By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

Paul Scholes has claimed that Manchester United can only win the Premier League this season if rivals Manchester City and Arsenal slip up.

The United legend has been critical of the team’s lack of adventure under Louis van Gaal and remains “unconvinced” by their title credentials.

Scholes’s former club beat Watford 2-1 at Vicarage Road on Saturday afternoon to head to the Premier League summit before the rest of the weekend fixtures.

“They can win the league but they haven’t produced a performance that has made me think, ‘wow’, that is a title winning team,” Scholes told BT Sport afterwards.
“I have seen that in City and in Arsenal. I’m sure United can get better. I think they can win it but I’m not totally convinced.”

BT Sport revealed before the Watford win that United make an average of 47 passes for every shot – over 13 more than nearest challengers on the leaderboard Swansea. By contrast, high-flying Leicester City take only 16 passes between each shot.

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“That says everything about them and is typical of the way Manchester United have played this season,” Scholes said.

“Too many passes before getting into the final third, which is why the forwards like Wayne Rooney have struggled. They don’t get the service.

Service starved: Wayne Rooney has suffered from United's cautious style
Service starved: Wayne Rooney has suffered from United’s cautious style

“Are they good enough to go on and win the league? I’m not 100 per cent convinced, I think Manchester City and Arsenal would have to struggle with injuries and form.”

Scholes believes United’s cautious style, which has seen them concede only nine goals in the Premier League is down to instructions from the manager.

It looks that way. Schweinsteiger claps a backpass to the goalkeeper and he plays every week, so the manager must be happy with the way they play.
“You expect more from Schweinsteiger, a player who’s won the World Cup and the Champions League. The biggest art as a midfield player is to find space – not in your back four or left-back position –  in the centre of the park where it’s most congested, and contribute to your forward players.

“Defensively they’re brilliant, and that’s why because they’re not contributing going forward.”