Oh dear, Luiz Felipe Scolari seems to be getting criticism from all angles at the minute.
As if it’s not enough that the press are picking our recent performances to bits and coming up with the conclusion that yet another Chelsea manager’s days are numbered, the Brazilian is now being slated by his former players.
This time it’s the turn of Atletico Madrid midfielder Maniche, who’s raised the question of Scolari omitting him from Portugal’s 2008 squad, saying “Coincidence or not, in the Scolari era it was always with me that indecision and doubts occurred. It was like this before the European Championships, it was like this before the World Cup and it was like this afterwards. Honestly, I do not know why. They said of me one time, after a game against Spain in which we lost and I was taken off, that I must have had orders from (Jose) Mourinho not to play well for the national team. It was a stupidity, a form of sorting out an excuse instead of saying the truth. When inappropriate excuses are said, sometimes these reports arise. I was at the World Cup, at a level which people thought I would not reach, then I was operated on and was not in a good moment, but it was Scolari who said for me to be operated on and that he was counting on me. He told me it was for me to be rested. He told me it was so that I would manage not to get tangled up at Inter Milan – I was on loan from Atletico Madrid for six months, a period where I was always in the starting XI – told me he was counting on me, and on the last day everything changed.”
So, Maniche is questioning why he was left out in the cold despite assurances he’d be involved? I’m sure Joe Cole understands exactly where he’s coming from.