Scholes could be England's saviour at Euro 2012

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Paul Scholes may have retired from international football in 2004, and also rejected the chance to go to the World Cup with England two years ago. But, if selected for the Three Lions at this summer's Euro 2012, the Manchester United veteran could have the same galvanising effect he's had at Old Trafford since returning to the first-team fold in January.

The 37-year-old midfielder has re-established himself as a key figure for Sir Alex Ferguson's side, after coming out of retirement to sign a short-term contract until the end of the season.

His omission from Wednesday night's squad for the 1-0 loss away at Wigan, only further highlights just how important Scholes is to United's title aspirations this year.

In the 12 consecutive Premier League appearances that he made prior to the DW Stadium defeat, the Red Devils had earned 34 points. As such, the promise of 15 to 20 games that helped sway Scholes' decision for one last 'hurrah' will almost certainly be honoured, with pressure already building to secure him to a one-year contract extension, prolonging the stalwart's career to the summer of 2013.

Whilst there is a good chance that 'Sat Nav' - as he is affectionately known by his teammates due to his impressively pinpoint passing ability in the middle of the park - will continue playing domestically into 2012-13, the likelihood of Scholes repeating his United retirement u-turn at international level is slim, despite calls from players and fans alike, to make an England comeback.

Manchester United teammates Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, who are both set to make the plane to Poland and Ukraine this summer, certainly have no doubts about the benefits that Scholes will bring to the national team, and go as far as saying that he could be a leading star for England at Euro 2012.

"I don't see why not," reflected Jones, at the England Footballers Foundation Charity Golf Cup. "He's a terrific player.

"I remember playing in his testimonial at the start of the season. It was the first time I had played with him and I thought he was just unbelievable.

"I think as long as you are [mentally] one or two steps ahead of people on the field, although they do say these days you have to have a lot of pace.

"But I think if you're clever enough and you read the game well enough, I don't think age will be a problem. When you see him in training and the things he does it's just a joke."

Smalling echoed that sentiment by saying whoever replaces Fabio Capello at the England helm, will surely be keen to utilise the experience and ability of Scholes this summer.

"He is unique," explained the defender. "You can see when there are moments in the game when it is all rushed and he settles it down when he gets the ball.

"He has the ability to dictate. Come the summer there may well be calls for him to be included in the squad and it will be because he is a player in great form and I'm sure any England manager would want."

Scholes certainly has the experience, and the wisdom to help England out in their bid for glory in June. Our chances of a triumphant tournament will be considerably better with him included in the 23-man squad.

At the end of the day, there's a fine line between success and failure, and Scholes could prove to be that difference. Let's hope he answers the call.

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Premier League
Manchester United
Paul Scholes

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