Arguably the shock of this weekend’s FA Cup third round matches was the recently retired Paul Scholes coming off the bench for Manchester United in their thrilling victory over Manchester City at the Ethiad Stadium this afternoon.
Scholes now sporting the no.22 on his back that he wore for the club in his second season as a pro in 1995/96 wasn’t supposed to come out of retirement this season. After all, his legs had supposedly gone last season and few could argue at the time against him called it a day at the right time.
However due to United’s injuries in midfield which has seen virtually every midfielder in the first-team squad at some stage have the minimum of a niggle or two, rumours began to spring out that Sir Alex Ferguson might try and get Scholes to change his mind.
Despite admitting in his own words that he retired at the ‘right time’ Scholes who has been coaching United’s reserves this season, understandably given his enjoyment of football had missed out on the buzz of playing:
He added: "I’ve been pretty clear since I stopped playing that I miss it. I’m delighted the manager feels I can still make a contribution to the team and I’m looking forward to playing my part in trying to bring more success to this great club.”
During his second-half cameo in United’s victory, Scholes looked as if he’d never been away and despite making an error which led to City’s second goal scored by Sergio Aguero, kept his composure in a fierce battle given the circumstances.
It remains to be seen whether the midfielder who now has made 677 appearances for United will be able to fully ‘roll back the years’ and play a major role until the end of the season when his second stint with the club as a player is due to run out.
Whatever happens, it has already been a great story for football. Liverpool last year saw the return of their King in Kenny Dalglish, Arsenal have been boosted with the arrival of Thierry Henry on-loan from the New York Red Bulls and now the Ginger Prince has returned. Let’s enjoy his second reign!
By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87