Paul Scholes ended his England career earlier than necessary after Sven-Goran Eriksson moved our man out of position, to accommodate for the inferior Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard.
Since then, Scholes has been repeatedly asked to return, the managers no longer taking him for granted, but he hasn’t fancied it. Whilst briefly tempted to change his mind when United’s former assistant, Steve McClaren, was asking, but hasn’t looked back since making his decision to stick to only playing for United.
“I did think about coming back when Steve McClaren was England manager, but I thought, ‘It’s just not for me’ – and I’ve not changed my mind,” said Scholes. “Not playing for England has given me a new lease of life with United and it’s certainly helping me at this stage of my career. It’s hard to really say what effect on me not playing international football has had, but I’d say it’s helped because there are fewer demands on my body, less travelling and fewer matches. It means you get a break from the hurly-burly of playing every week in The Premier League, so it must help. The Premier League is very tough and, even though I’m not playing internationals anymore, it would be hard for guys like myself and Ryan Giggs to be playing twice a week at this level. Playing international football again isn’t something I’d think about doing. I’m just enjoying my football with United and playing at this level for as long as the manager wants me.”