Old master Paul Scholes inspires Man Utd


Milestones seem a weekly occurrence at Old Trafford but some carry an added significance. Some are not simply a statistical reason for being sentimental. Because, as Rio Ferdinand represented Manchester United for a 400th time, on Sir Alex Ferguson’s 500th home league game, as Ryan Giggs headed into uncharted territory by becoming the first man to play 600 Premier League games, one landmark meant more than others.

 Not to the man himself – it is not in his nature to be carried away by a mere number. However, to the supporters who gave him a standing ovation, and to the manager who coaxed him out of retirement, Paul Scholes’ admission to the 700 club was a special occasion. It was marked in suitable style.

Friday will be the 18th anniversary of his debut, when he delivered a double against Port Vale. Momentous matches tend to bring the same outcome. For one who prefers life outside the limelight, Scholes has a capacity to catapult himself into it. “He has scored in his 100th, 300th, 400th, 500th and 700th games,” Ferguson said, “so that is fantastic.”

It was also necessary. For 50 minutes, Wigan flourished. For 40, they floundered. The turning point was the latest reminder of Scholes’ predatory powers. His 155th United goal seemed simple enough, a tap-in after Ali Al Habsi parried Nani’s cross, but it was a product of his positioning. One who rations his runs forward in his autumn years was six yards from the Wigan goal when he struck. “That is what we remember about Paul as a young player, ghosting into the penalty area,” Ferguson added.

Continue reading Richard Jolly’s Evergreen Scholes joins 700 club

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