“My personal feeling is that Ryan can play for another couple of years,” said Ferguson. “Paul’s a different physical specimen to Ryan and he’s had his injuries – two knee injuries, an eye injury – and yet he’s playing his 700th game. It’s phenomenal. Rio’s also playing his 400th game. It’s a landmark for the three players and it’s a great example to the younger players about what can be achieved if they sacrifice in football. These players have done that or they would never have got to this stage.”
Before the international break, United had been losing to Southampton before Scholes was subbed on. Whilst Robin van Persie scored a hattrick and claimed the headlines, the Dutchman claimed that it was Scholes who should have been named Man of the Match.
“You can’t judge Ryan’s performances at the moment because I haven’t played him! But he will be involved in a lot of games this season, as normal, and I’m sure we’ll see his ability,” said Ferguson. “Paul came on against Southampton and it was like opening a door to another room. He brought order to the game. His selection and accuracy of passes changed the game. Southampton didn’t know what to do with him. That’s a great credit to the lad. He’ll always produce quality. He could be playing in 10 years in a former players’ game and still show what a fantastic player he is. I’m lucky to have worked with them both. It’s not a matter of being proud to have had them. It’s more a matter of saying, ‘I’m lucky to have had two devoted players like that’. It’s been brilliant.”
1. Giggs 910
2. Charlton 758
3. Scholes 699
24. Ferdinand 399
To mark the anniversary of United winning the Treble with a team that had academy products at the core, Made in Manchester is available for just £3 for today only. Some of the best football writers take a player each, from Sir Bobby Charlton to Ryan Giggs, George Best to David Beckham, Duncan Edwards to Paul Scholes, and many more, with 30 articles in total. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.