We’ve reached the point in the entirely-predictable Jose Mourinho toxic shock cycle where, under pressure due to waning performances and frayed morale, he starts lashing out with forked tongue and anybody who dares criticise him in public.
Manchester United were nothing short of bereft during the goalless first half of their 2-0 win over Everton on New Year’s Day, with many exasperated onlookers drawing parallels with the plodding, regimented, unimaginative football that came to exemplify Louis van Gaal’s tenure at Old Trafford.
In the wake of the preceding 0-0 draw against Southampton, Paul Scholes, watching the match as part of BT Sport’s punditry entourage, reserved specific condemnation for Paul Pogba, who he criticised for “not looking like a £90million player” capable of winning games.
Speaking after the Everton match, in which Pogba provided assists for both goals, Mourinho clambered up onto his pedestal hand-sculpted from 100% congealed opprobrium and began pontificating.
I think the only thing Paul Scholes does is criticise. I don’t think he comments, I think he criticises, which is a different thing. Not every one of us has to be phenomenal like he was as a player. That does not mean 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, sometimes he doesn’t play so well.
It’s not Paul’s fault that he has made much more money than Paul Scholes. It’s not Paul Scholes’ fault either, it’s just the way football is.
I think Scholes will be in history as a phenomenal player, not as a pundit.
I prefer to look at him as a phenomenal player that gave so much to the club that I am proud to represent.
But wait, there’s more:
If Paul one day decides to be a manager, I wish that he can be 25% as successful as myself. 50% of that is 12.5 [pieces of] silverware, 25% is around 6.
If he’s 25%, he’ll be quite happy.
In my mind Paul Scholes is a phenomenal player, one of the best I’ve ever seen playing in midfield. He gave so much to my club that I can only thank him for that.
The prestige of this club is based on people like him.
Bad-mouthing club legends? Textbook. It’ll be the fans next, then the media, then the upper management, then more of his own players, then the players he wasn’t able to sign because of upper management ineptitude, then out.
Lather, rinse, repeat.