Wednesday 17 January 2018

'Manchester United will finish in the Top Four and Spurs won't' - Paul Scholes

Paul Scholes and Jose Mourinho
Paul Scholes and Jose Mourinho
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes is convinced his former club will secure a top four finish in the Premier League this season - and he thinks Liverpool may be one of the teams that miss out on Champions League qualification.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Scholes poured praise on Mourinho for reviving United in his first season at the club and suggested his push to secure a return to next season's Champions League is on course.

"It's been a massive improvement from what we've seen in the last couple of years," stated Scholes. "The first two or three months weren't great but they've turned it around. There's a way of playing that the fans are enjoying.

"The only problem is they're still sixth, which after being in such good form is a bit of a worry. But I watch them now and have no doubt they'll finish in the top four.

"They're playing the best out of the top six with Chelsea and you have to fancy them to finish second or third. Probably third if I had to nail it down.

"Chelsea, City, United and then it's between Arsenal and Liverpool.

"They're creating more than enough chances — 20-odd a game or something — but the conversion rate needs to improve. If it had been anything like decent, they would have been up there challenging Chelsea.

"They rely too heavily on Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He's been a great signing but there hasn't been someone there to chip in with goals and take the pressure off him."

Scholes was highly critical of Louis van Gaal during his spell as United manager that came to an end last summer, but he has a very different perspective on Mourinho.

"He has the stature to be United manager, the reputation and presence. I just wish it had happened three years ago," he added.

"There was concern among my mates who are United fans. Can we cope with his histrionics at other clubs? He also had a reputation for being there two or three years then going.

"There were worrying signs. He was sent off twice and had a bit of a go at Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw in public, but since then it's been totally different. He's been very impressive."

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