RoM is pleased to announce that the season preview has raised over £1200 for Trafford Macmillan Wellbeing Centre.
The preview included an exclusive interview with Paul Scholes where he discussed returning to the club as a coach when Ryan Giggs was interim manager, Fergie’s hairdryer treatment and whether the crowd ever influenced him to shoot from distance.
Zidane called him his toughest opponent. Sir Bobby Charlton said he was his favourite United player of the modern era. Ronaldinho said he wanted to be able to pass the ball as well as him. Denis Bergkamp called him the master. Lionel Messi called him the teacher. Diego Maradonna called him unique. Scholes talked to RoM about how all the praise makes him feel.
RoM: It was great when you, Giggsy, Nicky Butt and everyone came out against Hull.
Paul Scholes: D’you know what, I loved it, yeah. It was only for five or six weeks but I really enjoyed doing it.
RoM: Must have been weird, coming out as a coach!
PS: Weird, yeah! But enjoyable.
RoM: Do you have any plans, or hopes, to return to the club as a coach?
S: Maybe, yeah, it’s something I’m doing now, my coaching badges. I’m close to finishing them. If something came up that interested me and I felt was good for me, and a good chance for me to get into coaching, then I’d do it. But I’m not openly seeking to go and find a job.
RoM: Do you think we’ll ever see the likes of the Class of ’92 again – such a big group of first team level players all coming through at the same time?
PS: I hope so. It’s difficult to see it happening but you really hope so. But there’s that much money involved in the game now that they can just go out and buy the biggest and best players in the world, as we’ve seen, for £90m. Which is worrying but, on the other hand, if there are kids that are good enough that are in the youth team, then it’s up to them to try and get in.
RoM: It was such a special group though, wasn’t it, all those people coming together at the same time.
PS: Yeah, it was madness really, how it all worked out. It was unbelievable us all going in together, playing in the youth team. Even at thirteen, fourteen, we were all playing together, so it’d be hard to see that happening again.
RoM: Did you ever get the ‘hairdryer treatment’ from Fergie?
PS: Not very often. Once or twice, yeah.
RoM: You’ve seen a few people get it though?
PS: Oh I’ve seen it happen a lot, yeah! Do you know what, I don’t have that many memories of it really because he calmed down a bit the last few year, I suppose. I think before I was there were his most volatile days, with Ince and Schmeichel and all them. I think they got the brunt of it.
RoM: Laying his marker down as well, I suppose…
PS: Yeah, of course, yeah.
RoM: You see so few clubs win back-to-back titles. How did Ferguson keep you all so hungry, year after year?
PS: We had to. If you weren’t hungry the year after… it’s the hardest thing to do is to keep your hunger and desire the year after, once you’ve done it, but if you weren’t, you were gone. You see clubs now, they can’t do it, they very rarely do it. Chelsea? Man City? They can’t win it; they can’t win it year after year. They find it so hard the year after. We didn’t always win it the year after, we won it three years on the trot once, didn’t we. They find it difficult to do but he had a way about him and if you weren’t ready to do it then off you pop, and you could sense that in the first two weeks of preseason.
RoM: Can you describe how it felt when you received that yellow card against Juventus?
PS: Yeah, I was disappointed at the time. I wasn’t happy with the way Deschamps, at the time, reacted to the tackle, because it wasn’t that bad. I’m the one that heard him scream on the floor and get up a few seconds later. But it happens doesn’t it – European football, away from home, it was my fault, I shouldn’t have done it really and I paid the price for it. But, we still won it.
RoM: Who do you hate more, Liverpool or City. And why?
PS: Liverpool or City? I don’t really hate anybody. I’d just like to beat them all, all the time. Hate’s a strong word isn’t it. You just want to beat them, you don’t hate any team you play against, you don’t hate players you play against. You just want to beat them.
RoM: Did the crowd shouting “shoot!” ever influence you to actually take a shot?
RoM: Did it not?!
PS: They used to shout every time, “Shoot!” Nah, never.
RoM: It was your reputation though, because you scored some crackers from outside the box, didn’t you.
PS: Yeah, yeah. You do hear it, of course you do, but you’re fifty yards out and you’re never reaching the goal from those areas!
RoM: Do you ever get embarrassed when you see the likes of Zidane, Guardiola and Xavi singing your praises?
RoM: Do you?!
PS: Yeah, it’s embarrassing.
PS: Because they were such unbelievable players. They were the best in the world.
RoM: But they obviously rated you so highly… then again I suppose you don’t think of yourself in those terms…
PS: No. No, I don’t. Like I say, to hear those people say that, it is embarrassing.
RoM: How does it feel to still hear United fans still singing your song?
PS: Erm, it’s good! I can’t remember the last time I heard it but, no, it’s nice. I loved playing for this club and the fans still singing my name feels good, feels special, yeah.
Made in Manchester is available for just £5. It includes 30 articles from the country's best football writers about graduates from the Manchester United academy. Everyone who buys a copy enters a competition to win the new home shirt. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.