The return of Paul Scholes was kept very quiet by Manchester United with even Wayne Rooney in saying he didn’t know he was returning. It seemed like such a perfect time for Scholes to come on against Manchester City in the FA Cup with his team 3-1 up and also a man up after a controversial red card for Vincent Kompany, but the midfielder will be devastated with his return giving away possession cheaply which led to Aguero scoring and making it a tough end to a game which United should have easily strolled to victory.
After Thierry Henry joined Arsenal on loan for two months, I thought that would be the only player that returned to a former club but then Manchester United surprise us all by bringing back Scholes which shows how desperate they are at the moment and how poor Alex Ferguson believes his team are in the middle of the park. It seems like a very strange decision to me, as Fergie usually trusts his team and trusts his replacements but not this time, he obviously feels he did not adequately replace the former England man and his team are suffering because of it.
I thought Scholes should have continued anyway but because he retired and has now come back, I think it is the wrong decision as he said himself he retired because he didn’t feel he could offer the team anything anymore. But in his favour is the form of Stephen Carr at Birmingham City, who retired but came back into football and has looked as dependable as ever at right back. However, right back and centre midfield are very different, he won’t be able to get around the pitch as much and the game may pass him by if his fitness is not up to a high standard.
If you look at the last few years he had adapted his game anyway and seemed to be more of a holding midfielder who looked to get on the ball and spray passes round the pitch which he can probably still do because you do not lose that ability after only a few months out of the game. At the start of his career, he was a player that liked to get into the box and score goals but I cannot see him scoring many goals in his return for United but he did have one very good strike against City which he hit very cleanly and sweetly so he may pop up with the odd long ranger.
His technique has always been fantastic and his goal against Aston Villa a few years ago when he scored a fantastic first time volley from outside the box is one of the best ever in the Premier League and Alex Ferguson will be hoping he can produce magic moments like that from now until the end of the season.
It is a gamble but if he can have an influence in the game he plays, we may see Manchester United crowned champions yet again but if he fails and puts in poor performances his career at United may be tarnished by this decision.
As they say you shouldn’t go back to your old club especially when you left on a high. Over to you Scholesy