Tribute To A Fantastic Player
Born Paul Scholes on the 16th of November 1976 in Salford , Greater Manchester and has been a Manchester United player for most of his life. He started out with the youth team though he wasn’t part of the group of youngsters that won the FA youth cup in 1992. That team had the Likes of Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Nicky Butt and Gary Neville. He made it to final of the tournament the following year with Gary’s younger brother Phil. Scholesy as he is known in the United dressing room broke into the senior team in the 1994/95 season. He scored a brace on his debut in Sept 94 in a game against Port Vale and he ended up scoring a total of 5 goals in 17 games for Man Utd that season. He made his national team debut for Three Lions of England against South Africa in 1997 and scored his debut goal against Italy in June of the same year in a dress rehearsal tourney (Tournoi De France) before the France 1998 world cup. England won the 4 nation tournament (My close friends will know why I chipped this in). He made the final cut for the world cup squad in 1998 on the back of a wonderful season though Man Utd ended the season trophyless (that happened only twice in the 1990s, so enemies think before you yab us, lol). He scored a wonder goal in England’s 1st game of the competition against Tunisia.
After 3 more tournaments (Euro 2000, Korea Japan 2002 world cup and Euro 2004), he retired from international football. It was believed that he retired because he was forced out his regular central midfield role to the left side of midfield to accommodate then emerging stars Frank Lampard and Steven Gerard in the team by the then English team’s manager Sven- Goran Ericksson. The man himself cited family and his Manchester United career as reasons for quitting. He notched up 66 caps for his country scoring 14 goals in the process.
Personally growing up, I never acknowledged the efforts of midfielders (both creative and defensive). I always gave the strikers all the credit and probably if I see a great save or penalty save from the goalkeepers. Defenders and midfielders were just people I recognised whenever I needed a team member to put the blame of a loss on. I did not notice the impact of a midfield player till I saw the world cup in France, where Zinedine Zidane was for me the reason France won that tournament. Yes it was a team effort but his creativity was crucial. From then on I decided to watch my beloved team’s midfield players. I still wasn’t blown away but I started to notice that extra “something” whenever Scholesy was with the ball. He rarely makes a 2 meter pass, always looking out for a player making a run into the opposition’s goal. That really excites me because football is about banging in goals. Why act like a Mikel Obi always wanting to send the ball towards his team’s goal.
Paul Scholes who scored his last goal for Man Utd during the 2010/2011 season in a game against Fulham in August, 2010 has been hailed by many great managers and players alike as a FANTASTIC player. Zidane said Scholes was his toughest opponent and thge best player of his generation. Patrick Viera named Scholes as the player he admired most in the EPL. Cesc Fabregas said Scholes was at the level he aspired to reach. Thierry Henry stated that he is shocked Scholes was never named player of the year. Kevin Keegan went as far saying the difference between Man Utd and Chelsea was Paul Scholes. Gordon Strachan said to find a better midfielder than Scholesy you have to look back 30 years (Sir Bobby Charlton). World Cup winning coach Marcello Lippi was heard saying Paul Scholes would have been one of my first choices for putting together a great team. Ray Wilkins (Former Chelsea coach) said this after Scholes announced his retirement “I’m saddened because I think we as spectators, not only in England but right throughout Europe and the rest of the World, will be missing one hell of a footballer.” Well a certain Arsene Wenger however points out that Scholes has got a dark side but in my own opinion he is human. Best I know Patrick Viera was sent off 10 times in his 9 years at Arsenal and Paul Scholes was sent off 10 times in his entire career.
Paul Scholes has had a wonderful career spanning 17 years making 676 appearances for the Red Devils scoring 150goals. He won 10 premier league trophies, 3 FA cup trophies, 2 League cup trophies, 1 Champions league trophy (he was part of the 1999 side but wasn’t involved in the final due to suspension), 5 Community shields, 1 Intercontinental cup and 1 club world cup trophy. He isn’t my all time best United player but he is up there. For me he is the best British player ever with due respect to all Paul Gascoigne and Bobby Charlton fans. Only Ryan Giggs (yes he slept with his brother’s wife but we are talking footie here) has won more trophies than Paul Scholes in British history.
All the best Paul Scholes as you take to coaching.
Thanks for your time peeps…………………. Bless
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