Paul Scholes has developed a reputation for strong opinions on all things Manchester United.
His criticism of the club over the past few seasons has been as strong as it is common (with former manager Louis van Gaal firmly of the belief that played a big part in his removal from the post last May), and it seems that the change in manager has done nothing to lift his mood.
The 41-year-old former Old Trafford midfielder has, in quotes carried by BBC Sport, bemoaned new manager José Mourinho’s lack of ruthlessness in pre-season, and has claimed that his Man United team lacks identity, saying:
“[Mourinho] was not ruthless enough in the off-season,
“There is so much confusion about who should play.
“What I saw of Mourinho at Chelsea, he had 13 or 14 players who played every week. He never rested players even in the League Cup or whatever competition he was in.
“With United it is still a settling-in period – it is going to take a bit of time for them to knit together and see what they are about.
“Is there an identity to the team yet? I don’t think there is.”
Scholes is risking incurring even more of his old club’s fans’ wrath by backing Liverpool to beat Man United in the two sides’ Premier League encounter at Anfield on Monday night, as he believes that their manager Jürgen Klopp has instilled in his team all the things than Man United currently lack:
“You can see Jürgen Klopp has stamped his way of playing football on the team,
“There is a definite way about them. You know how they are going to play: they are going to be quick; they are going to try to take the ball off you and try to score goals by flooding the box.
“I was worried about them defensively, but they have already played some of the big teams and they are a real threat.
“The form they are in, they look as good as any team in the league.”
Man United head to Anfield looking to maintain a record that has saw them beat their fierce rivals in each of their last four meetings, while Liverpool are aiming to record their fifth straight Premier League victory.