Season Analysis: Paul Scholes
Paul Scholes is a little man who can do really big things. This remarkable player has had a somewhat strange season as we’ve seen, a number of times, glimpses of the old (or young) Scholes. Hold on a minute there, because I have to disagree with what I just said. Scholes, in my opinion, has hardly differed from the player he was six or seven years ago, as his passing ability and visions remains as good as its ever been.
Of course he has the odd wrinkle here and there, his hair has pretty much receded and his hair is no longer as bright as it’d used to be. Yet, somehow, he manages to conjure up the most beautiful passes and continues to make a huge impact in games. Proof that age is just a number. The season of 09/10 saw Scholes flourish around the closing stages – he was now first choice on the team sheet and was easily United’s standout performer in the months of April and May.
Against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, he displayed an assured and controlled performance much like he did so for the whole season. This one, however, was perfect in every way as he was able, not only to pull the strings from midfield, but disrupt and blunt most attacks from the Black Cats. I believe he’s why United were able to keep a clean sheet in that match – playing an all-round role which was a perfect example of the impact a player could have from the heart of midfield. It’s not just centre-forwards who decide outcomes of games.
However, it is his performance against Manchester City which should never be forgotten. Again, much like the Sunderland game which followed a fortnight later, he did the same thing. He denied City before creating more chances for United. That was all good, but he also scored what was then a vital winner and earned full bragging rights over those rather loud neighbours. That game was proof of the importance of this little player to the team. He’s got four stars and he’s earned every single one of them with his performances this season.