Scholes keen to carry on

The 37-year-old called time on his stellar career following the

2011 Champions League final defeat to Barcelona at Wembley. Six

months later, he was turning out for Manchester United in their FA

Cup third round tie at Manchester City, having asked Sir Alex

Ferguson if he could make the most dramatic of comebacks. Scholes

has since signed on for another season, which Ferguson does expect

to be the former England midfielder’s last. It was not that Scholes

thought his first decision was necessarily wrong. More than by

accepting a coaching role, he was forced to watch old team-mates

train every day at Carrington, which meant his own desire to play

never completely went away. “I was all right for the first couple

of months after retiring and didn’t really miss anything,” Scholes

told reporters on Manchester United’s recent pre-season tour of

South Africa. “But once I got back into going to Carrington and

coaching the reserves, as well as being with the lads, it was

difficult, especially when there were so many injuries to the team.

“If I’d stayed away from the reserves and the club I’d probably

have been OK. But every day that I was going in I just wanted to

train and be involved. “The manager didn’t have to twist my arm to

play this season.” Scholes had a positive impact too, so much so

that it was suggested he might earn a shock call-up to Roy

Hodgson’s Euro 2012 squad, eight years after his last

international. In the end, Hodgson never even made the call, which

is a shame, because Scholes might just have said yes. “I wasn’t

offered the chance,” said Scholes. “It was flattering to be talked

about. But I wasn’t asked, so it means nothing.” Ferguson was

doubtless pleased Hodgson kept his mouth shut as it meant Scholes

was one of the few senior figures within the United squad who was

available for the entire pre-season campaign. Scholes wanted to get

back too, after spending the summer reflecting on what might have

been after that out-of-character late-season collapse that gifted

the Barclays Premier League to Manchester City. “It’s always a

motivating force when you lose the league,” he said. “It’s not nice

to see another team celebrate winning the title on the last day of

the season. That picture stays with you.”