Paul Scholes claims Manchester United ‘lack the belief’ to challenge for the Premier League title and says Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire’s weak partnership are STOPPING Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men from competing for top honours
- Paul Scholes believes Manchester United lacked ‘belief’ to challenge for the title
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side led at the halfway stage but their form has dipped
- Scholes has claimed that United did not believe in themselves as contenders
- The former Red Devil singled out Victor Lindelof as too easily ‘bullied’
Paul Scholes has claimed Manchester United ‘lacked the belief’ to maintain a title challenge as the Red Devils legend insisted that his former side’s inconsistent defence will prevent them from fighting for the top trophies.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have enjoyed their strongest league campaign since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013. Led by talisman Bruno Fernandes, the Red Devils found themselves top of the table at the halfway mark of the campaign.
However, one win in five league games has seen them lose footing in the title race, with arch rivals Manchester City opening up a ten-point lead at the summit of the standings and looking increasingly likely to saunter to another title.
Paul Scholes says Manchester United lacked ‘belief’ to maintain a challenge for the title
The Red Devils were top at the halfway stage but their form has dipped dramatically since
Former United captain Roy Keane had alleged that Solskjaer’s side were short of confidence in their ability to keep up a title challenge, and Scholes has echoed those sentiments, questioning the United boss’ aversion to embracing their status as contenders.
‘Where United have been where they’ve been the last few years it’s difficult to get too excited,’ he said on BT Sport.
‘He did play it down a little bit as you’d expect but now he’s saying we are going for it we are going to try to catch them. When they got into that position they lacked the belief to go on.’
And Scholes has claimed that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side lacked the belief to challenge
Scholes added that United’s defensive pairing of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof as vulnerabilities that will prevent his former side from challenging for top honours. The former midfielder singled out the Swede as too easily ‘bullied’.
‘That’s what is stopping them from being a team that can challenge for the top trophies,’ he added of United’s defence. ‘Everywhere else, midfield and forward players are really exciting but I think middle of defence, Lindelof especially, they lack authority.
‘He can be bullied, sometimes not strong enough. Both of them can be timid, they don’t really bully centre forwards. I think these two positions in particular are massive for teams that go onto win the league.
The former midfielder also said United’s defence will prevent them from competing for titles
Scholes singled out Victor Lindelof as too easily ‘bullied’ in a stinging review of the Swede
‘You look at any team that goes onto win the league they have dominant centre halves. Can these two learn that? I’m not sure you can do.
‘I think Maguire will be okay but I worry for Lindelof, he’s the one that gets bullied more often than not. Lots have called for Bailly, but the problem is he comes in plays a game but he cant get a run of games.
‘They kept clean sheets against City and Liverpool but if you look at the attacking side of things it completely went because they were so focussed on protecting those two defenders and perhaps the keeper.’
United responded from a disappointing draw to relegation strugglers West Brom last weekend with an emphatic 4-0 win over Real Sociedad in the Europa League. Solskjaer’s side entertain Newcastle at Old Trafford as they bid to close the gap on Pep Guardiola’s leaders.
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