Oldham boss Paul Scholes prepared for Jose Mourinho scrutiny – ‘He’ll be watching results’

Since hanging up his boots in 2013, Scholes has forayed into the world of punditry, most often on BT Sport.

The Salford-born midfielder’s no-nonsense approach on the field translated to his takes off it, not holding back in criticism of teams and coaches who he felt were underperforming.

One team that constantly came up in that category was Manchester United – the club at which he spent his whole career.

As Scholes grew in confidence on screen, his TV appearances became more frequent – and that coincided with Mourinho’s reign at Old Trafford.

Notoriously a defence-minded coach, The Special One pulled United away from the attacking principles on which its most successful periods were built.

Scholes often criticised Mourinho, as well as star players such as Paul Pogba, and his words did not go unnoticed.

Last January, Scholes’ scrutiny cut Mourinho so deep that the Portuguese addressed the 11-time Premier League winner’s words in a press conference.

“All that Scholes does is criticise, not commentate and they are two different things,” said Mourinho, with his tongue starting to touch his cheek.

“I prefer to think of him as a fantastic footballer than as a commentator.

“If some day he becomes a manager I hope that he has 25 per cent of the success that I have had. Twenty-five per cent of the 25 trophies are six, if he did that then it would be great.”

Soon after Scholes’ appointment it was announced that Mourinho himself had found another job – but this time in the punditry world.

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The 55-year-old will host his own show on RT, formerly known as Russia Today, analysing Champions League football fortnightly.

The show is set to begin on March 7 and will provide the divisive coach a chance to assume the role he has commonly deplored.

When asked whether he is expecting any flak from Mourinho, Scholes told journalists: “I think he will be watching results. Whether he will be watching the games I am not too sure.

“That is part of the thing that bugged me a little bit. I wanted to get into it [management] anyway but I have left myself wide open.

“I have been quite critical. I don’t think we will get many pundits watching. [Although] if we are losing games I am sure people will be popping up – [they] can say what they want.

“I have never really understood why players and managers take notice of what pundits say anyway – they are just giving an opinion on the game and get paid for doing so.

“If anyone wants to have a dig at me, I won’t be taking any notice. The only person I answer to is the owner.”



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