struggles. I feel like we could sign Lionel Messi at the moment and he’d struggle in this team.
“I hate going back and saying, ‘when we played, we did this and we did that’, but I look at the current squad of players and I don’t think there’s a lack of quality there.
“I do think they miss a couple of real class players that other top teams seem to have – a link player and also a controlling midfield player. I’m thinking more of a Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard or David Silva.
“We have Jesse Lingard who, on his day, can be that type of player, but you never really know what his best position is.
“Juan Mata has those type of qualities but the manager plays him wide on the right-hand side and he’s never going to have the legs to play that position. I’ve been there, being put out wide, and you hate it. You want to get into the middle of the pitch where things are happening and pace isn’t as vital.
“The rest of the United team is OK. Martial and Rashford, two really talented players, they need to develop their confidence. It scares me that these really talented players will be sold and be brilliant for another club. I could see that happening with Martial.
“It’s difficult for him and Rashford to find some confidence because they come in for a game, they might not have the best game and then they’re out for three or four matches.
“If the team don’t play well then they’re brought back in for an hour, then left out. You never get consistency or a run of performances. That’s frustrating. They look like wingers and they’re getting slagged off by the manager.”
“The back four changes every week and it’s half understandable because when they do come in and play they make mistakes. I think Chris [Smalling] is the best defender (at the club), the most difficult to get past, though he could be better on the ball.
“Eric Bailly? We just don’t know because he’s been injured, he’s been in and out. You need a settled back four. Think of the best United teams. We had [Rio] Ferdinand and [Nemanja] Vidic, [Jaap] Stam and [Ronny] Johnsen, [Steve] Bruce and [Gary] Pallister. They played all the time, they were settled. That doesn’t look like it’s going to happen with this team.
On Jose Mourinho
“I loved watching his interviews, his cockiness. I thought he was brilliant, but that Jose has gone.
“Now it’s just a moaning Jose, which frustrates you. He’s moaning at his players and what he hasn’t got. But look what he does have. He tells people he’s the best coach, so he should now prove that.
“It’s not like he’s been given nothing. He’s been given fortunes to spend and he’s bought a lot of these players. He’s bought the two centre-halves who don’t look good enough. If he doesn’t think they’re good enough, then coach them and make them better.”
“I didn’t like the manager praising West Ham’s chief scout after the defeat there and congratulating him on finding [Issa] Diop. It was a massive dig at his own scouts.
“If you’re a scout at Man United, how can you know what type of player to look for when the manager is changing his team every week and his formation all the time? Where’s the blueprint for the player you want? It must be an impossible job.
On Alexis Sanchez
“I know he has qualities and has been a good player but I never saw him as a United player. I saw him as a bit selfish, someone who played for himself sometimes.
“I didn’t think he was a player that we needed, especially for that type of money. How would we be able to get rid of him now when he earns those wages? The signing felt like it happened just to stop Man City signing him.
Lukaku revealed his dream to play for Juventus when he said “Juve have a great project in place and they just keep going. Every year they try to get stronger, Without doubt, Juve are one of the two-three best teams in Europe. They’ve got a great Coach on the bench and extraordinary players in every area of the team.
“Cristiano Ronaldo stands out, but watch out for the others too. Paulo Dybala is already impressive and getting stronger, while I love Douglas Costa. He’s an exceptional signing and his career shows he always makes the difference.”
I hope it (going to Serie A) happens.”
Following that revelation, Paul Scholes has used the opportunity to take a swipe at him.
“I’m just not sure you are ever going to win the league with a goal scorer like him. I don’t think his play outside of the box is good enough.
“Lukaku is one of many United players who look like they’re short of confidence. I don’t think he realises how good he can be, but he needs help because who else can play centre-forward at United now?”
Asked if the United team are not playing for the boss:
“It’s hard for me to say because I was never in a team, be it Man United or England, where I went out with the intention of getting a manager sacked. I never went out and thought ‘I’ll not try’.
“I’m not saying that any Man United player has ever done that but you hear so much stuff now that you think it could be possible.
“I’d hate that if it’s true, if any player set out to play badly on purpose. I’ve had loads of bad games, but never on purpose.
“The big thing with United is the effort and the attitude. When you looked at the West Ham game last week, it looked like the biggest sign of players not wanting to play for Jose, but I would not sack him.
“I hope the situation is retrievable. I’d like Jose to show people why he’s such a great coach because this is his biggest test in football. It’d be amazing [if he could turn it around]. Is it possible? I don’t know.
“He still is [a good manager]. Well, I think he still is, but you wonder why his side keep getting outplayed.”
Scholes also took the time to revive the Messi and Ronaldo rivalry. When ashed which players he enjoyed watching, he replied “Modric, [Toni] Kroos, Messi. Watching Messi against Tottenham at Wembley made me think about the Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo debate again.
and when he was asked who was the best, he replied
“Messi. But Ronaldo is brilliant.
“Ronaldo is sensational at what he does, with pace and power. He scores, he takes free-kicks. But as an all-round footballer, Messi — wow, his passing — has absolutely everything.
On Liverpool and Manchester City ‘laughing’ at Man United and their current woes:
“United now feels like Liverpool from years ago, like we’re making all the same mistakes as they did.
“We were watching Liverpool and City from afar and smirking as they changed managers and players every year, never getting anything right. It feels like we have turned into a Liverpool or a Man City.
“I feel like people at Liverpool and Man City are looking at us and laughing like we did at them many years ago, but if you look across the road, they’re doing everything right.
“They’ve brought the best manager in the world in. They’ve brought staff in to be responsible for signing players. They have a set way of playing every week.”
On Paul Pogba
He does some of the best things in games, a great pass or dribble, a great touch or dribble. Then, five minutes later, he’ll do one of the worst things like his brain has switched off, like it’s all about him because he’s just shown everyone how good he is.
“That becomes easy to play against because you know that cockiness will come. Against Wolves, he showed a great touch to Fred but then the next minute he’d given the ball away in midfield, which led to a goal. That sums him up.
“We never saw that at Juventus, but [Pogba] was a smaller fish there. Look around that team, with [Gianluigi] Buffon, [Andrea] Pirlo, [Leonardo] Bonucci, [Giorgio] Chiellini, [Claudio] Marchisio: great experienced players.
“I loved that team, especially Pirlo and the way he was so relaxed as he controlled the game. Pogba was part of a great team but he’s come to United where he’s got nobody to control him like he had at Juventus.