Paul Scholes has highlighted the problems Manchester United are currently facing and named and humiliated a player as the reason he will not be fighting for the Premier League title in earnest this season.
United shot within 10 points of Manchester City with a hard-fought 3-1 win over Newcastle Sunday evening. Daniel James – who seems to have found his rhythm recently – earned praise after the match from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Scholes, however, insists on going forward and scoring goals isn’t where United’s problems lie. In fact, the expert believes that as long as they don’t tackle their central defensive weaknesses, winning major trophies will continue to be a struggle.
Communicate concerns about BT Sport, Scholes lamented the lack of a ruthless streak at the back.
“I think that’s what’s keeping them from being a team that can fight for the league, or maybe the Champions League, for the best trophies, let’s say.
“Everywhere else I think their midfield and their forwards are really exciting, he’s built a really exciting team that is capable of scoring goals.
To choose Victor Lindelof in particular, Scholes added: “I think in the middle of the defense, Lindelof in particular, they lack authority.
“He can be bullied, sometimes he’s not strong enough. i think both [Lindelof and Harry Maguire] can be very shy. They don’t really command or intimidate the center forwards, they don’t really demand from the rest of the squad. I think those two positions in particular are huge for teams going to win the league.
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Scholes explains where United lack strength
Make comparisons with recent title winners, City and Liverpool, Scholes explained how United are struggling to find the right balance.
“You look through the history of the teams that have won the league. They are dominant and authoritative central halves. You think of Vincent Kompany in City, [Virgil] Van Dijk at Liverpool. They couldn’t win the league until they brought someone with authority to the center.
“Can these two learn it?” I’m not sure they can. I think Maguire will be fine, Lindelof is the one that worries me – he’s the one who seems to be bullied most often.
“They have Eric Bailly on the bench, a lot of people called him for a chance. But the problem with him, he comes in and plays a game, and then you don’t see him again. He just can’t stay in shape, he’s one of those players who just can’t have a streak.
“You look at the defensive side, the two central halves, their argument will be: we played for Liverpool, we played Manchester city and kept a clean sheet. Yeah, okay, they did. But when you look at the other side – the offensive side of the game, the attacking players are completely gone. They had to play two waiting midfielders because they were worried about the center halves and possibly the goalkeeper.
READ MORE: Neville claims Man Utd man would be a good partner for Van Dijk at Liverpool