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Paul Scholes on former Manchester United captain Roy Keane: Republic of Ireland assistant coach handed out the bollockings

By Declan Whooley

Published 29/04/2015

15 Sep 2001: Roy Keane of Man Utd argues with Newcastle captain Alan Shearer
15 Sep 2001: Roy Keane of Man Utd argues with Newcastle captain Alan Shearer

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes says he loved playing in midfield with Roy Keane but admitted no-ever ever talked back to the then club captain.

In an interview with Newstalk's Off The Ball, the legendary United figure concedes that he only got into punditry as "I didn't have a job" and sees his future more in coaching than on television.

The 11-time Premier League champion and double Champions League winner told the show that the period around the 1999 Treble winning team was his most enjoyable at the club under the captaincy of Roy Keane.

Scholes says the current Republic of Ireland assistant manager set the tone in midfield that the others had to simply follow.

"He was the manager on the football pitch," he said. "If you did something wrong you knew about it.

"He tried to get the best out of everyone to get a result for his team. If you are in for a bollocking then so be it, that's the way you have to take it."

When asked whether Roy was ever on the receiving end of a dressing down on the pitch, the response was firmly in the negative.

"No," the former England international laughed, "he handed them out and we took them."

While his central midfield partnership with Keane was one of the most feared in Europe at the time, Scholes admits the pair weren't particularly close, but did not need to develop an understanding.

"It was very natural, not much communication on or off the pitch, there was never any need to be. Everyone who played with Roy knew how good he was, he was somebody you could rely on."

The midfield maestro won 25 major trophies during his 20-year career at old Trafford and believes that the greatest attribute of manager Alex Ferguson was his motivational skills.

"His tongue, I suppose. The way he spoke to us, the way he got you motivated for games and advice he'd give you was great."

Eyebrows were raised when the media-shy Scholes took up punditry work, a columnist role with The Independent and was  a Paddy power ambassador during the World Cup, but the decision one was straight-forward according to the man himself, but does not envisage a long-term future in the role.

"I didn't have a job basically. It's not something I thought I would do. I have been doing it for the best part of a season now. Will it be something I carry on doing? I'm not too sure. It's okay.

"Do I enjoy it as much as playing football? No I don't, but then again I won't enjoy anything as much as playing football.

One of Class of 92 involved with Salford in a coaching capacity, Scholes suggests that this is where his future lies and has taken the first steps towards a full-time role on the sidelines.

"I have my UEFA B licence and the next step up is the A licence," he says. "I'll probably get that done as soon as I an. Coaching is great. I enjoyed it this year (with Salford) because we won the league. Whether it would be as enjoyable if we didn't get promoted I'm not sure.

"It has taken up a lot of our time, but I have really enjoyed it."

The 40-year old admitted he is amazed that people are still "obsessed" with his tackling technique, which many regularly questioned during his illustrious career.

"I think people are a bit obsessed with my tackling. I think a lot of my tackles were very good."

Scholes, whose 10-year-old son has autism, is in Dublin as an ambassador for Irish Autism.


Source: Independent

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