Paul Scholes has declared himself a football hipster by claiming that he prefers to watch non-league football instead of the Premier League. In an extract from a new book, Scholes manages to damn the English league, berate fans for believing it to be the most exciting league and state that the best players all play outside of the Premier League.
The Guardian features the somewhat meandering extract in which Scholes claims that City trio David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne are the only exceptions to that rule. The Premier League has feelings too Paul.
He goes on to say that the Spanish league is the best by virtue of its annual domination of European competitions. He says that,
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.
You'd think Manchester United hadn't just signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba without the promise of Champions League football... Presumably while smoking a pipe and drinking some kind of craft beer Scholes continued:
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. It’s like a men’s team, but he’s 16. He started playing a few games for them last season. I went to watch him once, it was 5-4. It’s just entertainment.
Yeah, there's probably a reason for that. He owns a 10% stake in Salford City and he potentially has a vested interest in his son given the fact that he did in fact produce him.
Just watched The Class of 92 again, great programme and great memories. Proud to be a red!! pic.twitter.com/rZbOnqIbnd
— TEAM ELITE ACADEMY 💙 (@TeamEliteFA) August 26, 2016
Scholes goes on to say that the English game is run by money these days and here he certainly has a point. The net spend in the Championship was higher than in Ligue 1 this year. The Championship teams spent a combined £215m (we're looking at you Newcastle and Aston Villa) while the French Ligue 1 spent £190m.
He then attacks the transient nature of the English league manager, forced to play for results over aesthetic appeal. I would hasten to suggest that it is a results driven game but Scholes believes that "It spoils English football." A combination of results and entertainment is what makes Spanish football attractive according to the 41-year-old.
I feel like if the Premier League had a face, Scholes would punch it. Cheer up Paul, it might never happen.
After all, the Premier League now possesses a cavalcade of high-profile managers. The likes of Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, and Jurgen Klopp have made the Premier League a fascinating watch this season and while Scholes may lament the quality of the football, it's fair to say that the top tier of English football is likely to be as exciting as it ever has been in the coming years.