Paul Scholes opens up on Sir Alex Ferguson clash and details concern over Man Utd career ending early
Paul Scholes has spoken about a major rift with former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson which could have seen him forced out of the club 12 years before his retirement.
Scholes had a glittering career with the Red Devils, winning 11 Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues and four FA Cups during a 19-year spell at Old Trafford. He made over 700 appearances for Manchester United in all competitions, as well as winning 66 caps with the England national team.
Ferguson had a great relationship with Scholes and regularly used him in a central midfield role. However, things were not always rosy between the pair.
In the 2001-02 season, Scholes and his manager fell out after the Salford-born star was left out of the Manchester United starting eleven for a clash against Liverpool.
Ferguson only did this because a scheduling error saw United come up against Arsenal in the league cup the following day.
Scholes came off the bench against Liverpool, replacing David Beckham late on. Ferguson planned to use him against Arsenal, too.
However, Scholes refused to feature in the second game as he was so angry about being left out of the Liverpool fixture. As such, Ferguson had to go with a weakened midfield.
United’s team was no match for their opponents and Arsenal won 4-0, knocking Ferguson’s side out of the league cup.
Paul Scholes reveals Ferguson argument
And Scholes has now admitted – during an interview with former team-mate Gary Neville – that he feared this could have ended his United career early.
On the latest episode of The Overlap, Scholes said (via the Daily Mirror): “I was p****d off of being left out in the first place, I did some stupid things when I was younger.
“He left me out on the Sunday and I was p****d off. Most of the times when I was left out I knew the reason why, like I didn’t play well the week before. So, I could take that and I was fine. Some players can’t take it whether they’ve played badly or not.
“But I was just really p****d off he didn’t play me in that game. We were getting beat and weren’t playing very well and at half-time I thought he was going to bring me on, but he didn’t.
“I was wound up right from the start of the game anyway, my head was gone. I felt like he was doing it on purpose – ‘I’m not bringing him on because I’m going to play him tomorrow’.”
‘My head was gone’, admits Scholes
Scholes continued: “At that time, it was a League Cup game and you would normally play the reserves, don’t you? I felt he was doing that, and he was doing it on purpose, but my head was gone. He was leaving it and leaving it, but I went home gone and still fuming.
“We were meeting at Stockport that night at the train station. I actually drove to the train station and told him I wasn’t going. It was crazy, stupid, but my head had gone. After that game, it was an international break, so it went on and on, and on.
“It didn’t carry on but he fined me a weeks’ wages. There was no contact because I was with England, so I had to wait 10 days before I spoke to him. He didn’t get mad but he just fined me two weeks’ wages. I apologised but I didn’t think I would survive after that to be honest. I thought I would be gone, yes.”
Paul Scholes also spoke about Christian Eriksen and what kinds of attributes the midfielder brings to Man Utd.