Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has once again had a pop at his former clubs manager Jose Mourinho, this time over the Portuguese coaches handling of Red Devils midfielder Jesse Lingard.
Lingard has won many admirers recently after putting in two excellent displays during England’s victories over Tunisia and Panama at this summers World Cup in Russia.
However, Scholes reckons much of the 25-year-old’s superb form is down to the confidence and belief that Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate has instilled in the talented midfielder – something he feels is lacking at club level:
“I’ve worked a lot with Jesse,” Scholes told BBC Radio 5 live.
“He was a late developer and the coaches have to realise that. Warren Joyce, brilliant coach was with the Under-23s, was with him and realised it’s going to take him a bit of time.
“It took me ages. I was always the last out of our group to get a game just because people develop at different times more than others and his form for England’s been fantastic.
“I think possibly the manager for England has a little bit more belief in him than his club manager. It always seems when things aren’t going well with Man United he’s the first man taken off.
“But with England I think Gareth really believes in him, gives him confidence, like the rest of the players as well, and he’s really flourishing and thriving in that kind of atmosphere.”
To be fair to Scholes, Lingard certainly does seem to be playing with more freedom at international level than he is allowed under the defensively minded Mourinho. However, it is also worth noting that Lingard has actually enjoyed his best ever season for Manchester United in terms appearances, goals and assists and he wouldn’t even be in the England squad had he not been performing well for his club.