Date: 13th April 2012 at 11:01am
Written by:
Paul Scholes goal against Barcelona

The Ginger Prince shows Barcelona who's boss in 2008

United’s defeat to Wigan is far from the end of the world, in fact it’s debatable as to whether it’s really reopened the title race. With a five point cushion you’d still fancy the Reds to prevail, despite a trip to Eastlands at the end of the month. ¬†

Almost every fan who saw Wednesday night’s debacle, arguably our worst performance since Newcastle away, was adamant the absence of Scholes led to United’s downfall. While I agree the Ginger One could well have made the difference had he been in the side, looking towards the future, we simply cannot allow ourselves to rely upon Scholes past the end of the season. Yes, I fully expect him to play next season, but surely only as bit-part player as we finally focus on life after the “most gifted midfielder in the history of association football TM.”

Names such as Hazard, Gaitan, Martinez, Cabaye amongst others have all been thrown around as possible replacements but surely the answer to the biggest dilemma Sir Alex has faced since a certain Frenchman decided he’d had enough of football, lies a lot closer to home.

Two of the most talented young midfielders in Europe currently wear the Red of Manchester, the only questions¬†are can they make the step up to fill the void Scholes will leave- and will one of them even want to. Tom Cleverley has been touted as a future United star by many Reds, myself included, ever since he emerged from the ranks to prove despite his size he was more than capable of mixing it with the big boys. Since the second half of the Community Shield, Cleverley has become the small white hope for many fans, who see him as the ideal man to move United forward to almost Barcelona-esque levels. While that may be a tad ambitious, there’s no doubt that should Cleverley stay fit and focus on his football rather than his eye-rolling Clev23 brand nonsense then the Reds may just have a player who can make the loss of Scholes seem almost bearable.

The second player seemingly capable of continuing United on a winning trajectory is the most talked about midfielder in recent memory- no not Wesley Sneijder, the other google favourite Paul Pogba. Why do I think Pogba could be the answer? Because Sir Alex Ferguson has practically said so. I can’t recall the United boss praising a young player as much as he has with Pogba, claiming that the Frenchman will be a ‘great United player’ if that’s not a sterling endorsement I don’t know what is.

The fact is the chances of getting a player of Scholes’s ability are practically nil, but using two young talented central midfielders to fill the void, makes a lot more sense. Both Cleverley and Pogba are supremely gifted and if the Englishman can stay fit and the Frenchman can just, well, stay at United, then the biggest worry United fans have could be eased without spending millions.


10 responses to “Is The Answer To The Scholes Question Already In The United Squad?”

  1. Anagafo Michael says:

    Both Cleverly and Pogba are great talents. But to fill the void left by Scholes in the interim, United needs a creative midfielder and an attaching midfielder. Carrick is not creative and this the problem of United. A regular who has only three assists to his credit in 33 matches is not good enough for United. With only 2 goals in over 2 seasons, he is the poorest midfielder in a topflight club in the whole of Europe. He is a waste and the shirt should be given to Cleverly and Pogba immediately to avoid further waste.

  2. MartP says:

    Carrick has had his best season in quite a while, a bad display at Wigan doesn’t change this – nobody played well on wednesday.
    As for Pog and Clev, I would love to see what they can do in the middle of the park when teamed together, and I also think that Cleverley has a great understanding of Danny Welbeck’s play, so I’d always try and get them together as often as possible.
    As for Fergie’s comments about the ability of Pogba – I wouldn’t read too much into it, I remember him talking up Macheda as the next big thing…

  3. Sean says:

    Honestly united would be crazy to let pogba go, everyone keep talking about how good Carrick been this season but at the end of the day he’s only good wen he has time to play, at the highest level noone wil give u time unless u make space for urself and to me pogba is not the one to replace scholes but Carrick he’s a better player defensively and on the ball, cleverly is good but when I saw him against Ajax I dint see nothing special and I know he was out for a bit but I dint see any special touches or any hint of arrogance, which Eriksson had, which I can say Morison has even tho he’s gone, basically what am trying to say is the boy is gd but not special. I honestly don’t think united should buy a midfielder all they need to do is to stop relying on the vets i.e. scholes giggs or experience i.e. Carrick and give our young midfielders ( pogba cleverly and petruci ) a chance, add Anderson Fletch Carrick scholes wel have seven midfielders I know it won’t b easy to keep them all happy but the trio of pogba cleverly n Anderson ( my dream midfield for next season) should play more games the other 3 should add experience from the bench and petruci should b used the way pogba been used this season.

  4. seven says:

    Why do you think Scholes will only be a “bit-part” player next season? Are you privy to his fitness levels? His diminishing physicality in training? You know nothing in that respect. Secondly how is Hazard , Gaitan replacements for Scholes? They’re wingers or attacking midfielders! Why don’t people understand that. Even Morrison was more likely to be a LM than a CM. At United, Fergie has shown no interest in changing the system we play. Namely with all round midfielders who can get up and down the pitch for 90 minutes, and if a midfielder has the timing, stamina, freedom from the manager, understanding with his midfield partner to cover as he attacks and ability in front of goal then he will get 20 goals a season and assists (as Scholes did in his prime). And bullocks, Carrick thrives on not having time on the ball, he was one of our only players performing against Wigan, it only did not appear so because Giggs was piss poor, and left him out to dry with terrible positioning and naivety in his reluctance to track back/play deeper/make himself more available when Evans and Ferdinand has the ball. Which explains why midway through the half cameras captured Fergie instructing Rooney to play more in midfield. IMO Wigan just recognized our threat on the wing. And every time our wingers got the ball there were three players around them. Theoretically this means there would be more space elsewhere on the pitch and usually United exploit this. But they couldnt get out of the position. And when the wingers were forced to play back to the full backs they would go into regular positions when safe. These were just the tactics that worked on the day. And you almighty scout of scouts who did not witness poor old Clevz perform any “special touches” during the Ajax game, I will leave you with only your own terrible life as an explanation as to why you and your opinions are stupid. And a little advice, try to die, if ever the opportunity arises. Its people like you, who when you talk, just make football that little bit worse. After all if Fergies saying that Pogba could be a “great United player” is an indication that Pogba can replace Scholes, then Fergies admission that Clevz is “potentially the best midfield player in Britain” is the footballing plaudits equivalent of a blowjob. But still Fergie might be wrong, cause i read somewhere, this bloke yeah, Sean. He said that he never saw Cleverly make any special touches or anything, nothing mate. Fuck Fergie must be such a dumfuck!
    Shit I promised not to give you an explanation. Still… death; it’s a viable option, please consider it.

  5. seven says:

    If you are under the age of 16, you are excused. Please do not kill yourself, Sean.

  6. Ez says:

    I totaly agree with you Sean. Especialy on Cleverly Ando Pogba midfield.
    But what saddens me is Cleverly and Pogba are our future midfielders, but we keep playing GIGGS our old winger(with all due respect)

  7. Mike Kama says:

    This article took the words right out of my mouth! The fact that people keep complaining of resting Scholes on Wednesday just shows how little these ‘fans’ actually know or care about football! Scholes was a definite solution! 5 or 10 years ago maybe, he would be able to play two, three games in a week easily! He’s 37 now! At this point he’s body isn’t even giving him an option! Then you have the Manchester Derby coming up and we over-use our best midfield player and have Ferguson have no choice but make that horrific pairing of Giggs and Carrick in midfield! What will you say then! It’s one thing losing to a relegation team and still have a 5 point cushion, it’s another losing the title to PES 2012 team at the Etihad! That would be unbearable!

    The mistake Ferguson made at Wigan was that mid paring of Giggs and Carrick! Those two are lovely as individuals in their proper roles (Carrick- Defensive mid; Giggs-Left, Right Winger, Attacker behind striker)! But when Giggs comes into that mid it makes me shed literal tears, because I know no decent form of possession will be there, no defensive or holding qualities are present and when giggs tries to ping balls from CM like Scholes we almost always lose possession! Cleverley, Pogba, Nani were options! And sure enough when they came on they almost managed something! Nani’s 15 min or so cameo was better than Ashley Young’s last three game spell! I know he scored a winner, but Young’s productivity levels have floored from when he used to terrorize United at Villa! Sure enough he would be the cause of nightmares today if still at Villa, knowing how he’d tie Rio and Evans in a knot with his scorching runs!

    Another disappointment is the lack of acknowledgement that Evra is tired! Why doesn’t Ferguson see this for goodness sake! Get Fabio in there and give Evra a break because frankly he needs it bad! If he continues giving the old geezer performances in defence and as a CAPTAIN at that, he will end his career very badly, it’s not pretty Evra!

    Antyway, back to point, Hazard will be a great addition to the team! If United can buy him to replace Anderson, and if he’s linked with Cleverley and Pogba, not even Barca can match the level of skill and match fitness of that midfield! And I honestly believe that! Besides, it doesn’t make sense that Ferguson should outcast Berbatov’s skill and class citing need for pace only to put Carrick and Giggs there, two people who aren’t really convincingly pacey! Stop putting Giggs in mid against technically astute teams or else United will get a lot more humble a lot more times yet! Giggs=Winger/Attacker, Clev+Pogba+(Eden)=Magical midfield! Simple arithmetic!