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Even Messi would struggle in this team – Scholes jabs Mourinho

Paul Scholes believes Manchester United have sunk so low that even Lionel Messi would struggle to shine for his old club at the moment.

In a typically outspoken assessment of United under Jose Mourinho, Scholes pulled no punches as he claimed that:

United are turning into the new Liverpool while their old rivals and Manchester City laugh at them.
Alexis Sanchez is too selfish to be a United player but can’t be sold because of the wages he was offered to turn down City.
Mourinho’s side will struggle to win the Premier League title with Romelu Lukaku leading the attack.
Paul Pogba’s cockiness means he will switch off after showing everyone how good he is.
He’s ‘scared’ that United will lose their best players like Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford because of the way they have been treated by the manager.
It’s possible the players are under-performing to get Mourinho sacked.
The old Mourinho has gone and been replaced by a man who moans too much and cannot get the best out of his players.

In a wide-ranging and hard-hitting interview with ESPN, Scholes’ comments about Barcelona superstar Messi are particularly damning of Mourinho’s United.

‘It feels like every player who comes into the team struggles,’ he said. ‘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.’

Scholes fears that United are in danger of going the same way as Liverpool, who are trying to win the title for the first time in 29 years under Jurgen Klopp this season.

‘It feels like they (United) have lost sight of the most important thing at a football club, which is what happens on the pitch,’ he said. ‘The club are great at making money but how long can that last when the team are playing so badly?

‘It shouldn’t make any difference but it does. 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.

‘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.

‘You wonder why his side keep getting outplayed. People talk about the first 10 games of this season but last year it was the same. The reason we finished second last year was because of the goalkeeper. Good goalkeepers are not easy to find. David De Gea’s not been quite as good this season, not saving them all like did all last year.

‘The back-four changes every week and it’s half understandable because when they do come in and play they make mistakes.’

On the situation with Sanchez, who has failed to hit top form since choosing United over City when he left Arsenal in January, Scholes added: ‘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.’

On Lukaku: ‘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?’

United’s record signing Pogba also came under fire from the former Old Trafford favourite. ‘He does some of the best things in games – a great pass or dribble, a great touch or dribble,’ said Scholes.

‘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.’

Scholes believes Mourinho is facing the biggest challenge of his career to turn United around amid concerns that he may have lost the dressing-room.

‘I was never in a team, be it Man United or England, where I went out with the intention of getting a manager sacked,’ he added.

‘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.

‘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 wouldn’t 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.

‘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.’

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Source: Daily Mail

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