Paul Scholes was basically a mute when he played for Manchester United, but since retiring, he is more than happy to speak to the press.
His career started with him writing a blog for Paddy Power, with every post accompanied with a picture of him shouting in to a Paddy Power megaphone. He’s since been a pundit for ITV, Sky Sports and BT Sport, as well as having his own column in The Independent.
While Scholes will talk about all sorts of football related material, the topic he refers to most often is, unsurprisingly, Manchester United. However, it’s very rare that he has anything positive to say. Most his recently, he claimed that he wouldn’t want to play in Louis van Gaal’s United team and laughably blamed Rooney’s dreadful form on the tactics Van Gaal employed. Scholes described Rooney’s movement as “brilliant” after watching him chug around the pitch for 90 minutes against Manchester City on Sunday.
Van Gaal has been asked about Scholes’ most recent criticism today and has asked a very valid question. Is Scholes saying these things because he loves the club and wants to bring about change? Or is he saying them to benefit himself and his own career? If Scholes really has serious concerns and thinks Van Gaal should do things differently, surely the better route is talking to one of his best mates, Ryan Giggs, who happens to be the assistant manager, rather than constantly bad-mouthing the club in the press.
He doesn’t have the responsibility, so he can say everything. Why is he saying something? For the benefit of the club or the benefit of himself?
I don’t want to defend myself because I cannot defend, because he is a legend and he has a lot of resonance, so I hear. I think when you are a legend, you have to speak with the manager or his friend, Ryan Giggs, or Ed Woodward, but not this way, because he will be paid by the BBC or Sky.
You have an expression. I always use Dutch expression, but you have a fantastic expression for that – sticks and stones can break my bones, but names [words] will never hurt me. Fantastic, fantastic expression. You do understand the meaning of this?
When Scholes thinks I should go, then I go. But it is not his responsibility, he is not the Glazers or Ed Woodward.
I know when we shall lose and lose and lose, I shall be finished, but I shall do everything for this club because, as I have already said, this club is unbelievable.