Paul Scholes raises suspicions on Erik ten Hag's treatment of Steve McClaren after caning

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag (left) brought Steve McClaren back to Old Trafford in 2022 (Image: GETTY)

Paul Scholes has claimed Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has banned his assistant manager Steve McClaren from working with his players. United were thumped 4-0 by Crystal Palace on Monday night as the north west giants suffered a record 13th Premier League defeat of the campaign.

United were atrocious against the Eagles and fell behind after 12 minutes when Michael Olise ran towards the box unopposed before firing the ball into the bottom corner. Jean-Philippe Mateta doubled the hosts’ advantage five minutes before half time as he skipped past Jonny Evans before lashing the ball beyond Andre Onana.

Tyrick Mitchell turned the ball in from close range to kill off the contest just before the hour mark, with Olise curling a sumptuous effort into the back of the net for the final strike of the night midway through the second half.

The result left United eighth in the Premier League table and 13 points behind fourth-place Aston Villa with three games remaining. And after the final whistle Scholes claimed Ten Hag wasn’t making the most of McClaren’s abilities.

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Paul Scholes worked with Steve McClaren at Manchester United from 1999 until 2001 (Image: GETTY)

“He’s (McClaren) not touching that team,” Scholes explained. “The manager must not be letting him touch that team because everyone thinks we were a great team that attacked everybody [when I was playing] – but Steve McClaren put sessions on to make sure we stopped other teams, getting the distances and angles right.”

Scholes was coached by McClaren from February 1999 until the end of the 2000/01 campaign when the 63-year-old worked as Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant. McClaren went on to manage the England national team and also had a stint as Ten Hag’s boss when he was in charge of Twente in the Netherlands from 2008 to 2010. McClaren was brought back to Old Trafford when Ten Hag took the top job in 2022 but has been unable to solve United’s woes throughout the current campaign.

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United’s latest defeat has seen Ten Hag come under intense pressure, although the club reportedly have no plans to sack him ahead of this month’s FA Cup final against Manchester City.

Ten Hag told Sky Sports in the aftermath of the Palace game that he was “absolutely” the right man to lead United. And he added: “I will keep fighting. I prepared the team in the best way I could do. It was not good enough, I have to take responsibility for that but I will find energy and prepare them for Sunday’s game [against Arsenal].”