Former Manchester United star Paul Scholes has once more taken aim at his ex-employers, stating that even Lionel Messi would fail to revive their failing fortunes.
United currently lie a lowly eighth in the Premier League, seven points behind early pace-setters Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City after losing three of their opening eight fixtures.
That run of inauspicious form has coincided with pressure being mounted on manager Jose Mourinho, with reports that relations between the boss and certain first-team players have taken a nose dive.
And Scholes believes that morale is so low at Old Trafford right now that the task of turning things around would be too much even for Barcelona’s wizard.
“It feels like every player who comes into the team struggles,” Scholes said in an interview with ESPN FC.
“I feel like we could sign Lionel Messi at the moment and he’d struggle in this team.
“Who is the best? Messi. But Ronaldo is brilliant.
“Ronaldo is sensational at what he does, with pace and power. He scores, he takes free-kicks. But as an all-round footballer, Messi — wow, his passing — has absolutely everything.”
While Scholes was referring directly in his statement to the woes suffered by Alexis Sanchez since moving to Man United, he has also spoken out in the past about the rift between Mourinho and Paul Pogba, stating that the midfielder should be retained.
In spite of that support, however, Scholes admitted that the France international’s rather erratic form is testing his patience.
“How old is he, 25? He does some of the best things in games, a great pass or dribble, a great touch or dribble. Then, five minutes later, he’ll do one of the worst things like his brain has switched off, like it’s all about him because he’s just shown everyone how good he is,” he added.
“That becomes easy to play against because you know that cockiness will come. Against Wolves, he showed a great touch to Fred but then the next minute he’d given the ball away in midfield, which led to a goal.
“That sums him up.”
For Scholes, those problems all add up to a nightmare scenario for the Red Devils, with their rivals in Manchester and Liverpool poking fun after years of United dominance.
“I feel like people at Liverpool and Man City are looking at us and laughing like we did at them many years ago. But if you look across the road, they’re doing everything right,” he said.
“They’ve brought the best manager in the world in. They’ve brought staff in to be responsible for signing players. They have a set way of playing every week.
“Everything becomes easy for them. It becomes easy for the scout who knows that they play 4-3-3 and knows the positions of players and what they’re looking to sign. It’s virtually impossible for a chief scout at Man United to do the same.
“Whether Jose has a clear way in the future, I don’t know because the form is that bad. United are all over the place.”