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12th Sep 2016

Paul Scholes is unsure about two of Manchester United’s current back four

Out of position

Darragh Murphy

Another season, another manager, another piece of Paul Scholes criticism aimed at Manchester United.

It’s been about three years since Scholes loudly came out of his shell and began ridiculing the decisions made by managers of his former side.

Scathing evaluations of Louis van Gaal’s selections became a weekly occurrence during the Dutchman’s two year tenure at Old Trafford, and it seems the flame haired former midfielder is now taking aim at Jose Mourinho’s selections.

Mourinho suffered his first defeat as United manager on Saturday when the Red Devils succumbed to a 2-1 defeat to arch-rivals Manchester City.

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League

And Scholes believes the Portuguese is playing two players out of position in United’s back four, explaining his opinion that Daley Blind is not as strong a defender as Chris Smalling.

“Blind is a better defensive midfielder for United than he is a centre-back but he’s been an excellent partner for Eric Bailly so far this season, hence why Chris Smalling is not in the team at the moment yet he’s not won everybody over yet,” said Scholes in quotes appearing in Manchester Evening News.

“Why? Because he’s physically limited in the Premier League and people are expecting him to be found at some point, I suppose I still am, and against City he was found wanting against a dynamic Kevin de Bruyne.

Leicester City v Manchester United - Premier League

“I would rather see Smalling partner Bailly in the long-term.”

The other makeshift element of United’s current defensive unit, according to the legendary midfielder, is Antonio Valencia who Scholes is tired of seeing misused as a full back.

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League

“As for Valencia, he’s not a right-back. He never will be, regardless of how good his form is at any one time,” added Scholes.

“But Matteo Darmian hasn’t got a sniff yet and there are different questions to ask about whether Timothy Fosu-Mensah is ready to start right there, so it’s a more difficult situation.”

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