Cry me a river.
Without trying to sound like a smartarse, what world do certain professional footballers live in that they think they’re free of criticism? It’s part and parcel with the job and nowadays they earn multiples in comparison to those who’ve hung up their boots.
So, it’s ultimately pathetic when we hear “Manchester United players are furious over the constant, scathing criticism directed their way by greats of the club and have taken to sharing video clips of the former stars making mistakes during their playing days.”
That line came directly from the Daily Mail in a report claiming a number of footballers at United are feeling butthurt following comments made by former players about their recent performances.
Have they been good enough? No.
Are they above criticism? Absolutely not.
Does everyone have a right to express their views? Yes. Abso-fuckin-lutely.
Paul Scholes has become embroiled in a tense exchange with boss Jose Mourinho over the style of football currently showcased by United. Now, it sounds like a few players are getting involved because they can’t take criticism or handle the pressure.
Perhaps there is something Scholes and Mourinho will soon agree on. The United dressing room is full of prima donnas.
In an interview with ESPN, Scholes claimed even Lionel Messi would struggle to shine in Mourinho’s side.
Scholes’ contemporaries Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand and Roy Keane have also been heavy-handed in their criticism, but why can’t current pros take it on the chin and make these former stars eat their words ala Alan Hansen?
In August 1995, Match of the Day pundit and former Liverpool player Hansen criticised then-United manager Sir Alex Ferguson with a comment that went down in football folklore: “You can’t win anything with kids!”
Hansen was giving his verdict after Ferguson’s young side lost 3-1 to Aston Villa on the opening day of the 1995-96 season.
United won a Premier League-FA Cup double that season with a team whose average age was 26 years and 137 days (including players who played 10 games or more).
The point here is footballers have always come under criticism. But teams can make pundits eat their words rather than feeling sorry for themselves.
This report from the Daily Mail is a worrying one.