Paul Scholes is a Man Utd legend, no doubt about it. Hes one of the best players in Premier League history and according to Zinedine Zidane, the best midfielder he’s played against. There’s no doubting his pedigree as a player. Scholes has recently made the transition from football player to football pundit working on BT Sport.
Now on paper this sounds like a great idea: get a recently retired successful Premier League player to talk about football matches. Simple. What could go wrong?
Other than Scholes coming across like a general media unfriendly, uncharismatic and miserable man, which I actually have no issue with, he also seems
to have an agenda against his former club, Manchester United. And particularly against their manager LVG. Time and time again Scholes has gone out of his way to criticise LVG to the point where you have to question his motives.
I have to question the motives behind the continual slurs, even when Utd were top of the league, Scholes was criticising LVG’s approach. Surely Scholes is aware that his words can have an adverse effect on the club he claims to care about so much. It’s not like he doesn’t have the relationships to walk into Old Trafford and talk to the staff, and particularly his old friend and current assistant coach, Ryan Giggs, about his views. The media are loving Scholes at the moment, controversy sales newspapers. They promote his views to such an extent where the manager has to come out and respond to them. Disappointingly, LVG has responded by changing the playing style to be more attacking, resulting in a negative effect on results and a drop down the table. He’s also making uncharacteristic and derogatory comments about the team to try and respond to comments from media pundits like Scholes.
I am by no means saying that an ex-player doesn’t have the right to criticise their old team. Carragher is a perfect example of a player who has transitioned into punditry and uses his voice to critique his old club, in this case Liverpool. The difference is that he does it without sounding like a bitter old man. When Brendan Rodgers was going through one of his difficult periods, Carragher was critical in a supportive and constructive manner where you believed his only motive and wish was to improve the fortunes of his old club. So, heres my list of possible reasons behind scholes recent behaviour:
1. He hasn’t fully accepted retirement and is bitter the club have moved on without him – at some point in life we are going to have to move on from the things we love. Time waits for no man and ageing is real. i can’t help thinking that Scholes still secretly wants to play at Man Utd and is bitter that people like Schweinsteiger have technically replaced him in the heart of Man Utd’s midfield.
2. He’s had a personal fallout with LVG – you have to wonder whether there is more to this. Sometimes in sport, and life, personal feuds can spill into the professional arena. Did Scholes try to become of Utd’s back room staff before LVG was appointed? I wouldn’t be surprised if we find out in years to come that there was a personal issue between the two.
3. Selfishly trying to create headlines to further his new career in TV – I get that Scholes has a new career now and he wants to be a respected pundit. But, there are ways to go about it. As I’ve stated above, you can criticise in a constructive way. Tone is the key here.
4. Trying to displace LVG and become giggs number 2 – this links in with point 2. Will Scholes miraculously appear in the Man Utd dugout once LVG is sacked? I wouldn’t be surprised!
Whatever the reason for your recent behaviour, Paul Scholes, you are a footballing legend. Please don’t ruin your legacy.