Saturday 21 August 2010

Wenger on Scholes: spot on and undeniable

The Sun is making a massive deal of Arsene's comments regarding Paul Scholes this morning. Really there is nothing to make a big deal out of when you read the proper quotes in the Telegraph:

“You ask me was Scholes a fair player: I say no,” said Wenger. “I’m sorry, for me he was not a fair player. There’s a little bit of a darker side in him, sometimes, that I did not like. I respect him highly as a quality player but I did not like some things he did on the football pitch and I have the right to say that. It’s not because you are older suddenly that you are a saint. The regret I have personally is he was not always the fairest player.”

The Sun's Shaun Custis whips this up into a sensation, as if it is outlandish to say such a thing, how could a foreign manager dare suggest that a Man United saint be unfair? Well Shaun, the facts speak for themselves I'm afraid.

Scholes is the fifth most booked player in the history of the entire Premier League. Remember this is in the context of him getting away with murder playing for Man United. He also holds the Champions League disciplinary record with over twenty bookings and two red cards. Scholes also holds the unenviable record of being the only ever England player to be sent off at the old Wembley, this was for a criminal assault on a Swedish players that left him needing several stitches to a gaping shin wound. The video above shows one of the many hundred red card offences that Scholes has somehow got away with over the years, one wonders just how many red and yellows he would have had if he had played for a team that was punished fairly and that was not managed by a man who intimidates officials.

Scholes' record speaks for itself, brilliant player and a dirty c*nt. Obviously because he plays for Man United and is English he has never got the dirty reputation that he so thoroughly deserved. It is ludicrous to pretend that Scholes just innocently mistimes his tackles and there is never any intent present; this is a man that can control volleys perfectly from 30 yards but he allegedly cannot control his two footed leg breaking lunges. Scholes has shown himself to be a rather nasty piece of work throughout his career with this repeated tendency for trying to break other players' legs, if Arsene chooses to say that Scholes has not been fair over his career that this is pretty mild criticism in the context of what Scholes has repeatedly done over the years. Well said Arsene.


Jasm said...

Spot on. This tackle was not even a out of character tackle this is the typical Paul Scholes tackle / lunge when he doesnt have the ball.

One incident that I always remember was when we beat Man Utd at OT and beat them 1-0 (Adebayor scoring late). I remember we totally out played manutd with Rosicky, Hleb and Cesc passing them to death.

In one move we were on the attack and Scholes couldnt get the ball. He literally rugby tackled Rosicky in an off the ball incident to stop him from joining in attack.

This is the dark side Wenger was referring to.

Anonymous said...

Wenger's selective vision strikes again!

1979gooner said...

Scholes is one of the dirtiest tacklers to have 'graced' the Premiership in the last decade.

Gerrard is probably the only man who can rival him for the sheer recklessness and violence in the tackles.

They are not rare incidents either, they happen so frequently with Scholes.

Arsenal have had players under Wenger's reign who have done the occassional Scholes type leg breaker, but no one who has done it with anything like the regularity or frequency of Scholes.

Selective vision, no.

Ferguson is clearly happy for Scholes to do what he does, including the violent and the cynical, this is what makes him very different to Wenger. Wenger would never tell his players to go out and rough up another side, or cheat, as Fergie does.

Anonymous said...

It's a man's game FFS! Maybe Arsenal's players would feel safer tossing a frisbee around if they can't handle some late tackles.

1979gooner said...


Comments like that are not only stupid but they show a rank lack of respect for the scores of players who have had their careers ended by reckless tackles. That kind of attitude is also partly why the English game is still lagging behind other countries on a technical basis.

There's nothing wrong with a bit the contact aspect of the game, but reckless dangerous tackling should never me part of football.

Is it manly to see your opponent's tibia poking into the soil?

I don't think so, maybe you do, but that says a lot about what kind of person you are if you genuinely believe that, I suspect you don't and your comments more likely reflect a sort of macho bravado that you think is manly, it's not manly, it's stupid and ignorant.

Anonymous said...

Just a couple of points. I think Scholes is a very committed player. He is clearly not a good tackler, resulting in plenty of bad tackles. He has also had plenty of times where the red mist has descended and bad/wreckless tackles have ensued.

Wenger's comments, for me, are not unfair or innacurate. However, the fact is, Paul Scholes has played his whole career in the Premiership, that is almost 20 years (?). Undoubtedly, if someone like Patrick Vieira had played the same amount of time in the premiership, he would be viewed in the exact same way by Wenger and if he wasn't, then Wenger would have been hypocritical.

As you say, the comments have been blown out of proportion. Ask any United fan and i'm sure they would tell you that Scholes is and was a bit of a dirty player. He is also still one of the best players ever to grace the premiership.

Honestly, Arsenal of the last few seasons could really use someone who will do some dirty work. Some may be of the mentality that it goes against the football Arsenal play but when United or Chelsea were breaking away from deep in our own half to eventually score over the last couple of seasons, I bloody wish we had had a Scholes to kill that move before they destroyed us on the counter.

Anyway, Scholes - bad tackler, plenty of dirty challenges

However I feel that saying he is the 5th most booked player in premiership history is a little misleading considering he has also made the 7th most amount of appearances in the premier league. I actually don't know where to find these statistics (Do you have any links 1979?) but i'd imagine that a player such as Vieira may have a worse games to bookings/reds ratio. Alas, it isn;t a contest and Arsene is probably about right in his comments


1979gooner said...


interestingly was listening to radio today and they were talking about Scholes, several experienced ex-pros of high repute too amongst panel,

they agreed that wenger's comments were spun out of context, however there was a lot of comment that Scholes knows exactly what he's doing when he does a bad tackle

It is nonsense to say he's a bad tackler, he can tackle very well when he wants to, but he also can deliberatle go in over the top as he does a lot too. Scholes knows what he's doing and this is part of Wenger's point. To put it down to mistiming is frankly nonsense.

Anonymous said...

He's an awful tackler

Anonymous said...

But like it has been said earlier, Wenger has his blinkers on again. What about Denis B. Gifted, but he had a dark side. maybe it was all the kicks he got and he just had enough but he was very sly. elbows here a foot in there.

1979gooner said...

like it has been said......

DB10 being compared to Scholes?

FFS that's so far off the mark it's hard to even comment.

Bergkamp sometimes lost it, but these were rare events, once a season or so.

Scholes regularly does this, every game or two he'll do something cynical or nasty.

There is a big difference.

These kind of weak relativistic arguments do not cut it, they are used again and again with diving, etc.

Even if DB10 did it as regularly as Scholes, which he didn't, then Wenger's comments still hold and that's all we're saying!

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