Paul Scholes Could Be England’s Messiah, Yet Again

England’s quest for the first major trophy since Bobby Moore lifted the World Cup in 1966 suffered a late blow as Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere was ruled out for rest of the season and the European Championship.

“Wilshere will not go to the Euros, that’s for sure,” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger following Arsenal’s disappointing home defeat to Wigan on Monday night.

Wilshere, the 20-year-old, was touted as the ‘Next Big Thing’ in English football following his inspiring performances for Arsenal during the 2010-11 season.

Blessed with fantastic technical abilities and a keen football brain, Wilshere was expected by many to be one of the first names on the team-sheet at Euro 2012 despite holding only five England caps. The Arsenal midfielder, who made his debut in August 2010, was expected by many to shoulder his team’s responsibilities in the centre of park at the tournament in Ukraine and Poland.

Wilshere brought the much needed creativity in the England midfield that had been lacking for years. It was even remarked that his emergence had lifted the burden on Wayne Rooney as the most creative player in the national team. Under such circumstances, the news of his unavailability comes as a massive blow for his country.

With Wilshere ruled out of the European Championship, who will ‘replace’ him? Scott Parker is almost certain to hold onto his place  at the heart of the midfield following a string of strong performances for the Three Lions during the Euro qualifiers, which earned him the captain’s armband during the friendly against Netherlands.

Now the question is: Who will partner Parker? There is the old guard of Gerrard, Lampard, Barry and Carrick. But, unfortunately, none of them is as technically gifted as Wilshere.  Gerrard and Lampard can bring you goals but they can neither retain possession nor can dictate the pace of the game. Barry and Carrick lack adventure. They can play simple passes and also protect the back four but they have struggled in the past whenever they faced quality midfield. The images of Barry against Germany in 2010 and Carrick against Barcelona in 2011 highlight their limitations.

The versatility of Jones and Milner is an asset for their country but they are preferred in more defensive and wider positions respectively. Jordan Henderson still seems to be in the learning phase. While Huddlestone and Rodwell have already been ruled out, Cleverley, who has missed a large part of the season due to fitness issues, is yet to play his first game for England.

But there is an Englishman who could be the messiah for the Three Lions in this hour of crisis. He revitalized a struggling Manchester United midfield and was pivotal in flipping Manchester United’s season around following their early season hiccups. He is, of course, the evergreen Paul Scholes.

Scholes, following his shock return to football in January, brought creativity, composure and experience in the United midfield. He forged a strong partnership with Michael Carrick and that partnership was instrumental in the toppling City from the top spot.

Paul Scholes’s extraordinary ball control, accurate long balls, short quick passes and audacious flicks remind us why football is called the beautiful game. When someone like Xavi describes him as the best midfielder in the last 20 years, it tells you a lot.

But will he really end his international exile and make a shock return for his country provided he gets an offer?

Perhaps, yes. Scholes had earlier revealed that he regrets rejecting Capello’s offer to join the national team in South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. And if he gets an offer this time round, he might decide to have one last shot at a major international tournament.

Signs are also good for that to happen. Harry Redknapp, who still remains the favourite to be the next English manager despite Spurs’ poor form at the back end of the season, once revealed that he would love to have Scholes in his team.

Scholes can take inspiration from France legend Zinedine Zidane who famously came out of retirement to help France qualify for the 2006 World Cup and also led his nation to the final.

However, it would be senseless to predict with certainty that Scholes will produce the same impact in the England team that he did to Manchester United this season.

England’s situation is far worse than that of United. While United has a strong squad and the able guidance of a visionary like Alex Ferguson and, England lacks direction and game-plan in the absence of a full-time manager and key players.

England winning the Euro will be nothing short of a miracle considering the resources of the likes of Spain and Germany. The dark cloud surrounding the former world champions is likely to end in acid rain that would destroy the nation’s hopes yet again but Paul Scholes could be the silver lining for them in this hour of adversity.

11 thoughts on “Paul Scholes Could Be England’s Messiah, Yet Again”

  1. I think we all need to take off the red tinted spectacles and get off the Paul Scholes bandwagon. Gifted ? Tremendously so. Proven record ? Absolutely. Can he help us at the Euros ? Maybe. Should he go ? No. Absolutely not.

    I have advocated since the debacle against Algeria in South Africa that we get away from trotting out the old, crusty veterans again in the hope that somehow they’ll grasp that one last hour of sunshine and make us a winning side. It’s not going to happen. It never does nowadays.

    The quality of opposition this summer will be higher than it was last summer but we have to start blooding our youngsters and giving them opportunities to win. Lose Barry, Lampard, Terry, Ferdinand, Milner and any other players who have proven they can’t win for England. There are younger and more able players in those positions who need to play. We need youth or we’ll never win anything.

    Did we learn nothing from the Germany game last summer? How quick we forget.

    Enough with the Paul Scholes stuff

  2. I know everyone likes to praise Scholes for his play, and rightfully so, but there was a reason he was dropped during Euro 2004. He stopped scoring for England and he wasn’t playing well at all. Kind of like a lot of midfielders since he retired from England.

    How can anyone call Gerrard & Lampard the “old guard” and then advocate for Scholes to be included at Euro 2012? Scholes is older than the old guard for crying out loud!!!

  3. We’ve sucked ever since Euro 96. We’re going to struggle to get out of the group stage, especially so if we are relying on Danny “Gumbi” Welbeck to score goals in the first 2 games.

    How much worse can Scholes actually make our team?

  4. Paul scholes has a passing rate in the 90-95 % range..he is the ONLY english player who delivers inch perfect long balls..delivers smart and wide passing range ..master of 1-2s …scores with awesome piledrivers….ONLY and ONLY England can think of ignoring him because Gerrard and lampard have helped win England all major tournaments since 2004 …if you cannot appreciate the gem you have then revoke his passport and send him to a country where he is appreciated(any country for that matter)

  5. As a Manchester United fan, I do not want him anywhere near the England squad but I do not think he could a job for them. There is not much downside risk of taking him as the team setup is in disarray and expectations couldn’t be lower for this tournament.

  6. Scholes in the squad is different than him in the starting 11. Allegedly the attraction of Scholes is experience and training ethic, on the pitch its his use of the ball, decision making, and positive playmaking ability.

    As a squad member its fine but for starting 11, NO, he a strategic change with 20 minutes to go at best, depending on the system he may not even fit the squad.

    Formation 4-4-2
    Starting 11 would be

    GK Hart
    RB Walker
    CB Lescot
    CB Cahill
    LB Cole

    RM Adam Johnson/Chamberlin
    CDM Scott Parker/
    CAM Lampard
    LM Ashley Young

    CF Wellbeck/Rooney
    CF Defoe

  7. The 66 team that won the world cup wasn’t exactly young too!!

    Age nothing to do with it. Do u wanna win tournaments or do U care abt the next 5-10 yrs without guarantee of success? England made that mistake by giving younger stars like gerrard n lamps the priority n led to scholes retiring at his peak.

    He is in form n he shld go to the euros, n he shld start! Simple as that. U are not bringing a team of 37 yr olds, just one so don’t cry over it like someone died. He will ensure everyone up their game as well.

    Gerrard n lamps don’t have as good an international record than scholes.

  8. In my view i think we should give our youngsters a run out in the euros ,, were not going to win our team lacks so lets take it as a good blooding for the new generation .. so in the years to come we can stand our ground with best ,, lets get some continuity and team play for the new england squad like germany last world cup..
    On scholsey well im one of scholes biggest fans i think the guy is pure football skill in midfield ,, hey if the spanish football acadamy show its kids videos of scholes passing a saying right kids this how its done then what can you say ……. saying that i dont think he should be included in the squad ….. say we do rubbish then everyone will blame paul ………..LETS BUILD A TEAM FOR THE FUTURE

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