Mourinho rips into Scholes - Boot in the mouth for player-turned-pundit after attack on Pogba

Sports | 3 Jan 2018

Jose Mourinho lambasted former Manchester United midfielder and TV pundit Paul Scholes after he criticized the manager and a key player.

Scholes singled out Paul Pogba, the club's record signing, after his anonymous performance in a weekend draw with Southampton.

But the French international was impressive in a 2-0 win at Everton on Monday, which ended a run of three consecutive United draws and put them 12 points behind English Premier League leaders Manchester City.

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

"The only thing Paul Scholes does is criticize," said Mourinho. "I don't think he comments. I think he criticizes, which is a different thing."

Scholes had accused Pogba of coasting through games and failing to make the sort of impact his 89 million (HK$942 million) transfer fee demanded.

But Mourinho defended his player and claimed part of Scholes' attitude was fueled by jealousy. "Paul tries to do his best all the time," he said. "Sometimes he plays very well, sometimes he plays well, sometimes he doesn't play so well.

"It's not Paul's fault 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."

The United manager, whose team won at Goodison Park thanks to goals from Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard - both set up by Pogba - also believes Scholes wants to be a manager. Scholes, in fact, claimed recently his application for a job managing United's under-23 team was turned down by the management.

If Scholes "decides to be a manager I wish he can be 25 percent as successful as myself," said Mourinho.

But he rounded off his criticism by saying Scholes was "one of the best I've ever seen playing in midfield. The prestige of this club is based on people like him."

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

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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