English Premier League

Mino Raiola blasts Paul Scholes over Paul Pogba criticism with Winston Churchill jibe on Twitter, as Gary Neville weighs in

Old Trafford favourite Paul Scholes comes under fire from Paul Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, following criticism of the French midfielder

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 August, 2018, 5:01pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 August, 2018, 5:55pm

Paul Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, has hit out at Manchester United legend Paul Scholes over his criticism of the midfielder in a spectacular rant on social media.

The Italian posted two incendiary tweets on Tuesday as he stepped up his war of words with Scholes, who gave a withering assessment of Pogba’s display in the shock 3-2 defeat by Brighton on Sunday.

“Some people need to talk for fear of being forgotten,” Raiola wrote. “Paul Scholes wouldn’t recognise a leader if he was in front of Sir Winston Churchill.”

Raiola also included Pogba’s Twitter handle at the end of the tweet. He followed it up with another volley for the 43-year-old Scholes, an 11-time Premier League winner with United.

“Paul Scholes should become sports director and advise [executive vice-chairman Ed] Woodward to sell Pogba,” he wrote. “Would be sleepless nights to find Pogba a new club.”

The tweets come amid speculation French World Cup winner Pogba wants to leave Old Trafford for a second time to join Barcelona.

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United manager Mourinho has given the 25-year-old the captain’s armband for both Premier League games this season, but Pogba fuelled speculation of a rift between the two with the comment that he “will get fined” if he speaks his mind.

Scholes, now a television pundit, has been vocal in his criticism of Pogba since the midfielder returned to Old Trafford in 2016 for £89.3 million (US$114.49 million).

“There’s a lack of leaders in the team. We thought Paul Pogba might be the ideal candidate to be that leader but he wasn’t there today,” Scholes said on Optus Sport after the Brighton loss.

“He had another really poor game. He’s so inconsistent. Pogba’s playing the ball out of play, he’s overhitting passes, he’s hitting passes short, he’s getting caught in possession.”

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Pogba has scored from the penalty spot in each of United’s first two games, but was poor for most of Sunday’s match, having put in an excellent display in the opening win at home to Leicester.

Scholes’ former United teammate Gary Neville weighed in on Twitter after seeing Raiola’s remarks.

“Let’s hope @paulpogba leads his agent and shuts him up!” the former right back, now a pundit for Sky Sports, said.

Neville also retweeted a reply from former United coach Mike Phelan, who previously worked with Pogba at Old Trafford as assistant manager under Alex Ferguson.

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“There was a time when a players [sic] ability, consistency, attitude, record and application generated further transfer activity.

The Premier League transfer window has closed, but Spanish clubs have until August 31 to sign players, meaning Barcelona could still swoop for Raiola’s client. The Italian agent reportedly made £15 million from Pogba’s move back to United.

“If the player wants to leave, if the manager wants him to go, let him go,” Scholes told the South China Morning Post earlier this month when asked about speculation linking Pogba with the Catalan club.

“He’s not shown it in a United shirt yet, and I think he should be determined to get United to a better place himself.

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“As a player, rather than thinking ‘I want to get away from here’, he needs to prove to the people in Manchester that he’s a good player.”

Pogba certainly looked a different player under Didier Deschamps while helping France to World Cup glory this summer.

“People keep saying that – I know they won the World Cup … but I don’t think he was amazing for France,” Scholes added.

“I just think he was steady. He was good obviously, but I don’t think he shone as one of the best players in the France team.

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“He was very much like that with Manchester United last year, you know – inconsistent. One game he’s fantastic, two or three games he’s very quiet.

“And if he’s going to become that next level midfield player which he should be, he needs to be doing it more often.”