Paul Scholes: I feel Lionel Messi would struggle in this Manchester United team

The midfielder-turned-television pundit continued to criticise the functioning of his former club in an interview.

Former Manchester United midfielder, Paul Scholes has never shied away from criticising the club he played for his entire career.

The Englishman has been particularly harsh on current United manager Jose Mourinho this season, even as the club lies eighth in the Premier League table with three defeats already in just eight matches.

In an interview, Scholes continued to lash out at Mourinho and some of the Manchester United players. The 43-year-old feels that the old Mourinho, who won titles with Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter Milan, is gone.

“I loved watching his interviews, his cockiness,” Scholes was quoted as saying. “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.”

Mourinho has continuously lamented about the fact that the club’s board did not get him the players he wanted in the last transfer window, but Scholes does not think that should be an excuse.

“It’s not like he’s been given nothing [at Manchester United]. He’s been given fortunes to spend and he’s bought a lot of these players. He’s bought the two centre-halfs who don’t look good enough. If he doesn’t think they’re good enough, then coach them and make them better,” he said.

Scholes feels United miss a couple of world-class players that other top teams seem to have, including a link player between the midfield and the forwards. “I’m thinking more of a [Kevin] De Bruyne, [Eden] Hazard or David Silva,” he said.

“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,” he added.

Not for the first time, Scholes was also harsh on Alexis Sanchez, who scored the winner in United’s last-gasp 3-2 win over Newcastle last week but has not managed to reproduce the form he showed at Arsenal before his move last year. “I know he has qualities and has been a good player but I never saw him as a United player,” Scholes said.

“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,” he added.

Scholes feels that every player who joins Manchester United is struggling. “I feel like we could sign Lionel Messi at the moment and he’d struggle in this team,” he said. The footballer-turned-television pundit also said that the current Manchester United team is making the same mistakes arch-rivals Liverpool made after their last league title in 1990.

“I feel like people at Liverpool and Man City are looking at us and laughing like we did at them many years ago,” Scholes said. “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.”

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