Paul Scholes has admitted he is scared for the future of Manchester United and feels the club is in danger of falling into the wilderness if they continue to fail in the transfer market.
In one of the former United legend’s most damning critiques of the club to date, Scholes said that the club had drifted into mediocrity, expressed his doubts over Louis van Gaal‘s 3-5-2 formation and questioned whether Phil Jones and Chris Smalling were “up to it”.
“The situation now…has become increasingly urgent for my former club,” he wrote in his second column for the Independent.
“I am scared. Genuinely scared that they could go into the wilderness in the same way that Liverpool did in the 1990s.”
The 38-year-old, who will also work as a pundit for BT Sport this season, also listed the five players who he thought could change the club’s fortunes immediately – Real Madrid quartet Angel di Maria, Sami Khedira, Xabi Alonso, Rafael Varane and Matt Hummels.
Scholes also expressed reservations over personnel and set-up of United’s back line.
“In the 3-5-2 system, Jones and Smalling never looked solid… I don’t feel [Jones] senses danger as a centre-half should do.
“As for Chris Smalling, he just looked exposed in the 3-5-2 formation… neither Jones or Smalling are great talkers on the pitch.”
Scholes, who also wrote that he was “sick” of criticising his former team, was famously reluctant to have his voice heard during his playing career but has certainly found it now he has retired.
His opinions on United have fallen on both sides of the fence. This week, he said Wayne Rooney had been the right choice of captain despite the fact he, back in June, riled Rooney by suggesting he was past his best.
Last week, Scholes described Van Gaal as a mad genius who would bring the fear factor back to Old Trafford, but this week expressed doubts over the Dutchman’s tactical approach, saying that packing the midfield wouldn’t produce “exciting football.”
“It is not all van Gaal’s fault,” he said. “The problems have been there for a while.
“I suppose I should have realised that the very fact I was playing for United at 38-years-old was a sign that there was not enough pressure on us senior players from those coming into the side.
“It was the same last season with Ryan [Giggs]. At times last season he was the best player on the pitch at the age of 40.”
Scholes finished by saying that at this stage of the season United “may not even be at the same level as Arsenal or Liverpool”, and even further behind Manchester City and Chelsea.
Whatever United supporters’ opinions on Scholes’ new-found forthrightness, it is difficult to argue with the the club legend that United far behind where it should be. The signing of Marcus Rojo from Sporting Lisbon can only be the start if United want to challenge again.<!–Article End–>