January 8th 2012 saw one of the biggest surprises in recent football history as Paul Scholes came out of retirement to take his place on the bench against Manchester City for the FA Cup third round tie.
Scholes went on to make 21 appearances during the rest of the campaign, acting as a catalyst for United’s season as they won 12 of the 14 league games he started running local rivals City all the way to the last seconds of the season before ultimately falling short on goal difference.
‘The ginger prince’ signed a one-year contract extension to take him into the 2012/13 season but has managed only nine starts and a further ten substitute appearances in all competitions this term.
He has not appeared for United since the 4-1 FA Cup victory over Fulham at Old Trafford on the 26th January as a knee injury has kept him sidelined, although he returned to full training last week.
Whilst injured, Scholes has seen fellow veteran Ryan Giggs become a regular fixture in the United side turning in a series of fine performances in the heart of midfield including the unenviable task of keeping Cristiano Ronaldo quiet in the Champion League second leg at Old Trafford.
When he initially retired at the end of the 2010/11 season, Sir Alex Ferguson said that he had outlined what he saw Paul’s role being in the United side saying he thought he would play around 25 games over the course of the season.
This was not enough for Scholes who wanted to be involved more regularly if he were to carry on and with a maximum of eleven games remaining for United in all competitions this season, Scholes would need to be involved in the majority to even achieve the 25 games that Sir Alex had envisaged for him.
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