Scholes: I Can Tackle – But I Just Liked Getting Revenge

By on October 5, 2011

It seems that Arsene Wenger’s suspicions of Paul Scholes having a “darker side” to his play, particularly in the department which requires a certain amount of physicality; tackling, have been proved to be true as the former Manchester United player confirmed that sometimes he was just, “getting people back.”

The United legend, who has now taken on a coaching role with the club he spent 17 seasons with, was talking to BBC Radio 5 Live, when he revealed he can in fact tackle very well, but the incidents in which he didn’t exactly win the ball, were often simply to exact revenge on that particular player. Scholes said:

“Of course I can tackle. There’s plenty of evidence of me being able to tackle. I was just getting people back. If someone got me early in the game, it was always in the back of my mind that I needed to get them back. I didn’t always do it on purpose. Some of it was just bad timing.”


“I think throughout my career the record wasn’t that bad. There were a few yellow cards but not many sendings-off. I think towards the end every time I made one tackle I got booked, because of my reputation I suppose.”

Scholes certainly had a good few people to “get back,” since his debut in 1994, picking up 90 yellow cards and 4 red cards in his Premier League career, which makes him the third most booked played in Premier League history behind Lee Bowyer and Kevin Davies. He is also the most frequently yellow carded footballer ever in the Champions League, with 32 having been shown to him in his time at Manchester United.

Fouls and cards were one of the very few taints on Scholes’ illustrious career, playing an astonishing 676 times for United, and being hailed by countless world renowned and respected professionals as the best a what he does. His victims may still hold a grudge, but Scholes doesn’t care, and thanks to his 17 year service to Manchester United which is now continuing as a coach to the youngsters, neither do the United fans. Scholes is, after all, an Old Trafford legend.

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  1. Davi

    October 5, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    His reputation as not being able to tackle was given to him by the media who were keen to protect him. As I suppose they are whenever an English international hacks at someone or dives.

  2. Stephen

    October 5, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    He got the reputation due to the fact he is one of the longest serving players in the league. When you look at the amount of games he played and then look at his bookings and red cards, they average out quite well. He made many great challenges and the evidence is in the fact he played for Manchester United at the top, for so many seasons. He was simply remembered for the worst tackles and as he has stated, alot of them were acts of revenge, not an inability to tackle cleanly.

    But, whether people think he couldn’t tackle, it doesn’t actually matter in the end. His ability and his tenure as one of the greatest midfield players of all time soon cancel out his tackling abilities.

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