Is Paul Scholes Dirty or Just a Bad Tackler?

by Kenny Lomas

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

“I have just been unlucky.” Those were the words of Paul Scholes when informed of his unwanted accolade of being named the third most-booked player in Premier League history.

On paper you might just think that the newly retired midfielder made those comments with his tongue firmly in his cheek, but Scholes is insistent that his poor tackling has never been malicious, simply poor timed.

Pull the other one.

The debate has almost become a regular fixture on MOTD over the years, and Sky Sport’s pundit Jamie Rednapp is always banging on about how dirty Paul Scholes is.

It’s a point of interest that’s popped up every time the United midfielder received one of his 90 Premier League yellow cards, and more often than not people have given him the benefit of the doubt.

The reason people do this is presumably because he is a model professional, a throw-back to the footballers of old who cared little for the glitz and glamour of the lifestyle, a player that simply wants to play football.

The fact that he is such a naturally gifted footballer helps his cause greatly. Scholes is the kind of great player that any fan would be happy to pay their money to go and see, a different kind of player to the one we grew to love in his prime, but a player with the talent to spot a pass through the eye of a needle. A footballing genius.

But let’s be honest, footballing genius’ are far from exempt from the hate mob – Cristiano Ronaldo is a prime example. Indeed I believe a major reason that Scholesy is so well liked outside of United is more than likely due to the fact that he is English.

If he was say, Welsh, then he would probably be one of the most hated players in the country. Just ask Robbie Savage, the Welshman that Scholes pipped to third place in the Premierships all-time bad-boy league, and was one of the Premiership’s most hated players.

Miraculously the ginger ninja has somehow maintained his reputation throughout career but lets not beat about the bush here, he was one hell of a dirty b*****d. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that he ever went into tackles looking to injure them, *cough* Roy Keane *cough*, he just wanted to make damn sure he left his mark.

And there is a very large pool of opponents who Scholes most definitely left his mark on, City’s Zabaleta for one. Try telling him that Scholes isn’t a filthy player.


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  • Red Ben

    More hilariously biased shit. It’s fairly well known that Scholes is an awful tackler, but he has never, ever tried to injure a fellow professional.

    That’s something you can’t say about Nigel De Jong.

  • Kenny Lomas

    I can’t see how this is biased, I’m a United fan.

  • Josh Moore

    De Jong’s worse.

  • Jay

    Paul Scholes played 466 times for United in the league. That’s a yellow card for every 5.1 games, or every 459 minutes.

    That’s not as bad as people make it out to be, and when quoting that he’s got one of the highest card counts people usually leave out the number of top flight games he played, and that he was in the most combative area of the pitch.


  • Kenny Lomas

    I don’t think he is one of the dirtiest players the Premiership has ever seen. Like you say the amount of games he has played has to be taken into account. I just firmly believe Scholes has a bit of a nasty streak, an alot of people give him the benefit of the doubt and just say he’s a bad tackler. I think that’s a load of bollocks, I think he knows exactly what he’s doing when he lunges into silly tackles. It’s a weakness to his game imo.

  • Tommy Stoten

    Quite right. Amazing player, dirty b******. Sure SOME can be mistimed but a) if they were you’d work on improving that part of your game and b) you dont get to 90 yellows without there being some intent.

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