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Scholes: I Didn’t Enjoy Playing For England So Why Would I Go Back?

Sven-Goran Eriksson made the fatal decision of playing Paul Scholes out of position to accomodate Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, a midfield pairing that has failed to work ever since.

Scholes jacked in England following this, deciding to concentrate on his club career instead, which has certainly been beneficial to him, and Manchester United. The form he has managed to sustain, despite approaching his 34th birthday, is impressive. There aren’t many players who could score a goal like his against Barcelona, let alone with the pressure of it being in a European Cup semi-final.

With the England national team get more depressing every year, talk of bringing Paul Scholes resurfaces all the time. Whilst he was starting to be overlooked back in 2004, everyone, belatedly, recognises how lucky England were to have him.

Both Steve McClaren and Fabio Capello have wanted Scholes to return, however, the player has today revealed he stopped enjoying playing for England and there’s not a chance of him putting on an England shirt again.

“A couple of years ago I did think about coming out of international retirement,” said Scholes. “I spoke to Steve McClaren a couple of times about it when he became the new coach. I considered it quite strongly for a while. But in the end I came to the conclusion that I had made the right decision in the first place and I didn’t want to go back. When Steve was appointed he rang and asked me to return. Just the fact the England manager had rung and asked me to come back and play for my country meant a lot to me. He didn’t have to do that but he went out of his way to ring me and also came down to training and asked if I fancied it. I did think about it but I don’t really think I was ever that close that I would have said yes. It wasn’t about not thinking it was too much or I wasn’t capable it was just the fact that when I was playing I wasn’t enjoying it one little bit.”

So, despite his England career being over, Scholes reckons he’s got time at United until he’s 35-years-old, saying he’ll play for as long as he feels he’s good enough.

“I will carry on as long as I can. As long as I feel I am still contributing to United I want to carry on,” Scholes added. “When I eventually stop then I will think about what I want to do from then on. If I feel I can still be of worth I will carry on. If not I will go. I am sure the manager will say something as well! If he turns round to me and says I am not doing enough anymore then fair enough that will be it. It is part of life. I don’t worry about it. You get too old and you can’t do what you used to. You have to accept it. I am 34 in November and hope to still be playing at 35. Anything after that if I am still playing well and doing something for the team then it will be a bonus.”

Do you think Scholes could keep going past 35?

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Mic says:

    I love the bloke but he just wasn’t treated right for England but when he was you could see how good he was, i’m one of the Lampard bashers, he cannot play for England and come to think of it, Scholes was wasted for that fat waste of space, man, I hate the bloke even more, if there’s one person to blame, forget the manager or the inept FA, it’s the Fatty, the England shirt to him is what Cryptonite(sp) is to Superman!

  2. S. Ahmed says:

    Scholes was not peforming well for England, thus SGE thought Lampard and Gerard would be the midfield partnership to sustain englands midfield.

    Alas, if you note that many of the games he didnt play too well in internationally was precisely because he was nopt utilised properly!

    I mean, if you buy one of the best 50 icnh plasma screen tvs for tv for 10,000 pounds, its pretty stupid to expect a decent picture with a tin foil aerial!

    Poor analogy aside, Paul Scholes is now gladly being recognised for the accomplished footballer he was yet sadly was not given the opportunities to show his worth for ENgland.

    Much as i would like to see him played properly now I and othe Utd fans can bask in hopefully this and another seasons worth of the most accurate passer of the ball (84 percent completion rate last season!)
    and scorchers when they matter (Barca CL Semi-final! – Though cringe when I see that chance against AC at OT in 2005!)

    There loss is rightly our gain.

  3. 7Bestie7 says:

    Towards the end he was used on the left, not because England needed a two-footed attacking player on the left, not because we’d changed our formation and he was the logical choice for the position and definitely not because it was were he liked to played. The reason Scholes was booted out on the left was because of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

    France did it with Zidane. But the thing with Zizou is that in the end Real Madrid was doing it with him too. Scholes has never been a left-sided player for us, not outside of a random game or two during the Veron era. All you needed with Scholes in his prime was someone to tackle and then give him the ball. The arrogance of England even messed that up.

  4. ellie says:

    sometimes u wish all footballers would be humble like Scholes and Giggs, players who hate limelight and enjoyed the football field and not so much the money and fame.
    England’s best ever showing for me in a championship was (2002) when they knocked ARGENTINA out of the world cup with Scholes, Butt, heargreaves and Beckham (all Man Utd. Lol) controlled the midfield. England didn’t win the cup but it was the best i had ever seen the team moved the ball around and played solid, good football. There was no Lamps or Gerrard there at the time. i believe that gerrard is a top midfielder but for me he his not the best when u want to bring stability to your team. As for Lamps, his best years with chelsea was with Mourinho who had him on the left in a Diamond formation. So lamps has never been a proven, quality midfielder who can control or stabilize a game like Scholes. SO GUESS WHAT, ENGLAND MADE THE MISTAKE SO SCHOLES IS MAKING THEM PAY.

  5. dickson says:

    England simply needs to use United as the spine of the team. This may sound arrogant but having Rio marshall the back, Hargreaves n Carrick in the middle and Rooney up front would see them finally performing. You can throw in stevie g, cole, downing and whoever in there and it shall be good!

  6. suhayl says:

    scholes = genius

    guy doesnt have pace..guy doesnt have power or build. BUT ITS ALL IN THE HEAD…TECHNICALLY THE MOST GIFTED PLAYER AND THINKER OF TIME AND SPACE YOU CAN GET. 35?????? HE CAN PLAY TO 45


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