Premier League English

Paul Scholes calls former club a ‘poisonous mess’

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has claimed that the once revered club are in an absolute mess and questioned whether the quality of the club’s players is up to the mark.

With over 700 appearances for the club to his credit, the club legend was also critical of the appointment of German tactician Ralf Rangnick as interim manager after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s overdue departure.

Urging his former employers to pursue Tottenham manager Antonio Conte in the summer, Scholes questioned whether top players would see Old Trafford as a desirable destination.

“The club just feels like it’s in a mess, player, staff and manager-wise,” Scholes told Webby and O’Neill, a YouTube fan channel.

“Who wants to come into this club? It feels like a right mess. It does feel poisonous.

“We know [Cristiano] Ronaldo, [Paul] Pogba, [Raphael] Varane, [Nemanja] Matic have great experience and won trophies but the rest of the squad haven’t proven themselves to be good enough to win anything.

“Some of these players have had a lot of games now. Marcus Rashford, he’s had a lot of games, are we ever going to see these lads reach their potential?

“Are they ever going to be good enough to win trophies? [Harry] Maguire, is he good enough? [Victor] Lindelof, is he good enough?

“We keep saying how good they are but they are failing to produce what is required on the pitch.”

Rangnick’s impact on the club has been marginal at best so far since replacing Solskjaer at the helm on a temporary basis until the end of the season, with Manchester United yet to produce a commendable performance under the German, having been held by Newcastle besides being beaten by Wolves during the busy festive period.

The Red Devils had also scraped into the fourth round of the FA Cup with a patchy 1-0 victory over Aston Villa on Monday night.

While the plan is for Rangnick to remain involved in a consultancy role for a further two years at the conclusion of his interim stint as manager, Scholes believes the former RB Leipzig director of football is not the ideal candidate to turn around the club’s fortunes as he believes former Inter Milan boss Conte, who was appointed manager of Spurs in November, would have certainly been a more appropriate alternative, by his reckoning.

“We have gone to a man well regarded across Europe, especially by managers who speak highly of him like [Jurgen] Klopp and [Thomas] Tuchel, but he’s not had much success as a coach,” explained Scholes.

“He won promotion in Germany and a bit with Schalke but he has been asked to come and manage the biggest club in the world – it’s something I just cannot get my head round.

“They should have the best available out there as their manager. They haven’t got that and I find that astonishing.

“We should have one of the top five managers in the world. Now, Tuchel, [Pep] Guardiola and Klopp are the top three but they are unavailable – there is no chance of getting them.

“But then you look at Antonio Conte. Some people say he was not suited to United but you have seen what he is doing at Tottenham with a squad that is nowhere near as good as United’s.

“He will probably challenge for the top four and United missed a trick with him. They could probably still get him from Tottenham.

“You can see he is already getting frustrated with his squad of players and is asking for other stuff. Conte could do something special [at Old Trafford], he has got the pedigree to do it.”