Football

Mourinho slams Scholes and ‘kings of rock ‘n’ roll’

Jose Mourinho has lambasted former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes after he criticised the manager and key players in his role as a TV pundit.

Scholes singled out Paul Pogba, the club's record signing, after his anonymous performance in a 0-0 draw with Southampton last Saturday, reported AFP.

But the French international was far more impressive in the 2-0 victory at Everton yesterday morning (Singapore time), which ended a run of three consecutive draws and put the Red Devils 12 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City, who hosted Watford this morning.

The victory allowed Mourinho to launch a remarkable verbal attack on Scholes, one of the storied "Class of '92" who was a key part of some of the greatest successes in United's history.

Said Mourinho: "I think the only thing Paul Scholes does is criticise. I don't think he comments, I think he criticises, which is a different thing."

Scholes accused Pogba of coasting through games and failing to make the sort of impact his £89 million (S$160.6 million) transfer fee demands.

But Mourinho claimed that part of Scholes' attitude was fuelled by jealousy.

He said: "It's not Paul's fault that he made much more money than Paul Scholes.

"It's just the way football is.

"I think Scholes will be in history as a phenomenal player, not as a pundit."

ALMOST UNPLAYABLE

Scholes' fellow pundits Jamie Carragher and Thierry Henry lauded stand-in captain Pogba's display, with the later saying on Sky Sports: "When he plays at that level he is almost unplayable. I think he changed the second half."

The United manager - who won at Goodison Park thanks to superb goals from Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard, both of which were set up by Pogba - also believes that Scholes has a desire to break into management.

The former United player recently claimed that his application for a job managing United's Under-23 team was turned down by the club's management.

Said Mourinho: "If Paul one day decides to be a manager, I wish that he can be 25 per cent as successful as myself... 25 per cent is around six (trophies)."

Scholes is the latest of the Class of '92 to have voiced criticism of United under Mourinho, after Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville also made uncomplimentary comments - a point not lost on Mourinho, who described them as "the kings of rock 'n' roll".

He said: "I think the performance was really good so maybe I am lucky this time - and the kings of rock 'n' roll who say I was underperforming last match say, this time, I performed.

"I think they would love to be here. They would love to be at the club and that's a problem I cannot resolve."

A feisty Mourinho also rehashed his gripes over fixture scheduling and injuries, suggesting to beIN Sports that rival teams get preferential treatment in terms of scheduling.

But Liverpool legend Graeme Souness said the Portuguese is unlikely to receive much sympathy, telling Sky Sports: "Mourinho is not going to get too many sympathy votes from English football...

"You can go out and spend £200m on two players, I don't think too many people will be feeling sorry for him tonight."

Football