“How is Juan Mata captain?” Former midfielder also slams Fellaini in scathing assessment of Man United

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Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has accused his former club of lacking leaders, and criticised the role that Marouane Fellaini plays in the team, in an interview with the Daily Mail.

Scholes spoke to former Liverpool rival Jamie Carragher after United put in a miserable performance to lose 2-0 to their arch rivals in Thursday’s historic Europa League last-16 encounter.

The 41-year-old, an 11-time Premier League winner with the Red Devils, was dismayed with what he saw as Louis van Gaal’s side failed to put in a display worth of the occasion or opponent.

Scholes indicated that one of United’s problems is a lack of leaders, and does not understand how they have got themselves in a position where playmaker Juan Mata could be skipper.

Captain Wayne Rooney missed the match through injury, and Scholes told the Daily Mail: “I don’t think there are many real leaders in there. Chris Smalling? The goalkeeper [David de Gea]?

“They possibly could be captains but are they real Manchester United captains? How is Juan Mata captain? He’s a good player and had a good month, but captain of Manchester United?”

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The ex-United midfielder added in the Daily Mail interview that he cannot comprehend how Van Gaal uses Belgian battering ram Fellaini, who was deployed in a holding-midfield role.

And Scholes would not approve of the tactical change that would make better use of the physical 28-year-old, insisting that it should never be the United way to smash the ball upfield.

The Daily Mail quotes Scholes as saying: “Marouane Fellaini isn’t someone you can play through. He played for one reason: so they could smash the ball up to him and they didn’t have to play through midfield. This is United you are talking about! Every time Fellaini plays, that happens.

“If you play Fellaini, you can only play one way. You have to smash it to him. That isn’t Manchester United. That should never, ever be Manchester United. But, where we are, it is.”

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More Stories Chris Smalling Jamie Carragher Juan Mata Marouane Fellaini Paul Scholes Wayne Rooney