The Ralf Rangnick era at Manchester United certainly hasn’t got off to the best of starts.
Monday’s 1-0 victory over Aston Villa in the FA Cup third-round was a rare positive, although the performance overall from the Red Devils still left a lot to be desired.
Steven Gerrard‘s side saw a Danny Ings goal controversially disallowed after a VAR review, with Villa the better of the two teams on the night and having 57% of the possession.
The United players do appear to be struggling with Rangnick’s complex methods and club legend Paul Scholes is adamant that Antonio Conte should have been hired to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer instead.
Conte, who has won league titles at Chelsea, Juventus and Inter Milan, is now at Tottenham Hotspur, where he’s already starting to have a significant impact – despite voicing his frustration over the state of the current squad.
“Some people say he [Conte] was not suited to United but you have seen what he is doing at Tottenham with a squad that is nowhere near as good as United’s,” Scholes said in a rather explosive interview with the Webby & O’Neill YouTube channel.
VAR saves Man Utd vs Aston Villa (Football Terrace)
“He will probably challenge for the top four and United missed a trick with him. They could probably still get him from Tottenham. Tottenham fans probably won’t like me for saying that.
“You can see he is already getting frustrated with his squad of players and is asking for other stuff. Conte could do something special here, he has got the pedigree to do it. Will we be able to get him? I don’t know.”
Scholes added for good measure: “The club [Man Utd] just feels like it’s in a mess, player, staff and manager wise. Who wants to come into this club, it feels like a right mess. It does feel poisonous.”
Scholes said: “We have gone to a man well regarded across Europe especially by managers who speak highly of him like [Jurgen] Klopp and [Thomas] Tuchel. But he’s not had much success as a coach.
“He won promotion in Germany and a bit with Schalke but he has been asked to come and manage the biggest club in the world, it is something I just cannot get my head round.
“They should have the best available out there as their manager and they haven’t got that and I find that astonishing.
“We should have one of the top five managers in the world. Now Tuchel, [Pep] Guardiola and Klopp are the top three but they are unavailable, there is no chance of getting them. But then you look at Antonio Conte.”
Scholes then moved away from firing shots at Rangnick to take aim at the United players amid persistent rumours of a dressing room rift.
He added: “It has to come a point where you think, ‘Are these players good enough?’
“We know [Cristiano] Ronaldo, [Paul] Pogba, [Raphael] Varane, [Nemanja] Matic have great experience and won trophies but the rest of the squad haven’t proven themselves to be good enough to win anything.
“Some of these players have had a lot of games now. Marcus Rashford, he’s had a lot of games, are we ever going to see these lads reach their potential?
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“Are they ever going to be good enough to win trophies? [Harry] Maguire, is he good enough? [Victor] Lindelof, is he good enough?
“We keep saying how good they are but they are failing to produce what is required on the pitch.”
Watch the interview with Scholes in full here…
Video: Scholes’ explosive interview
Yeah, he really didn’t hold back, did he?
Will Rangnick prove Scholes wrong and turn things around in the remainder of his spell as interim manager of United? Right now, it doesn’t look likely and maybe the club should have went all out to get Conte instead.
Well, him or Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino…