Paul Scholes Nicky ButtPaul Scholes has finally returned to the Manchester United first team after picking up an injury which required surgery back in October. After a bright start, Scholes has looked a shadow of his former self in recent matches against Spurs and City. With Hargreaves and Anderson proving themselves a competent pairing on several occasions, including games against Arsenal and Liverpool, fans have questioned Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to put Scholes straight back in to the team.

Today, Scholes has claimed he enjoys the competition for places and that it only serves as a positive thing for the club. “There are so many options in there now – Michael (Carrick), Owen (Hargreaves), Anderson, Fletcher, O’Shea and Giggsy,” he told MUTV. “I think that has to be good for your game. You go into matches knowing that if you don’t play well, there’s always somebody waiting to take your place. We all have to keep our performance level up to get picked for the next game. If we do lose one or two players, it doesn’t make any difference. Any two from six could play and you’d still have the same outcome.

Plenty of comparison have been made between our current squad in comparison to the incredible side which won the Treble in 1999. We strengthened that midfield with the signing of Veron, who never quite fulfilled his potential in England. When asked whether our current midfield was better than the great options we’ve had in the past, Scholes argues they are of the same quality. “It’s hard to say (whether this is our best midfield),” he said. “I think we’ve always had competition, like when Nicky (Butt), Roy (Keane) and (Juan Sebastian) Veron were all here. They were all top midfielders and it was hard to get into the team. I think it’s the same now.”

(2008) Scholes, Hargreaves, Anderson, Carrick & Fletcher vs (2001) Scholes, Keane, Butt & Veron. Which is better?