Before their trip to Newcastle, Manchester United had managed to avoid defeat in their last three games. However, their unbeaten run came to an end at St. James’ Park with a 1-0 loss that once again put Erik ten Hag‘s men under fire.
Club legend Paul Scholes, for instance, was very critical of the Red Devils’ current form. “Rubbish. They’re a poor football team at this minute. Those results they’ve had recently are misleading. Too many lazy players on the football team – you can’t get away with that,” said the former midfielder, via the Daily Mail.
Scholes, 49, spent neary two decades at Old Trafford during the club’s golden era under Sir Alex Ferguson. In that period, he was a key contributor in multiple Premier League and UEFA Champions League titles, among other honors.
But just like many other club icons, Scholes now has to see a struggling version of his former team. In his eyes, ten Hag’s side lacked effort and committment in its recent defeat.
“Going to these places, the first thing you do is work hard. You can see the joy that Newcastle are getting down both sides and feel sorry for the full backs,” Scholes added.
Scholes singles out two Man Utd players
While Scholes was very critical of the United squad in general, he picked out two players in particular for not helping the team right now. One of them was Marcus Rashford, who looked upset as he was subbed off after the hour mark.
“What is he surprised about? I don’t get it. What is he thinking he should still be on the pitch for? He was causing the team more harm than good,” Scholes said. “Marcus last year was brilliant and he’s got ability, there is no doubt about that. But when you decide to walk back like was, and he comes off and behaves like that, I do not think it’s good for the team. And he’s one of the most experienced players now. He’s a player that players look up to. Mainoo looks up to him. Garnacho looks up to him.’
Rashford enjoyed an impressive resurgence last season, with 30 goals and 11 assists in 56 appearances across all competitions in ten Hag’s first year at the club. This term, however, he boasts just two goals and four assists in 18 games.
Scholes also called out Bruno Fernandes, as he believes the Portuguese star’s role in the team is unclear and unhelpful for the team.
“Bruno is another one. Look, he’s got fantastic ability, he can score a goal and make a goal, but I would love to be in the dressing room before a game and see what the manager is asking him to do,” the former player said. “What position is he asking him to play? Where are you supposed to be on the football pitch? I see him as a No.10, it’s his best position as he can play a pass and he can get a goal.
“Where was he tonight? He was never in that position. I see him on the left, the right, sometimes he is the deepest Manchester United player, getting the goal off the goalkeeper. I don’t think that is healthy for the team. It upsets the formation and it upsets the way of playing.”
What’s next for Manchester United
Manchester United are about to enter a stretch of three-straight home games. The Red Devils return to action on Wednesday, when they host Chelsea on Matchday 15 of the Premier League.
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Three days later, they will also welcome Bournemouth to Old Trafford. On Tuesday, Dec. 12, ten Hag’s men will play Bayern Munich in the final round of the UEFA Champions League group stage, aiming to make it to the round of 16.