Fergie hopeful Scholes stays on
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is confident Sunday's Old Trafford encounter with Blackpool will not prove to be Paul Scholes' Premier League swansong. The break-up of the famed Class of '92 is almost complete now Gary Neville has retired.
Of the six players who went on to star for club and country, only the oldest, Ryan Giggs, will definitely still be at United next term. Scholes is still to decide whether to follow Giggs' lead or Neville's.
It means his confirmed appearance against the Tangerines this weekend could bring down the curtain on a stellar career, when he was identified by Zinedine Zidane amongst others as the foremost midfield player of his generation.
Chief executive David Gill has admitted it would be no surprise if the 36-year-old called it a day, but Ferguson, who offered the player a new one-year contract six months ago, is not so sure. "I don't think it will be his last game," said the Scot. "We have discussed it and I have encouraged him to stay on another year. We will talk again at the end of the season."
The problem is Scholes has never given the impression of being as convinced about his own contribution as Ferguson. He made his 21st league appearance of the campaign at Blackburn last Saturday when Ferguson wanted to try to tie up the title - which was Scholes' tenth such triumph.
But even though the midfielder started matches against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City in the closing weeks of the season, doubt remains. "I have to be happy with the way I am playing," said Scholes.
"You get to a point in your career when you have to realise why you are in the squad. Last season the manager felt it was best for me to be involved in away games and I agreed with him. This season, I felt great until I injured my groin against Rangers in November and I have struggled a little bit since."