Scholes and Bale.

When Mousa Dembele and Gareth Bale made Paul Scholes want to retire for good

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Football News

With numerous reports suggesting a problem between Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba at Old Trafford right now, Manchester United fans must be wishing they had a player of Paul Scholes’ quality to call upon in midfield.

The club legend played more than 700 times for the Red Devils and his individual trophy cabinet is pretty ridiculous containing 11 league titles, three FA Cups and two Champions Leagues - as well as two League Cups, five Community Shields and a FIFA Club World Cup.

Not bad at all.

In fact, Scholes was so good that they simply couldn’t cope when he announced his retirement at the end of the 2010/11 season.

The following January, he returned to the United squad but couldn’t prevent their ‘noisey neighbours,’ Manchester City, from winning their first Premier League title.

But Scholes wasn’t finished there.

He signed a contract for a further year as he tried to wrestle back the title from City.

He helped Sir Alex Ferguson’s side do just that but there were signs that he was declining. He made just eight starts in the league with the likes of Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Shinji Kagawa and Anderson all being named in the starting line-up more times than he was.

Norwich City v Manchester United - Premier League

And, speaking on Saturday evening on BT Sport, Scholes was discussing his return to United - and the moment he realised he was finished once and for all.


That came in a match against Tottenham at Old Trafford as early as September with Mousa Dembele and Gareth Bale running rings around the ageing midfielder.

"I remember a game against Tottenham at home, it was only the third, fourth game of the season, I think we got beat at home 3-2," Scholes recalled.

"I played alright in possession, but I remember [Mousa] Dembele cruising past me, Gareth Bale, I know they cruise past people but I remember thinking 'I just can't do this anymore'.


"I wanted to retire again very early that season, but I just thought I'd look stupid."

And we think we’ve found the exact moment Scholes knew he could no longer play Premier League football.

The clip shows Dembele cruising past him with ease before passing the ball to Bale. As the Welshman takes on Rio Ferdinand and finishes with his right foot, Scholes can be seen slowly jogging back making no attempt to tackle him.

In truth, he looked well off the pace.


Take a look:

In fairness, not too many players in their prime can get close to either Dembele or Bale - let alone a 37-year-old.

And you’ve got to give Scholes credit for continuing to play for a further eight months after that match, helping Ferguson’s side to yet another league title.

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Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Paul Scholes
Gareth Bale
Manchester United
Mousa Dembele

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