The sheer brilliance of Paul Scholes

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Post by Vibe Sat Jun 22, 2024 2:40 pm

Watching Paul do his things is one of the fondest football memories I have.

But I had forgotten. Until today. He was a maestro with a cannon in my memory.

What I came across today were some Paul Scholes highlights on MUFC TV. I watched it in it's entirety and I was left shocked... I still am.

What my memory left out that this mans intelligent movements in the box were worthy of Filippo Inzaghi and his heading was worthy of Didier Drogba.

His finishing... Dear lord. The amount of headers he scored, the acurracy, the runs that made it possible... I can't believe it.

Paul was incredible, I knew it before, but memories fade. I was reminded today and I will never forget again.
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Post by Doc Sat Jun 22, 2024 7:05 pm

Born and played in an era where the English media nor its fans did not truly appreciate the importance of the central midfielder as he really should have been praised a lot more. It's only after he retired, I felt he gained more appreciation. Personally speaking, England has yet to see someone of his ilk (no, Foden, Jude nor Rice are close to him).

Gonna see if I could find that highlight reel honestly.
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Post by Vibe Sat Jun 22, 2024 8:43 pm

It was his over 150 goals for United on MUFC TV.

I watched it with my father and my nephew, we were all blown away. And I can't even remember a football highlight reel blow me away.

It started slowly, his first couple of seasons were mostly tap ins, but still showed intelligent movement. Then after like 2001, banger after banger, crazy headers, volleys. And it kept going, and going, and going... The ammount of times he just found himself in the right place at the right time was astonishing.

He made it look so simple. Some real football right there.

Seeing the old UTD crew was also amazing, started with the old guard, then slowly Beckham appeared, RVN, Rooney, Ronaldo, Nani, Berbatov, Tevez...
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Post by titosantill Sun Jun 23, 2024 10:36 pm

Doc wrote:Born and played in an era where the English media nor its fans did not truly appreciate the importance of the central midfielder as he really should have been praised a lot more. It's only after he retired, I felt he gained more appreciation. Personally speaking, England has yet to see someone of his ilk (no, Foden, Jude nor Rice are close to him).

Gonna see if I could find that highlight reel honestly.


Did they not appreciate central midfielders, or was it just that there were more amazing players? He played with Becks and Becks (even though people who consider themselves purists like to hate on him) was doing amazing stuff week in week out. People seemed to appreciate Gerrard, Lampard, Gascoigne and maybe Ince to a lesser degree.

I find the narrative has kind of been reversed with him and becks. When they both played and were active in their peaks it was all about becks. And naysayers would say becks was overrated. Then in retirement, you hardly here about the magic becks was doing, and ex players, legends, managers and fans talk about scholes like he's lothar matthaus.

Was a good player no doubt, but i don't think England National team have had that top of the food chain central midfielder (at least that i've known of) as of yet.
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Post by sportsczy Sun Jun 23, 2024 11:07 pm

Beckham was good, not great.  He had one super-skill, which was range with his foot including his long passes and free kicks.  Kroos reminds me of Beckham although I feel Kroos is far better.  Beckham could never control pace like Kroos can.

Scholes is on a completely different level than Beckham imo.
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Post by titosantill Sun Jun 23, 2024 11:24 pm

Becks was great. That one skill was super effective. But as i said due to his brand, and spice boy persona, Becks isn't popular among "purists". I remember Becks and scholes being on the same team, and it was all about Becks. For all the things purists will say he didn't have, what he did with what he had was nothing short of ridiculous. If only he joined a more disciplined Madrid team. People like to say Henry should have had a ballon d'or. But everyone conveniently forgets what Becks was doing especially that treble season. And funny enough i don't think that was even his best season as a united player
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Post by sportsczy Mon Jun 24, 2024 12:11 am

Honestly Tito... in that era, other than Scholes, i was not impressed by midfielders in the EPL other than those who played for Wenger at Arsenal.  Reason is that they didn't really play tactics that asked a lot of midfielders.  A lot of times, it was get the ball and chuck it forward with a pass as quickly as you can... so players like Beckham and Gerrard were perfect for it.

That's why England NT would just get run over against better team in international play despite the supposed talent.  Other NTs didn't just bypass the midfield as quickly as possible, unlike the EPL. So other good teams controlled the midfield mostly against England.  When you have a midfield as hyped as Gerrard/Beckham/Scholes... you should dominate the middle of the pitch.  They didn't even win those battles.  Only Scholes held his own on the English side, which is why I respect him so much.

Beckham, although good, was never great at Real Madrid.  You could see his limitations compared to the other great CMs on the team.
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Post by futbol_bill Mon Jun 24, 2024 2:28 am

I don’t think you can take into account Beckham’s time at Madrid. He was signed for marketing purposes and didn’t really have a position with both Zidane and Figo there, plus he played like shit. Capello had no intention of playing him, only put him on near end of his last season there when he had no other option and then Beckham had a decent run for his last couple of months there.
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Post by titosantill Mon Jun 24, 2024 2:28 am

i actually thought becks was good at Madrid. Especially his first year, too bad we were just in the toilet and didn't know what we were doing. England back then didn't play a midfield 3, becks played wide. I can barely remember any eye popping performance by scholes for England. Maybe that friendly against Germany. Even Sven ended up playing him on the left. Thing is, we saw both of them on the same team and that makes it easier. And at no point did I go this is scholes' team. Always Becks' or Keane to a lesser extent. Lol Madrid barely had any good central midfielder when Becks joined us (I consider Zizou an AM). Guti, Graveson, Gago, were definitely not outplaying him.
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Post by futbol_bill Mon Jun 24, 2024 2:29 am

And speaking of England, haven’t they always over rated their players?
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Post by futbol_bill Mon Jun 24, 2024 2:34 am

titosantill wrote:i actually thought becks was good at Madrid. Especially his first year, too bad we were just in the toilet and didn't know what we were doing. England back then didn't play a midfield 3, becks played wide. I can barely remember any eye popping performance by scholes for England. Maybe that friendly against Germany. Even Sven ended up playing him on the left. Thing is, we saw both of them on the same team and that makes it easier. And at no point did I go this is scholes' team. Always Becks' or Keane to a lesser extent. Lol Madrid barely had any good central midfielder when Becks joined us (I consider Zizou an AM). Guti, Graveson, Gago, were definitely not outplaying him.


Tito, if I’m not mistaken, when Beckham arrived, they had Figo, Zidane and Cambiasso in the midfield. Gago came later and Guti was on the bench. I think Gravenson was either before or later, the galactico run and he was horrendous IMO.

Mind you my memories at my age are fading, so I may be wrong about the timing.
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Post by sportsczy Mon Jun 24, 2024 3:59 am

futbol_bill wrote:And speaking of England, haven’t they always over rated their players?

Yeah but it should have been the perfect combo.  Scholes was literally the English Pirlo...  a regista.  Gerrard and Beckham surrounded him.

They would go up against France and France was playing Zidane - Makelele - Vieira.  We couldn't get to Scholes.  The ball was glued to his feet.  But Beckham and Gerrard were not a problem.   Gerrard was very young so i give him more of a pass.

When once asked “what does it feel like to be the best player in the world?” Zidane reportedly replied: “I don’t know, ask Paul Scholes.”

In a separate interview, he said: “There is no doubt for me that Paul Scholes is still in a class of his own. He’s almost untouchable in what he does. I never tire of watching him play.

“You rarely come across the complete footballer, but Scholes is as close to it as you can get. One of my regrets is that the opportunity to play alongside him never presented itself during my career.”

https://talksport.com/football/820556/paul-scholes-england-man-utd-highlights-zidane-ronaldinho-guardiola/

Same article...

The Barcelona team of the 2000s was all conquering and in many ways revolutionised the game with Xavi and Andres Iniesta dominating in midfield.

The two were lauded as the best of their generation but Xavi argued that accolade should have gone to the Man United man.

He said: “In the last 15 to 20 years the best central midfielder that I have seen — the most complete — is Scholes. I have spoken with Xabi Alonso about this many times.

“Scholes is a spectacular player who has everything. He can play the final pass, he can score, he is strong, he never gets knocked off the ball and he doesn’t give possession away. If he had been Spanish then maybe he would have been valued more.”
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Post by titosantill Mon Jun 24, 2024 4:25 am

That's exactly what i was talking about in my first post re "ex players, legends, managers and fans talk about Scholes like he's lothar matthaus". I wrote that because i 100% expected quotes about Scholes at some point. He might be the only footballer where when there's some debate surrounding him we start getting quotables like its a trial. I saw him play, I don't need zidane pele or trapattoni quotes about a player i watched in real time.
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Post by El Gunner Mon Jun 24, 2024 9:15 am

Scholes was pretty good technically and allround. A victim of his own humble demeanor, because if he had more of a personality he would've fought for his right as the English Pirlo. But then again, the English had their own unique hoofball tactics, so Scholes really was just a case of "wrong era, wrong place".

Becks rightfully deserves his minus-points from the purists because he always got extra browny points for his pretty boy looks and spice boy fame.
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Post by BarcaLearning Mon Jun 24, 2024 3:52 pm

Overall as a former Liverpool supporter can I say they all are a bit overrated? Very Happy If not why did they just luckily won 1 CL Very Happy And flopped all of their NT tournaments, etc. Very Happy

With Beckham he was good, but his best attribute by far was his crossing, so he was always better playing at RM no matter how much he wished he was a top CM Very Happy Scholes was an all rounder type, physical, can tackle n shot, can get into box to score, etc., but hes nothing like Pirlo from my memory... not saying he wasnt a top player, just different.
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Post by Vibe Mon Jun 24, 2024 4:15 pm

BarcaLearning wrote:Overall as a former Liverpool supporter can I say they all are a bit overrated? Very Happy If not why did they just luckily won 1 CL Very Happy And flopped all of their NT tournaments, etc. Very Happy

With Beckham he was good, but his best attribute by far was his crossing, so he was always better playing at RM no matter how much he wished he was a top CM Very Happy Scholes was an all rounder type, physical, can tackle n shot, can get into box to score, etc., but hes nothing like Pirlo from my memory... not saying he wasnt a top player, just different.


Scholes could do pretty much anything Pirlo could, minus the elegance.
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Post by sportsczy Mon Jun 24, 2024 8:55 pm

titosantill wrote:That's exactly what i was talking about in my first post re "ex players, legends, managers and fans talk about Scholes like he's lothar matthaus". I wrote that because i 100% expected quotes about Scholes at some point. He might be the only footballer where when there's some debate surrounding him we start getting quotables like its a trial. I saw him play, I don't need zidane pele or trapattoni quotes about a player i watched in real time.

Me too. Saw it all live. And IMO as I watched him probably a good 100 times, Scholes is one of the best CMs I have ever seen in any era (80s on). He was that good. I hated Man U as I liked Arsenal. He was just undeniably great.
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Post by titosantill Mon Jun 24, 2024 9:51 pm

El Gunner wrote:Scholes was pretty good technically and allround. A victim of his own humble demeanor, because if he had more of a personality he would've fought for his right as the English Pirlo. But then again, the English had their own unique hoofball tactics, so Scholes really was just a case of "wrong era, wrong place".

Becks rightfully deserves his minus-points from the purists because he always got extra browny points for his pretty boy looks and spice boy fame.


This is exactly my point. People act like he was a dud because of the whole spice boy deal. In the same vein he got a lot of hype cos of it as well. So called purists won't give him his praise because of his popularity. But he was a beast and had a solid shout for footballer of the year especially in 99.

Besides the spice boy thing, I think also "purists" are not enamored by the crossing part of the game. They like dribbling and of late passing now is the in-thing (even though becks was a damn great passer). I always look at what gets the job done, not necessarilly how does the job get done. The man has to be up there with most assists during those years of his prime.

When utd ran out of ideas, send the ball to the right and see what becks can do. Hell the camp nou final in 99, if I'm not mistaken both crosses came from becks. Even at madrid, dude was averaging our most assists. And he scored some amazing goals too, not just free kicks (I say "just" like it's easy lol). Amazing technique. Figo was a better RW in their era, but it wasn't by a distance....For the revisionists on here, should rivaldo.....nevermind lol that's another can or worms. Let's enjoy the euros.
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Post by sportsczy Mon Jun 24, 2024 10:05 pm

That's not what i saw Tito.  When Man U ran out of ideas, they got the ball to Scholes.  He would either serve the ball wide to Giggs on the left, who could either attack or cross, or serve the ball right to Beckham, who only crossed.  I never saw Bekham dribble or move up with the ball... he would get the ball and cross.  Regardless, Scholes was the one who provided the link between defense and attack and got those two the ball.

On top of that, he was the main threat outside the box, not Beckham.  Scholes scored a lot of goals.  I remember him scoring 20 goals in a season in the early 00s.  His long range shots were unbelievable.  Beckham was more set pieces and crosses.

Not saying Beckham wasn't good.  He was good.  But he was not at the level of Scholes... now even close.
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Post by El Gunner Mon Jun 24, 2024 11:00 pm

crazy to think Beckham would be Trent Alexander-Arnold today affraid
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Post by titosantill Mon Jun 24, 2024 11:27 pm

wow not even close? when they played together, beckham was the man. Scholes i don't think was ever nominated utd player of the year, let alone a top ballon d'or candidate. The season he scored 20, that was because fergie moved him forward to play behind ruud in order to make room for veron in the middle. All those yorke, cole, ruud headers were coming from Becks. When they played together it wasn't even a debate. But especially ever since that Utd barcelona final where barca won 3-1, I noticed the scholes story has gotten better and better every year. I wonder how it would have panned out had Beckham finished his career at United. I think people focus on how the job is done, rather than getting the job done itself.
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Post by guest_07 Tue Jun 25, 2024 5:15 am

Great CM.

But struggled
if play in mediocre team.

Need a gel team around him.

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Post by sportsczy Tue Jun 25, 2024 6:01 am

titosantill wrote:wow not even close? when they played together, beckham was the man. Scholes i don't think was ever nominated utd player of the year, let alone a top ballon d'or candidate. The season he scored 20, that was because fergie moved him forward to play behind ruud in order to make room for veron in the middle. All those yorke, cole, ruud headers were coming from Becks. When they played together it wasn't even a debate. But especially ever since that Utd barcelona final where barca won 3-1, I noticed the scholes story has gotten better and better every year. I wonder how it would have panned out had Beckham finished his career at United. I think people focus on how the job is done, rather than getting the job done itself.

The Sir Matt Busby award is voted by the fans... a popularity contest.  Scholes was never the most popular guy on his team.  Beckham won it once in 1996-97.  To put it in perspective... Rio Ferdinand never won it either.  I think Gabriel Heinze won it one year, which is all you need to know really lol.

Scholes scored more than 10 goals... in 8 different seasons.  That's absolutely insane for a player who played half his career in the deep playing mid role.  He mostly scored from long-range shots, with several from free kicks.  I think he took 4 penalties in his entire career which were in pk shoutouts (missed 1). He scored 100 goals in the EPL in 499 appearances.  

You can say whatever you want Tito...  literally all his teammates, opponents, managers, etc, viewed him as one the best CMs that ever lived.  Nobody considers Beckham one of the best ever (and he's not).  This isn't just me talking as an observer.  These are his peers.  They have no reason to all praise him like they do.

Can't believe I'm defending Scholes.  I neither like Man U nor was a fan of his lol.  LIke Xavi, Iniesta, etc who played for Barca... you can't deny greatness even if they're playing for the dark side.  I also think Beckham is mostly a fraud so there's that too.
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Post by BarcaLearning Tue Jun 25, 2024 8:21 am

Off topic but randomly came across an interview with Beckham done recently n him saying hes been married for freakin 27 yrs... I was wtf I really feel old now ffs lol...
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Post by Vibe Tue Jun 25, 2024 9:06 am

I don't think I could have even imagined seeing someone rate Beckham over Scholes.

Beckham was a specialist, he was good at one thing and he was brilliant at it. But that is where it stops. He was average at everything else.

Scholes was simply leagues above and I don't think much elaboration is needed there. Scholes is in the sharpest end of any GOAT midfielder list, Beckham, I don't know if I would rank him top 50.
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