Paul Scholes has accused Jose Mourinho of “embarrassing” Manchester United and being “out of control” and said the manager was lucky to still be in a job.
The former United midfielder’s scathing attack came as Mourinho’s side stumbled to a dismal goalless draw against Valencia in the Champions League, when the manager appeared to suggest he had taken the team as far as he could last season.
Mourinho has now gone four consecutive home games without a win for the first time in his managerial career.
The Portuguese has lost the backing of much of the dressing room with his sustained public criticism and he was at it again after United’s latest setback by bemoaning his defenders’ technical shortcomings. He had also suggested in his programme notes that United lost their “dignity” in Saturday’s spineless 3-1 defeat at West Ham.
Scholes claimed Mourinho had become his own worst enemy and should have been sacked after the West Ham debacle.
Speaking to BT Sport in the build-up to the Valencia game, Scholes said: “I’m actually sat here surprised he (Mourinho) survived after Saturday the performance was that bad.
“He’s coming out in press conferences, he’s constantly having a go at players, he’s having a go at people above him because he’s not getting what he wants and I think his mouth is probably out of control and I think he’s embarrassing the club.”
"I'm surprised that he survived after Saturday"
"I think he's embarrassing the club."
Paul Scholes is pulling no punches tonight pic.twitter.com/0vmOYhDqCk
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 2, 2018
Mourinho responded by declaring he had no interest in what Scholes had to say. “I don’t need to know what he said. He said what he wants to say, I’m not interested, honestly, I’m not interested. Freedom of speech, free country, you can say what you want.”
United have the highest wage bill in the Premier League and Mourinho has spent almost £400 million in two-and-a-half years at the club but he implied they had overachieved by finishing second last term.
“I think there are things that are difficult for me to say and if I say it's not good for me and even yourself would be getting another reason to criticise me,” Mourinho said. “I think you have had enough so I prefer just to say when last season we finish second, runners-up in the FA Cup, we won our group in the Champions League, I told you it was a fantastic season and I knew why I was saying that.”
Mourinho started with Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling in central defence, his sixth different centre-half pairing in 10 games this season, and decried their inability to build from the back as well as the shortcomings of his attackers. Alexis Sanchez - back in the team after being omitted from the squad against West Ham - struggled once again.
“The players tried. They raised the level of their efforts [from West Ham],” Mourinho said. “They raised the level of their intensity in spite of the fact we don't have many with that intensity. We don't have the technical quality to build from the back.
“We tried to do something we did well which was to stop a fast team on the counter attack. We knew we wouldn't create 20 chances. Our attacking players aren't in their best moments of confidence and individual level. We thought with three or four chances we would score and win the game.”
United had to ask for the kick off to be delayed by five minutes after the team bus only turned up at Old Trafford 45 minutes before the planned 8pm kick-off but Mourinho blamed Greater Manchester Police for apparently refusing to escort the coach to the stadium from the Lowry Hotel three miles away.
“We left the hotel at six o'clock hoping that 30 minutes would be enough, which it normally is, but this time the police refused to do an escort so we came by ourselves and we took from the Lowry hotel 75 minutes,” he said. “Uefa were nice, the referee was nice to allow us to start the game five minutes later because we at least needed half hour to be prepared but it was not a problem with the club organisation. We anticipate everything that it could be dangerous, in the sense of arriving late, but we were informed the police refused an escort.”