SportSoccer

Paul Scholes rips into second-rate Premier League

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Scholes has lost interest in the Premier League
Scholes has lost interest in the Premier League

Paul Scholes has claimed he would rather watch non-league Salford City side in action than his former club Manchester United.

Scholes is a joint owner of Salford with a handful of his former United team-mates Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, Gary and Phil Neville, with his enthusiasm for top tier football clearly waning after his trophy-laden career.

Writing in a new book, Class of 92: Out of our League, Scholes suggests he is bored with Premier League football, as he believes the glossy version of the sport has lost some of its appeal.

“I don’t find elite football as interesting to watch any more, especially in England,” said Scholes.

“I probably do enjoy watching Salford more. I don’t know if it’s as much that I don’t like the hassle of going to the game, getting in, sitting in traffic.

“Going to Salford, I park up behind the goal and get out of my car. But I genuinely get more enjoyment from watching even my son’s team, Royter Town.

“In the Premier League in the last two years, have I really seen a game of high quality? A game that I’ve thought ‘Wow!’ It’s difficult to think of any.

“You hear about people saying English football’s the best football there is around. I think Spain’s by far the best league. Germany has better teams. In Italy probably the strength in depth isn’t great.

“They talk about Italy being a bad league but I don’t think English people look at it. They say it’s boring. No chance. The Juventus team would beat any team in this league.

“They came up to Manchester City and beat them easy. But we have this interpretation of the Italian league that it’s rubbish. They only try to defend. No chance.”

Ahead of Saturday’s eagerly-anticipated Manchester derby at Old Trafford, Scholes picked out three of City’s star men as being among the handful of genuinely world-class players operating in the Premier League.

“There needs to be a real step up in quality in England. Other than Sergio Agüero, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva, we don’t have the best players. All the best players are in other countries.

“The best players are in Spain or at Bayern Munich and Juventus. We’re linked with big players – Gareth Bale is a top player – but we don’t get them now. Not any more.

“You never see a Lionel Messi coming over here, you never see a Neymar in the Premier League.”