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Friday, February 16, 2007

[3] They say Paul Scholes never does interviews... well he spoke to us two seasons back... which is why you should never miss a copy of RN...

They say Paul Scholes never does interviews... well he spoke to us two seasons back... which is why you should never miss a copy of RN... big interviews, gossip and opinion... it's the fanzine current and former players like talking to

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Red News: That was a magnificent win at Highbury - it must have been some journey home?

Paul Scholes: Yeah, it was a great journey back, it's a long way to come back from so late a night. But after beating Arsenal whatever the score - but to put four past them - it was a quick journey back.

RN: When did you think we've got them, we're going to win this match? Gary Nev suggested Vieira in the tunnel showed they weren't properly focussed.

PS: Not until JOS scored probably. We did feel in the second half that we were on top most of the time but until you get that goal, you know what Arsenal are like, they've got loads of good players and it can only take a minute for them to get up the other end and score, so for JOS to score that was a big relief.

RN: Keano said when we had a few inconsistent results that it just takes time for a new team to click, when did you think it happened, when do you think we started to 'get it right'?

PS: I think we can definitely still get better, we have been on a great run, I don't know when the last time we lost in the league was.

RN: October.

PS: We've been four months now unbeaten, we're playing well but I still think we can play better.

RN: What United fans - among the many things - appreciate about you is that you seem like a pro from another era - happy away from the limelight, doing your talking on the pitch, is that how you see yourself?

PS: Yeah! I just play football and that's it really, you just do what you get paid to do.

RN: Do you think being a local Salford lad makes you appreciate playing for United that bit more than usual?

PS: Yeah I think so, I was born in Salford but I think I only lived there until I was one or something. Yeah growing up in Manchester - they're the number one team not just in Manchester but all over the world. It's something you dream of doing, playing for them and you know how big it really is.

RN: It's international week at Carrington, does it feel strange being here instead of with England?

PS: It's a bit weird, there's not many of us training so you're a bit lonely but I'll get over it

RN: You said that your England decision would allow you more years at the top, how many more years do you think you could play for at United?

PS: I don't know, as long as I feel good I suppose, or as long as the manager wants you. I feel good at the minute and I'll just take it as it comes.

RN: The decision about England propelled you into the spotlight somewhat, did some of the criticism and intense and unsavoury media speculation and lies and gossip affect you?

PS: Yeah, probably a little bit, there wasn't a lot of good stuff really but I don't take too much notice of it.

RN: Did you expect that reaction?

PS: I don't think I got that much stick really. I think I got more stick while I was playing. I don't take any notice anyway, whatever your manager thinks is all that matters.

RN: Earlier in the season, did you read the criticism about your performances and did you think that had more to with just going through a non-scoring spell than a real actual bad patch?

PS: People do expect me to score goals. I don't know how many games I went without scoring but it was a lot. I wasn't playing well and I got criticised but I don't care, you're going to have times like that and get criticised. Half of them who write the stuff have never kicked a ball in their lives.

RN: And did you think scoring that first goal after a while was the key to your scoring form rocketing? You said you felt a bit low at the time, what was going through your mind?

PS: Even though I'm a midfielder, people expect me to be scoring goals and when you're not doing that, then you're going to come in for a bit of stick and that's just the way it is. It doesn't matter what else you do during the game.

RN: If your name appears on the score sheet at the end people assume you've played well.

PS: Exactly! That's just the way it is.

RN: Fergie said the trip to America didn't help, that it set you back after only 3 days training and apologised, is it hard turning out for a new season so soon after a summer international tournament?

PS: Yeah it is. Saying that we get four weeks off anyway so it's not too bad really. I probably could have done with another week or two before playing again, I don't know if that had anything to do with it. k

RN: So, you didn't feel a major difference in your fitness?

PS: No, not really, I felt ok when I played, against AC Milan I played for an hour or so in New York and I felt ok, I scored a goal and felt fine. Whether that's had an effect on me later in the season I don't know, but I didn't really feel it.

RN: Gordon Strachan said for the FA Cup 4th Round when commentating that it's hard to get going for early kick offs - deciding what to eat so early in the day, a change of routine, lack of atmosphere, do you agree, do you prefer night games?

PS: No, I don't think so, we've always done quite well when we've kicked off early. Like the Liverpool games - we seem to do well there when it's early kick offs and the majority of us quite like the early kick offs.

RN: Fergie also said that 'Scholes more than anyone is the reason we got Rooney to United. Rooney loves Scholsey' - so how comes you were behind the signing then! And what are your thoughts about Rooney?

PS: Err, I don't know how I'm behind it, I tapped him up (laughs) that would go down well wouldn't it! (laughs) No. He's a great player, what is he nineteen or something? The way he's playing now it's frightening to think what he'll be like in a couple of years.

RN: At least he's in a Red shirt.

PS: Yep.

RN: Obviously the management study opponents for forthcoming games, but do you as a player ever look at a team and work out what you have to do in advance say at home when watching SKY, etc?

PS: Yeah, you do sometimes. You tend to watch most Premiership games and European games so if there's a team coming up who you're playing against you do watch them and try and pick things up.

RN: Fergie says it's Liverpool, but what's your big game?

PS: Big game for us now?

RN: No, which game when the fixtures are released do you look for?

PS: I always look at City to be honest, I know they’re not our biggest rivals but the Manchester Derby is a big game and one you want to win. But when you're talking big games it's Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.

RN: How would you describe your tackling on occasion!

PS: Great, Brilliant! (wry smile) I've not been booked this season, normally I'm suspended by now.

RN: You're doing well then.

PS: I am, yeah.

RN: Call it 4-3-3 with two wide and one up front or 4-5-1 - but this system we are playing seems to be finally paying off, summed up at Highbury, do you feel happy with your role in it?

PS: Yeah, it's alright. You can't argue really with the results, the way we're playing seems to be working, when you've got three forwards like we have then we've always got a chance of scoring goals.

RN: Do you enjoy the midfield role or do you prefer playing just off the striker?

PS: I enjoyed it when I played just behind Ruud to be honest. I think I scored the most goals I have in a season, it was good but I enjoy playing this way as well.

RN: You've obviously heard those 'leaving for Oldham next season' rumours? Any chance you will finish your career there?

PS: I don't know, I just want to play here for now.

RN: Is it true that Mr McPollen (Cardinal Langley PE Teacher) played you in goal during games because he said you were too small?

PS: No, that's b******s. How do you know him, where've you got that from?!

RN: I haven't got a clue! (It came from a reader question)

RN: Denis Wise was a pest in that Cup Final last year wasn't he?

PS: Yeah he was, I think it was all in good fun really, he was smiling about it. He was a pain in the a*** like he normally is, pulling and shoving and pinching and kicking. He normally does so I wasn't surprised, I was ready for it really.

RN: Playing in the San Siro, etc, do you ever wonder what it might have been playing in Europe for another club?

PS: No, I've never thought about it, there's nowhere better to play I don't think than here. I can't say it wouldn't have been better for another team because I've never done it.

RN: There are a lot of players who have stated their desire to play in another country at some point. When you play for United I can't see why.

PS: It's already the best club in the world.

RN: And when you have facilities like this (Carrington)

PS: Exactly, it's perfect.

RN: You've talked before as well as Keano about not playing in Barcelona that night - your performance in Turin was one of the reasons we were there - does it drive you on that you want to play in a Final?

PS: Yeah I want to play in another final, I want to get there and win it, but it's not the be all and end all. I just want to carry on playing and winning stuff and if there's a chance of winning the European Cup then brilliant.

RN: Were you surprised that Reyes was in the squad for our games this season considering you'd shot him and he'd never play again according to reports after the FA Cup semi last season!

PS: I think he was out for three months wasn't he after that? Well he was going to be out for three months, then I think he played again the next week. Well it was just another player overreacting really wasn’t it!

RN: You did the business in the San Siro last time, looking forward to the same again?

PS: The San Siro? Oh yeah! That was ages ago wasn't it? I'm looking forward to it, it's going to be a difficult game, probably more difficult than it was last time, we're playing a better team in AC Milan.

RN: They have started to gain ground on Juve recently.

PS: Yeah, I watched them the other night and they look really strong at home. It's going to be difficult, if we can get something at home, get a lead and take it over there then we will have a chance.

RN: Are you happy with your song - ‘He scores Goals’ - and what do you think of the atmosphere at Old Trafford these days?

PS: Yeah it’s brilliant, especially night games, they are a little bit better but, yeah, I like the song - as long as I keep scoring!

RN: Do you get mobbed much when you go out or do people leave you alone to go
about your business?

PS: People leave me alone.

RN: Do the press follow you about?

PS: Nope!

RN: How far do you think we can go this season.

PS: Not the Carling Cup now anyway. I don't know, I think we can do well, definitely the European Cup and the FA Cup are targets, with the League you never know, Chelsea dropped points at the weekend.

RN: If they can drop points to City they can drop points to anyone.

PS: Like we did. (laughs). I think they've got a tough game against Everton this weekend. You never know - a couple of slip ups. We're still in with a chance. I think they've got John Terry missing as well. Robben is out for six weeks, they've got a big squad of players to choose from but I don't think they have got anyone with his ability.

RN: Cheers Paul, it's been a pleasure.

PS: No worries.

Copyright Red News, February 8th 2005.