Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United hero Paul Scholes talking now and we're all ears

By Steven Beacom

Paul Scholes snubbed me for interviews twice in the space of a week a few years back.

The rejections came during the 2002 World Cup finals in the Far East.

Back then the only England player most journalists were interested in talking to was David Beckham, and he duly obliged, allowing others like Scholes to wander through mixed zones relatively untroubled.

"Sorry mate," he said softly as he shuffled past me and my notepad on two occasions after I asked him to stop for the Belfast Telegraph.

Finally agreeing on my third request, though 'just for a minute', in that short time the Manchester United star was more enlightening and insightful about the latest England performance than the usual hour of sugar coating you got from most of his team-mates.

From then I always had the feeling that inside the quiet, seemingly shy midfielder was a fearsome fellow with bristling opinions who wanted to get out.

And here we are.

Scholesy's talking now and we're all ears. He's like an English Roy Keane.

On a Sky TV appearance he savaged Arsenal's Jack Wilshere and in his new Paddy Power column he's had a pop at United's chief executive Ed Woodward, former boss David Moyes and told England boss Roy Hodgson to play the 'Liverpool way' at this year's World Cup.

Brilliant. Just like he was on the pitch.

And you wonder why Louis van Gaal is reluctant to have him in the dressing room at Manchester United. Van Gaal wants the United players to listen to him, not the ginger haired bloke!

Belfast Telegraph

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