Paul Scholes has admitted that he is worried that Manchester United have now fallen behind their cross-city rivals, Manchester City.
Scholes is widely regarded as one of the most naturally talented midfielders in the history of soccer. He also had a glorious career playing at the heart of Manchester United’s midfield.
Since his retirement at the end of the 2012/2013 season, Scholes has turned himself into a columnist and analyst. And during his most recent column for the Independent, Scholes admitted that he now believes young, local players from Manchester will select City rather than United.
Scholes admitted that when he was being coveted by clubs in his youth, he didn’t even consider joining Manchester City. Instead, he only focused on getting on to the roster at Old Trafford. However, Scholes now believes that it is a very different scenario in Manchester.
“United did not have to persuade or offer inducements. We would have walked there ourselves. Thirty years on, and the picture in Manchester is very different and, as a United fan, it worries me.”
“Trying to look at it from a neutral perspective I have to say that what City have achieved is impressive and their impact on the youth scene in Manchester began long before the opening of their City Football Academy this week, an event which seems to have generated more publicity in some quarters than the arrival of Christmas itself.”
The City Football Academy that Scholes mentioned in his column was recently opened after several years of construction work. Manchester City believe that, now that they have the best training facilities in European soccer, they will be able to entice the most talented youngsters in the world to join them.
However, there are other areas to Scholes’ argument that have Manchester United fans worried. Whereas the Red Devils have struggled immensely since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson in the summer of 2013, Manchester City have implemented a structure that means managers can come and go and the squad will continue to improve. This regime has already seen the likes of Mark Hughes, Roberto Mancini, and now Manuel Pellegrini manage at the Etihad.
City also have no bones about spending huge sways of money in order to reach the top, and they have managed to assemble one of the most talented teams in European soccer by doing just that. Manchester United have now started to follow suit by spending over $200 million in the summer, but their squad still isn’t regarded as being as strong as City’s.
[Image via Football 365]