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Simply Scholes, Simply Splendid



Paul Scholes has certainly made an impressive start to the 2010/11 season by capturing Man of the Match awards in each of Manchester United’s three matches, but more importantly, though, he is enjoying his football.

Scholes was a breath of fresh air against Chelsea, Newcastle United and Fulham, and like fine wine he is getting better with age, however, Sir Alex Ferguson will need to work his man-managing skills to make sure that he does not burn The 35-year old out in the beginning stages of the season.

His long-range goal against Fulham was a trademark Scholes’ goal, but the other contributions he made were the elements of his game that impressed most.

Everyone knows that older players cannot handle the vigorous 38-match schedule that the Barclays Premier League offers up, so they must be rested throughout the course of the season, which will more than likely happen with not only Scholes, but Ryan Giggs as well.


However, it seems quite interesting – or odd – that Sir Alex has decided against starting Giggs in any of United’s three matches – with the all-time appearance leader only playing 46 competitive minutes so far.

Despite only appearing for just over a half of football match this season, Giggs has not only scored a wonderfully taken volley against Newcastle, but it was his dangerously-placed corner that caromed off Brede Hangeland’s leg against Fulham.

Giggs is no longer the player that once strolled up and down the left wing with pace and the ability to leave a defender in the dust, so Ferguson has shifted him into more of a free, central role.

Ferguson has always been a very good man-manager, so he knows that Scholes will more than likely hit a wall in the near future and be unable to continue the fine form that he is in at the moment, which will cue Giggs to fill in admirably.

For Ferguson to have a player with the experience and leadership as he does with Giggs in the waiting, the Gaffer will make sure that United does not miss a beat in the engine room.


Scholes has received massive amounts of praise from all of the United supporters, unbiased pundits, but there are two people’s praise that will raise the very modest midfielder’s eyebrows.

Both Zinedine Zidane and Fabio Capello have been quite impressed with the Ginger Prince’s performances over his career and have recently stated so.

Capello, the current manager of the England national team, has not openly spoken about Scholes, but he had offered the talismanic midfielder a place in his 2010 FIFA World Cup squad, which he regretfully decline.

However, the strong willed Italian has not wavered his admiration for the ageless red-haired midfielder as he plans to offer him a place in his squad for the Euro 2012 qualifying matches.

Zidane, who is, perhaps, the greatest all-around midfielders of this generation, has labeled Scholes “the complete footballer,” which can only make the Ginger Prince even more humble than he already is.

The shamed headbutting midfielder, said he would have been honored to have played alongside Scholes, and to his dismay, the opportunity never presented itself.

In his pre-match press conference, Arsene Wenger said that Scholes has “dark side” and he shows malice when he is making a tackle, but yet he would love to have a player like him in his team.

Wenger is known for his off-the-wall comments, but this comment which did not sit well with more football purist, was not too far off, because Scholes does have a bit to of an edge to his game – which has allowed him to carry on for 17 or 18 years at the highest level and the biggest club.

Yes, his tackles are sometimes mistimed and reckless, but there aren’t too many players in today’s game that have never made a late challenge on an opponent.

One play that Wenger could have mentioned to backup his point was when Scholes’ was sent off for his lunging swipe at former Liverpool midfielder, Xabi Alonso, in United’s 1-0 win at Anfield in 2006/07.

Paul Scholes is obviously in the twilight of his career, but even at 35-years young he is still buzzing around like he just started his Manchester United career, and may his form long continue.

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"The United Religion: A Manchester United View From Abroad," www.theunitedreligion.com, is a blog that delivers an American perspective on one of the world's most successful football clubs. Since I have an opinion about anything and everything, I decided to put many of my off-the-wall ideas as well as passionate feelings about the ongoings of United into words. In my writings, you will discover that I do my best to back up all of my outlandish opinions, and finicky analysis with statistical and/or factual evidence. If you wish to publish any of the articles, or have any questions, please contact me directly at theunitedreligion[at]gmail[dot]com.