JOSE MOURINHO HAS slammed Manchester United legend Paul Scholes for his unfair criticism of Paul Pogba and the Red Devils as a collective.
Having joined the ranks of former professionals in the punditry game, ex-England international Scholes has refused to let his strong ties to Old Trafford cloud his judgement.
He has been outspoken in his opinions at times, with leading figures at United occasionally incurring his wrath.
Mourinho believes the comments have crossed the line, particularly when it comes to £89 million midfielder Pogba, and he would prefer to see fan favourites being more constructive in their assessment of his methods and those at his disposal.
The Portuguese told reporters after a 2-0 victory over Everton on New Year’s Day: “I think the only thing Paul Scholes does is to criticise. I don’t think he comments, I think he criticises, which is a different thing.
“But not every one of us has to be phenomenal like he was as a player. He was a phenomenal player, that doesn’t mean that we all have to be phenomenal.
“Paul [Pogba] tries to do his best all the time. Sometimes he plays very well, sometimes he plays well and sometimes he doesn’t play so well. It’s not Paul’s fault that he made much more money than Paul Scholes. It’s not Paul’s fault. It’s just the way football is.
“But I think Scholes will be in the history like a phenomenal player, not as a pundit, so I prefer to look at him as a phenomenal player who gave so much to the club that I am proud to represent.
If Paul one day decides to be a manager I wish that he can be 25 per cent as successful as myself, because 25% of 25 is around six. So if he’s 25% he’ll be quite happy.
“But in my mind Paul Scholes was a phenomenal player, one of the best players I have ever seen playing in midfield, and he gave so much to my club that I only can thank him for that because the prestige of this club is based on people like him.”
Scholes’ latest comments on Pogba were made ahead of a comfortable victory for United at Goodison Park — a game in which the France international starred.
He told BT Sport: “Where is the Paul Pogba we saw at Juventus? He was all over the pitch, he was battling, he was tackling, he was sprinting to people, he was scoring goals from 25 yards out.
“He is just strolling through games.”
Scholes added: “Pogba doesn’t look fit. I wonder whether he is training properly.
“He does not look like a player who will win you games and that is what you pay £90m for.
“No-one in England should be getting near him, but he is being asked to do a role he is not comfortable in.
You have to say the manager has to take responsibility for that. Is the manager sending them out not playing the way they want to play? I don’t know.”
After issuing his response to Scholes, Mourinho added that he considers critical former stars to be disgruntled at having missed out on positions at clubs which held them in such high regard during their playing days.
He said: “I think they would love to be here. They would love to be in the club, and that is not a problem that I can resolve.”
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