Paul Scholes, Rio Ferdinand Slam United’s Shocking UCL Exit



Manchester United crashed out of the UEFA Champions League tonight, as they fell 2-1 to Sevilla at home in the round of 16. Manager Jose Mourinho played both this home leg and the away leg extremely conservatively, and these tactics backfired massively on him and his team.

Former United players Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes slammed the team afterward, offering scathing criticism in their postgame punditry. Ferdinand was asked if United are far from being among the top teams in Europe.

“In Europe, yes, 100 percent,” Ferdinand responded.

“I’ll tell you what, next round, there’ll be teams licking their lips, English and other teams around Europe, licking their lips at the thought of playing against this Seville team because they are not a team that would frighten you,” the legendary United defender continued.

“They’re a decent team, they are not a team that frighten you. In these games, you have got to go and take the game by the scruff of the neck. That takes personality, it takes characters to go and do that in this stadium.

“You have got to go and give the fans something to chant about. This stadium tonight was quiet and that’s down to the players.”

Rio Ferdinand labeled the Red Devils “a team of strangers.”

As for Scholes, he said both legs of the tie were extremely difficult to watch, and that United’s lack of ambition or energy was “inexplicable.”

“It was very difficult watching that, it was difficult watching the first game. There was no desire, no energy, no speed about the team. I can’t explain it, it’s inexplicable,” Scholes said on BT Sport.

“You go back to the first game,  in the modern game now, teams go to places and they try to score goals. United went there and didn’t even try to win the game, they didn’t try to score a goal.”

Given the success of other English teams in the Champions League, a level of collective success that is unprecedented, many naturally assumed the Red Devils would follow suit and advance. This shocking failure is bad enough already as it is, but to see their Premier League rivals move on in the tournament- it makes this even harder to swallow.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC and Chicago, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

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