What is it with former Manchester United midfielders hammering current players in the press? For years former United captain Roy Keane has taken potshots at United players, while today’s newspapers all carry some hard hitting comments from Paul Scholes about striker Wayne Rooney and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.
What makes Scholes comments so interesting is that he was part of Ryan Giggs back room staff for the last four games of the season. Unlike Keane, his comments and observations were not made from a TV studio, but instead from the training pitch.
“There’s a chance he’s worn out. Wayne’s peak may have been a lot younger than what we’d expect of footballers traditionally. Age 28 or 29 has been the normal ‘peak’. With Wayne, it could have been when he scored 27 league goals in 2011-2012 when he was 26.
“Wayne might be a player who’d retire come 31 or 32, given the amount of football he’s played. Ryan Giggs has been on the go for ages, but he adjusted his position. Can Wayne do the same? I don’t think Wayne will be able to play centre forward until he’s 34 or 35.”
Scholes also points out something that Sir Alex Ferguson realized, Wayne does not play well with others:
“He needs to use his energy more effectively now as he’s a player who likes to be up front on his own and I don’t think he’s great with partnerships.”
Scholes then turned his attention to Ed Woodward, leaving no doubt who he blames for United’s poor season:
“David Moyes took a lot of stick but I believe he’s a top manager. I’d question if 10 months was enough time. Edward Woodward has an awful lot to prove this time that he’s good enough at his job.”
United missed out on transfer targets like Cesc Fabregas, Sami Khedira and Daniele De Rossi last summer, when their only major signing was Marouane Fellaini, and Scholes believes Woodward was at fault.
“He has to bring the players in that the new manager wants,” he said. “It’s obvious that last year he didn’t manage to do that. If he doesn’t we are not going to get anywhere near the top.”
After spending a month training up close with United’s first team squad, Scholes left no doubt that he was not impressed with what he say saying that United need five or six new signings if they are to get back to winning titles again:
“He’s(van Gaal) been at the biggest clubs in the world but he has a major job on his hands at Man United. “It’s a massive task and there’s a big gap to fill to catch Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool next season. United are a long way behind. If Van Gaal gets them to the Champions League, it’ll be a start.”