Between The Managers and Club Legends

Over the years there has been discussions about the extent to which ex players have a say in their former team’s affairs. This discussion has been getting more airways in present time due to the influx of ex players into Tv jobs most notably

Gary Neville Manchester United

Thierry Henry Arsenal

Jaime Carragher Liverpool just to mention a few.

What actually sparked this write up was the most recent war of words (or shades in urban English) between current Manchester United boss and Club Legend Paul Scholes.

This came after Scholes claimed Pogba did not look fit and accused the playmaker of ‘strolling through games’ after United drew three Premier league games in a row. He said :

‘Where is the Paul Pogba we saw at Juventus? He was all over the pitch, he was battling, he was tackling, he was sprinting to people, he was scoring goals from 25 yards out.’

‘He is just strolling through games.’

This criticism didn’t go down well with Jose Mourinho as he slammed the Club legend in an interview after a 2-0 victory over the toffees, a match which saw Pogba assist both goals. The manager said

‘The only thing Paul Scholes does is criticise,’

‘I don’t think he comment. He criticises – which is a different thing.

‘Scholes will be in history as a phenomenal player – not as a pundit. If one day Paul decides to become a manager I wish that he can be 25 per cent as successful as myself.’

Fans have been divided on this issue with regards to who was right or who was wrong.

Some fans have claimed that the manager has no right to tear into a club legend, considering he has won so many trophies for the team. Others have been in support of Mourinho stating that it is part of the manager’s duty to protect his players. Which he has rightly done irrespective of who was caught in the crossfire.

This incident is not the first of it’s kind, neither will it be the last. Veteran managers like Arsene Wenger in time past had differences in opinion with ex players such as Henry , Tony Adams, and Ian Wright. Wenger in one instance replied Thierry Henry’s comments: “I don’t listen to what he says or what other people say. We focus on our own problems & thats the only important thing. These people are paid to talk & its difficult to always talk, talk, talk & say things that are true & intelligent”.

Even the great Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t shy away from tearing into Gary Neville when he accused the team of under performing.

My Verdict:

The pundits are paid to talk, ex player or not. They are legends but are not under obligation to protect their former employers. So they have the freedom to criticize whoever they deem is underperforming as long as the criticism is objective.

The manager on the other hand has the right to protect his players from incessant attacks from the media IRRESPECTIVE of who the attack is coming from. It is quite disappointing that fans will criticize their managers for protecting a player. Even Sir Alex blocked out BBC for how many years ???

Would like your response and opinions on this matter. Feel free to drop a comment on the twitter handle.