Manchester United icon Paul Scholes admitted that Ralf Rangnick’s full-back pairing of Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles did not fill him with confidence ahead of Tuesday evening’s Champions League meeting with Atletico Madrid. The Red Devils will go into tonight’s second-leg clash on level terms with the La Liga champions after the two sides played out a 1-1 draw in last month’s reverse fixture in the Spanish capital.
Rangnick opted to name Dalot and Telles on the flanks of United’s defence for the visit of Atletico, who have lost their last two away matches against English opponents in the Champions League without scoring a single goal. The German coach’s selection did not seem to impress Scholes, though, who also insisted that the Red Devils are not consistent enough to mount a genuine challenge for European glory between now and the end of the season.
“The two full-backs worry me,” the former United and England midfielder told BT Sport. “It’s inconsistency that is costing this team. I don’t think we’ll see the winner of the Champions League here tonight.
“Manchester United are not a great team. They’ve got individuals that can win games like [Cristiano] Ronaldo but, performance-wise, the consistency levels have not been there for 90 minutes. They show signs in matches, but it’s never sustained.”
JUST IN: Ex-Man Utd star Jaap Stam warns Erik Ten Hag about Old Trafford job
Dalot has impressed on a handful of recent occasions after being given a run in the United side over the last few months and played for the entirety of his side’s victory over Tottenham on the weekend. Telles has also emerged as a semi-regular starter for the Red Devils since Rangnick was appointed to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the helm back in November.
The 63-year-old has largely been spared of the blame for United’s poor campaign to date but has occasionally come under fire as a result of his apparent failure to turn things around in the months since he joined the club. When quizzed on the direction that United should take in order to restore their former glories, Scholes did not hold back in his belief that a world-class manager needs to come in at the end of the season to allow the club’s players to flourish.
“I think they’re an elite coach away from challenging for trophies again,” added Scholes. “They’ve got a good squad with some top players, but for the last three or four years, they’ve not had an elite coach.
“You need a manager that strikes fear into players, Sir Alex Ferguson had that, have any of the managers since him had that? I don’t think so. It’s a special talent to have as a coach. Those Man City players under Pep [Guardiola]those Liverpool players under [Jurgen] Klopp, they’ll get away with nothing.
“These players here [at United] for the last two or three years have got away with murder. I’m not saying they’ll catch Man City or Liverpool, but I don’t think they’re far away from Chelsea, squad-wise, but once they get that right coach and have two or three years to build, they’ll be challenging again.”
Want the latest Premier League news as we publish it on Express Sport? Join our brand new Facebook group by clicking here