Paul Scholes’ comments about Arsenal on Sky Sports last Tuesday garnered near universal praise from supporters across the Premier League spectrum as well as headlines in almost every newspaper.
Sticking the knife into Arsene Wenger with all the gusto of one of his trademark two-footed lunges he took it upon himself to feel sorry for us Gunners supporters while dismissing our title hopes, questioning Jack Wilshere’s development and criticising the discipline of four of the club’s most experienced players.
Here’s what he said…
“They (Arsenal) capitulated at Chelsea and it seems to be a similar theme that happens when they play the top teams. For one reason or another players go missing. The players like Arteta, Cazorla, Rosicky and Ozil, it seems like they go on the pitch with no discipline.
“There are no leaders like Patrick Vieira, Tony Adams or Martin Keown. When these players go 2-0 down they just carry on what they are doing they have a walk up front, lose the ball, play a nice little one-two and not even bother running back.
“It’s Arsenal fans I feel sorry for because it is the same every year. They get a sniff of the title then they go to Chelsea and do nothing. The fans expect Arsenal to be going for the league but they’re a million miles away in my eyes. They need characters and leaders.
“Jack Wilshere came on the scene and looked a top young player but he has never really gone on. He needs the characters like Vieira next to him to take him to the next level. He doesn’t look any better player now than he did when he was 17.”
Now don’t get us wrong, there are parts of what he says that we’re not going to argue with … but you know what, it’s Paul twatting Scholes.
So basically he can stick his populist bollocks up his hole.
It would appear Arsene Wenger thinks the former-United man is a bit of a tit too. He always has. And with good reason. Back in 2010 the boss went out of his way to point out to the media that Scholes was a dirty bastard on the pitch, when hacks across Fleet Street were offering him handjobs because he was still playing well into his thirties.
“The regret I have, personally, is that he was not always the fairest player,” said Wenger at the time.
“There’s a little bit of a darker side in him, sometimes, that I did not like. I’m sorry, for me he was not a fair player. It depends what you call clever and dirty.
“With Paul Scholes, (there’s always) more than one (bad tackle) in your mind. I just feel overall he is a guy who liked a tackle. Unfairly? Of course unfairly. Look at him playing now – he still doesn’t hide. I respect him highly as a quality player (but) I did not like some things he did on the pitch. It’s not because you are older suddenly that you are a saint.”
Perhaps Scholes was just getting his own back with his comments on Tuesday night.
In his latest retort Wenger offered the little gingernut another slap across the chops dismissing his dig as just another opinion. Quite right too.
“Look if six points is a million miles away I don’t know what the translation of a mile into a point is. Everyone has opinions, even people who have managed zero games. We have to accept that, what you live is what you do on the pitch and the rest is just opinion.”
“You cannot say that, Jack Wilshere is an exceptionable player for me who has been handicapped by many injuries.
“Once Jack is back and consistently on the pitch, he will prove everybody wrong about that because he is an exceptional player – and Scholes knows that as well.”
For a long time, the former United man refused to countenance the idea of speaking to the media, eschewing the limelight to stay in the background.
Perhaps he might consider going back to being the soul of discretion. If he has a soul, that is.