Mino Raiola is the face of modern football and it is ugly

Mino Raiola is the face of modern football and it is ugly

Raiola posted two sarcastic tweets directed at Paul Scholes, after the ex-United star criticised his client Paul Pogba. Both were in bad taste and both misguided.

Craig Millar

Alfredo Di Stefano. Sir Bobby Charlton. George Best. Kevin Keegan. Kenny Dalglish. Zico. Zidane. There is an endless of players down the years who were genuinely world class. They rarely get talked about in debates over THE greatest, but they were all special nonetheless.

Paul Scholes would fit into that long list quite snuggly.

He won every honour at club level including 11 league titles and is somebody that can truly be classed as a legend. He was a wonderful player and he had the lot. 

Scholes a different level

No matter what standard of football you play at, occasionally you come across a player who is on a different level. Scholes was one of those and he operated at the highest level.

Those sort of players are generally two types of character. One is larger than life and likes to flaunt the fact that they are special. The others are generally modest and don't even think about how good they are. Scholes was one of the latter breeds.

He was so shy and reticent that when he ended up taking a job in the punditry world it was a major shock. He hardly did an interview during his playing days, but now he is giving his opinions on a weekly basis.

He was part of a number of great Manchester United teams. Anyone that played the length of time he did in successful teams must have a winning mentality, a steely mentality and must know football.

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His punditry is like his football

So when he speaks now, he does so with authority. He also doesn't hold back. He doesn't hold back when it comes to United either.

There is a little bit of criticism towards him from some United fans, and not just him but other ex-United players too. Quite frankly, that is ridiculous. 

It may not help with the mood in the United camp, but if United play poorly then what else could be expected? United fans themselves aren't shy on social media, so what should Scholes do? 

Well, after the Brighton defeat he made his points on the game, but his comments about Paul Pogba really rubbed someone up the wrong way. Scholes said:

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"There's a lack of leaders in the team. We thought Paul Pogba might be the ideal candidate to be that leader but he wasn't there today. He had another really poor game. He's so inconsistent. Pogba's playing the ball out of play, he's over-hitting passes, he's hitting passes short, he's getting caught in possession."

Just like one of Scholes' raking, exocet-missile like passes, he was precision personified. You couldn't argue with that assessment. Pogba's agent, Mino Raiola did not take it kindly though.

Naturally, his client being criticised by a high profile ex-player is not going to sit well, but his response was a little bit jaw-dropping. Well, maybe in bygone days it would have been and maybe from a different agent.

Twitter Storm

Raiola took to Twitter to post two snide, sarcastic and derogatory comments that would probably have done a lot more harm than Scholes' comments.

He tweeted:

"Some people need to talk for fear of being forgotten. Paul Scholes wouldn’t recognize a leader if he was in front of Sir Winston Churchill. @paulpogba"

And followed up with:

"Paul Scholes should become sports director and advise Woodward to sell Pogba. Would be sleepless nights to find Pogba a new club @paulpogba"

Raiola epitomises what is bad in the game of football today. Every pundit on every TV channel has to be critical at times. It's their job. It is not often you see that kind of riposte from an agent.

Mido, the Egyptian forward formally of Tottenham, was also on Raiola's books. He explained that Raiola is not one to resolve a conflict. If one of his players has an issue with a club, he finds them a new one.

These tweets are proof of that. As much as he is sneaky and devious in his methods, he is also quite clever.

The first tweet attacked Scholes. Fear of being forgotten? That is not Paul Scholes. He is humble and modest about his own career, but there is absolutely no chance of him being forgotten.

Wouldn't recognise a leader? He was in tandem with Roy Keane for nearly a decade, and if Keane is not a leader then it is hard to know what constitutes one.

Tweet number one got United fans' backs up. The response to that was exactly what the schemer wanted. United fans in their hoards responding in an angry manner and not just attacking Raiola but Pogba too.

A lot of bile was written by plenty of idiots. Pure abuse. By including Pogba in the Tweet meant the Frenchman, if he chose, could read it too. Nice move. 

The second Tweet not only attacked Scholes once more, but this time taunted United and Ed Woodward. If you don't want him or like him, sell him was the message.

What Scholes' comments had to do with United's stance over Pogba is anybody's guess, but Raiola doesn't care about that. He seized an opportunity to stir the pot.

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Money is all that matters

This is the man that took Pogba away from United back in 2012. United, quite rightly, would not give in to excessive demands for an 18-year-old with limited first team experience.

It was obvious that he would become a star, but whether he earned £10,000 or £40,000 a week at that age didn't really matter. To a normal person. Raiola whisked him away to Turin, and on the face of it, the move was a good one for his client.

He fractured his relationship with the club, but football clubs can't afford to bear grudges. Pogba's return for, at the time, a world record £89.3million fee proves that. United were the ones who ultimately backed down.

The recruitment of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Romelu Lukaku emphasise the point - all clients of Raiola. It may not have been the case if Sir Alex Ferguson were still in charge. But then a lot of things may be different.

How this will pan out is difficult to assess. There have been rumours of heavy interest in Pogba from Barcelona. The noises out of Old Trafford are that Pogba will not be sold under any circumstances.

That Jose Mourinho made him Captain and is seemingly is holding out an olive branch suggests that United want to make life better for Pogba. That is something that Raiola doesn't appear to welcome.

Why would it? He made £40million from the deal that brought Pogba back from Juventus. Another nice earner is on the cards, and Woodward and Mourinho are not going to scupper another fat payday.

The fuss and the fanfare that accompanied the #Pogback campaign is now a distant memory. That can now be clearly seen for what it was, a gimmick. 

Loyalty no longer exists. Maybe Raiola thinks he is loyal to Pogba, but attacking a United legend and taunting the club was despicable. Shouldn't Pogba and Raiola show some loyalty to United too?

They are paying him a small fortune every week after all. These are the grubby tactics of a modern-day agent. This modern-day agent anyway. Money matters. It's the only thing that matters. It's ugly.