Scholes’ return points to end for young Reds

January 13, 2012 Tags: , , Reads 25 comments

The news of Paul Scholes’ return to Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad shortly before the FA Cup Third Round tie against Manchester City seemingly provoked a wave of optimism among Manchester United fans, with polls across the web supporting the Salford-born midfielder’s re-integration. Manager, players, pundits and former Reds were all universally upbeat about the 36-year-old’s return to action too.

Indeed, following United’s 3-2 victory at Eastlands, former Red Nicky Butt drew attention to the psychological blow dealt by his former teammate’s return. “It was a smart move by the manager,” said Butt. “It took all the attention off [City’s] home record and switched all the attention to Paul Scholes.” In this respect, Scholes’ return certainly achieved its goal as a devastating first-half performance by United left the derby rivals looking shell-shocked before half-time.

“Paul is going to be a real positive addition to our squad,” claimed centre-back Chris Smalling, who lauded the longer-term effects of the midfielder’s return. “It gave the young lads a lift just to see him preparing for [Sunday’s] match.” These were sentiments shared by striker Danny Welbeck, who scored a smart volley to help ensure that Scholes’ return would be a happy one. “Seeing him in the dressing room just gave me a lift straight away.,” added the 20-year-old Mancunian.

For two other United hopefuls, however, the veteran midfielder’s return will have been far less encouraging. Paul Pogba and Ravel Morrison displayed terrific potential when helping the Academy team to FA Youth Cup success last year, and many supporters believed that this would be the pair’s breakthrough season. It was even hoped that Ferguson’s refusal to sign a central midfielder in the summer transfer window was due to youth team talent available. Certainly, the manager intimated as much.

Following long-term injuries to midfielders Darren Fletcher and Tom Cleverley, together with Anderson’s indifferent form, many believed that United’s young guns would be offered a chance in the first team. It was not to be, as Ferguson instead deployed 38-year old Ryan Giggs, defender Phil Jones, winger Park Ji-Sung and even Wayne Rooney in the heart of midfield.

But the final blow to Morrison and Pogba’s hopes this season has been delivered by the decision to recall veteran Paul Scholes, who despite not having played professional football for over seven months, is now firmly above the pair in Ferguson’s pecking order.

It has long been rumoured that contract talks have broken down with Pogba, who has once again been linked with a move to Manchester City or abroad in recent weeks.

“He [Pogba] has got an agent who’s obviously become a bit difficult, but we’re negotiating with this agent and we want the boy to stay,” Ferguson said recently.

“If he doesn’t want to stay, then there’s not a lot you can do about it. We have an option on his contract that takes us into a year-and-a-half away, so in that respect there’s not a great emergency about it. But we’d like the boy to sign a contract and, if he’d like to be a Manchester United player, then he knows what to do.

“You hope he gets the right advice, but it’s down to the individual also. Matt Busby summed it up perfectly, that you don’t need to chase money at a club like Manchester United, it will eventually find you. If you’re good enough, you will earn money and become rich playing for Manchester United. It’s one of these situations that they can chase the money early in their career, but at the end, it’s not the same as if they’d stayed here. He just needs to look round about him to realise that.”

Meanwhile Morrison Tweeted on Wednesday that he has not been offered a new contract to stay at Old Trafford beyond the summer. Thursday’s Telegraph reported that Morrison’s exit from Old Trafford “seems certain”. The only remaining question is seemingly whether the 18-year-old will stay until the summer, with Newcastle United reportedly having bid £500,000 this week.

“[Ravel’s] agent has been working hard to get him another club,” said Ferguson on Friday, contradicting the player’s claim.

“We’ve offered him terms which he has refused. His demands are unrealistic as far as we’re concerned. We’ve rejected an offer from Newcastle. It’s all down to how that progresses.”

Followers of United’s youth and reserve teams will have noted the exceptional talents on offer, even though reserve football is not always a reliable barometer of a player’s ability. After all, there is reason why interest in this pair of United starlets has come from across Europe. It leaves fans wondering whether Ferguson will let these talents slip between his fingers without giving them a chance in the first team.

Few will need reminding of previous departures either. Gerard Piqué, who left Old Trafford having failed to gain first-team football, has subsequently won almost everything in the game, including the World Cup, two Champions Leagues and three La Liga titles. The recently compiled FIFA World XI award saw Piqué line-up alongside former teammate Nemanja Vidić, leaving United fans pondering what could have been.

The same could be said of Giuseppe Rossi, who made it from United’s reserves to the top of the La Liga scoring charts and into the Italian national team.

To let one world-class prospect leave before his time was careless. Two was a mistake. Fans will hope that Ferguson knows something about Morrison and Pogba that they do not. For to let two central midfield stars of the future follow Piqué and Rossi out of the exit door would be unforgivable.


bman - January 13, 2012 Reply

Glad you know better than Fergie and the people who watch these kids every day. Pique was a big loss, but he wanted first-team opportunities at a time when Vida and Rio were winning us silverware all by themselves. SAF admitted they had to let the lad move on and that it was a shame, it wasn’t even about money. Rossi wasn’t good enough, and still wouldn’t be. good player, not good enough.

As for Pogba and Morrison? Well the latter is clearly a deluded little scrot. But what would you prefer, for our club to bend over and take it up the arse from every grasping agent representing a promising teenager? Let’s have some self respect.

Gareth - January 13, 2012 Reply

If you look at it another way, and ignore all the tabloid talk and speculation, the exact opposite could be true;

Rather than splashing £25-30m on a world class midfielder, perhaps the return of Scholes is all about buying time for these young players to develop?

Admittedly that seems unlikely as theree were two glorious opportunities to involve them in Wigan and Blackburn (ignoring result) to get them some game time and help their development, but maybe Fergie just feels they aren’t quite ready but maybe will be next time, and Scholesys return is just buying some time?

I was frustrated that they were cited as a reason for not investing in that area over the summer yet not being used when the injuries started piling up, but maybe it has just come too soon.

Ben123 - January 13, 2012 Reply

To be fair Morrisons off the field antics may prevent him from becoming truly world class and would more than likely turn him into a media circus.

Pogba hasnt been given a real go in the first team and is a great admirer of Viera over at City. If he ended up there he would be in the same position as he is at United but working with a coach he likes personally.

Pogba would be a loss but would be more likely to succeed and do well which would be a shame.

Gareth - January 13, 2012 Reply

But yes as bman says, maybe they just don’t have the right temperament – we can’t be held to ransom by players who have yet to do anything. Fergie has an amazing record in bringing young talent through, and is also a great judge of character – if he thinks they aren’t right for the club then that’s enough for me.

bman - January 13, 2012 Reply

And did it not occur to you that they haven’t seen much game time this season because (a) we’re out of the CC and (b) why would you reward their hard bargaining with a spot on the bench or even a start? They’re not Rooney or Rio FFS, they’re teenagers. If they want to act all tough through their agents, they can sit in the stands. If we gave in to their every demand now, what would they be like in a few years time if they prove to be as good as we hope? They’ll be a pair of Tevezes. That’s probably what bringing Scholes back is about — Fergie telling little scores that he’d rather play a retiree with his head screwed on straight than a couple of grasping dipshits.

Fifthcolumnblue - January 13, 2012 Reply

I heard that Morrison was one to “watch”, but that his “timing” was a bit off. LOL!

I’ve also heard that his recent actions violate the conditions of his parole and Ferguson has quite simply givne up on him. All the talent in the world can’t help him if he won’t sort his head out will it?

Zi Indefatigable - January 13, 2012 Reply

Fifthcolumnblue, you are an idiot.

The rumours that went around last night were made up on the RedCafe forum nearly exactly a year ago.

Fuck off back to your empty stadium.

ichiro - January 13, 2012 Reply

You can hardly blame Fergie for them being difficult and you have to question whether these two have the right character to be at this club.

Absolutego - January 13, 2012 Reply

You guys, what about Ryan Tunnicliffe? I’m actually hoping he gets a chance in the first team sooner than Pogba & Morrison. I remember reading somewhere that Scholes is a fan of his…has anyone watched him play this season? How is he doing?

brianofnazareth - January 13, 2012 Reply

Morrisons a bit of a cunt tbh, I doubt he’ll ever reach his potential!

triggs - January 13, 2012 Reply

I think Scholes’ return has more to do with Fletch’s long lay off, Clev being a perma-crock and Fergie wanting shot of Gibson.
We’re all desperate for Pogba and Morrison to get an opportunity to shine. Pogba can probably count himself a little unlucky not to have had more game time, but with Fletch and Gibbo gone and only Scholes arriving, he’s surely closer to the first team than at the start of the season.
As for Morrison, he can have few complaints at the lack of first team action when he can’t be arsed to turn up to training.
I think Fergie and United are playing this right, both players need to prove they’re worthy of these contracts. I fully expect Pogba to showcase his talent before the end of the season, re-sign with United and get first team action on the summer tour. Morrison is a different matter however – anything could happen.

triggs - January 13, 2012 Reply

In and out at PUFC.
I think he’ll likely go out on loan again next year, possibly to a PL team, depending on his progress.
I agree that we’re desperate for a player with his drive in the middle of the park though.

sidney - January 13, 2012 Reply

Morrison isn’t a proper centre mid

He won’t solve the midfield problem

Calvino - January 13, 2012 Reply

Apparently he has rejected the clubs contract offers to him? Is he crazy? We have stood by him during his trials and his agent is hawking him about?

Ichiro - January 13, 2012 Reply

Also Davide Petrucci is a prospect another one weve kidnapped from abroad

DeadRevel - January 14, 2012 Reply

Ungrateful cunts. I like to think I’m a pretty nice person, but if they leave for City after the work we’ve done to develop them I hope they both break their fucking legs. Maybe that’s why Scholes was brought back – Manchester derbys.

Gabagool - January 14, 2012 Reply

Agree with pretty much all of the above. These boys are 18/19 years old and if Fergie thinks they’re not ready yet then he knows best. If they think they can hold the club to ransom and get away with it then they’ll set the precedent for years to come. Offer them a deal, if they take if and pull their heads in great, if not then fuck off.
As for pique, well he always wanted to play for barca so not much utd could do there, Rossi wasn’t/isn’t good enough so no major loss there. Look at all the other promising youngsters that have left utd and ended up doing fuck all.

ja - January 14, 2012 Reply

SAF has a history of lying to the press. Blaming agents is an easy getout. More Glazernomics in action, bringing back Scholes whose legs had gone 12 if not 24 months ago, trying to keep on Giggs another season. Playing Gibson and Diouf against Palace. SAF has become an out of touch grumpy old man railing about agents, how wonderful the parasites are, and taking ludicrous punts on unseen homeless Portugese to keep the agent there sweet. If agents are so bad, why do the club employ them at all, rather that deal directly with the selling/buying club. Everything has become secondary to feeding the Glazer debt, they have even now applied for hug billboards at Old Trafford.

danniitronix - January 14, 2012 Reply

It’s definitely glazers’ fault because pogwank and mongo morrisson don’t accept their offers and their agents are twats

ja - January 16, 2012 Reply

what if they havent been offered anything as may well be the case.

gi2gi2 - January 14, 2012 Reply

If pique still man utd player..i bet he’ll be on the bench right now..maybe pique a loss to man utd but not a great for rossi, he’s well suited at la liga same goes for forlan

ltel - January 15, 2012 Reply

he scores goals

sidney - January 15, 2012 Reply

Maybe 10 years ago

SKW - January 15, 2012 Reply

Scholes return is a joke — nothing against him of course. It’s desperate and pathetic. We should have bought a player, or as the article suggests, unleashed our talent.

danniitronix - January 15, 2012 Reply

we ain’t got none, fergie has served us a load of shit. morrison is a nutcase and pogbastard is too up his own arse to accept a contract with united.

it’s all blown up in fergal’s face which is why scholes is back – mr. sticky plaster cos taggart is left high and dry.

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