By Mark Weasley
Xavi described him as one player he would have loved to play alongside and Paul Scholes is widely regarded as one of the best midfielders of his generation. The ginger haired genius could pick a pass out of nothing and is undoubtedly a club legend. Scholes was so good he had to come out of retirement to help United win the league in 2013 and many would remember him for his contrasting demeanours off and on the pitch.
On the pitch he was a warrior, racking up the yellow cards and reds due to his lack of discipline. However his genius could not be faulted and many thought with he and Keane missing the Champions League Final back in 1999, Bayern would have a stroll but the rest is history.
As fiery as he was on the pitch, Scholes was notoriously shy off it. He rarely gave interviews to the press, which has helped him to be less scandalous. Now a pundit, Scholes has surprised many people yet again with his unbiased analysis, as he is willing to give his side of the tale without caring whose ox is gored. After making his debut in 1994 as part of the famous class of ’92, he went on to be part of United ‘s glorious era, winning titles after titles and being an integral part of the team.
On the international stage, his talent wasn’t really harnessed as he was shunted out wide to accommodate the youthfulness of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, meaning he retired from international duty after Euro 2004. Scholes has also worked as an assistant coach at Old Trafford after Ryan Giggs was given the managerial appointment back in 2014 following the sacking of David Moyes and many know that his long-term dream is to be a top flight manager.
It hasn’t been easy getting the jobs, as many clubs are skeptical of appointing individuals who were great players, as it doesn’t always translate to being a brilliant coach. With United currently struggling, fans at The Theatre of Dreams could be forgiven for wishing Scholes ran the rings in midfield, as his passing, vision and creativity were cut from another cloth.
Having scored 155 goals for United in over 700 matches, it is fair to say that Scholes has earned the right to be called a club legend. However, his shyness and reputation to be an Oldham Athletic fan before being a United supporter despite graduating from the academy means that the fans don’t always have that relationship they had with Giggs with him, but no one can dispute the fact that he gave his all for our great club.
Paul Scholes, the man who shook Old Trafford with his pure genius on the ball.