Manchester United Legend Paul Scholes: Don't Pick Me Out Of Sympathy

Scholesy has used a newspaper interview to tell Sir Alex Ferguson that he'd rather be on the bench against Barcelona than get the start out of sentiment...
Paul Scholes is not convinced that his performances have been dominant enough to warrant a spot in Manchester United's starting lineup for the dream Champions League final against Barcelona on Wednesday.

Destined to go down as a United great, the 34-year-old gave a refreshingly candid and introspective interview to The Sun, in which he acknowledged his frustration in not always being able to do what came so naturally to him on the field before.

"I don't seem to get forward as much as I used to. And I don't have the goalscoring chances that I used to, which is frustrating," said Scholes.

"It bothers me, of course it does. I want to contribute as much as I can and there is no bigger way than scoring goals. The manager doesn't put pressure on to score goals. He never did, I was just lucky enough to have that in my game."

Scholes, who chalked up his 600th appearance for the Red Devils last month, went on to admit that he could very well hang up his boots after his contract is up at the end of next season.

"I will have to see how I am next year. If I feel I can go on again, I will do," he added. "If not, then I won't.

"It is more a physical thing than a mental thing, definitely - if your legs aren't doing what your body wants them to do. To be honest, I do feel a bit like that some days. I don't really want to go on more than I should do.

"Yeah, it's an adjustment you don't like - not playing every week. You don't like it. You train all week and you want to play games. You think there is a time when you have to accept you won't play every week especially with the quality of midfielders we have.

"You just have to make sure you are ready yourself when the manager wants you to play. What ambitions do I have left? To get back in the team. I still want to be involved."

After questioning whether his early retirement from the international stage really extended his club career, United's No. 18 discussed his prospects of getting the starting nod in Rome next week.

"I don't think many people will think I will be starting after not playing in either of the semi-finals or against [Manchester] City," the ginger-haired midfielder continued.

"The manager hasn't said anything about my chances of playing. I'm not frustrated by that. There are a lot of players who want to play the game.

"I am no different. I don't think he picked me last year just because I had missed out 10 years before. I think he genuinely wanted me to play. I don't think anyone wants to play through sentiment, you want to play because of your ability."

Ever the pragmatist, Scholes, who was recently described by Sir Bobby Charlton as his favourite Manchester United player ever, admitted he would be more than happy to win ugly against Barcelona if that's what it takes to successfully defend the Champions League trophy.
He said, "I know people have called it the dream final. But we would take a 1-0 win now. It doesn't matter how you do it.

"If you defend for the whole 90 minutes and just get the one chance - that will be enough for us."

Scholes, who grew up as an Oldham Athletic supporter but has trained with United since the age of 14, concluded by admitting that he still doesn't know what his post-United days hold in store for him.

He said, "As for playing for Oldham, I don't know. You just never know what is at the end of the road, do you?

"Management? Maybe lower down. I don't know. I think I will take the coaching course first and see if I can adapt to it."

Derek Wanner,