Comment: Even Roy Keane and Gary Neville would fall silent when Paul Scholes spoke at Manchester United
View From the Sofa: He's the sort that sat in the corner drawing violent images on his pencil case
The famous picture of the Million Dollar Quartet – Elvis Presley seated at a piano surrounded by Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins – invokes one of the great "what ifs" of music. Although they were pictured together at Memphis's Sun Studios, Cash never appeared on any subsequent recordings. Fans ever since have wondered what magic the four men would have come up with.
Paul Scholes' verbal volley on Tuesday night raised another "what if": what would happen if he, Gary Neville and Roy Keane were put in a room together with the cameras rolling? One thing is for sure: David Moyes' name would be raised and along with it would be more than a few home truths. Contractual obligations dictate that the meeting would never happen, of course, but we can but wonder.
Scholes' stint in the pundit's chair before and after the Manchester derby surprised many, because he has never been known for his strong opinions. His former team-mates Keane and Neville seemed naturals for television work, given their propensity to speak out as players.
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Even Keane and Neville would fall silent when Scholes spoke
But Scholes was – is – an enigma. Although he turns 40 in November, he still looks like a moody teenager. The sort that sat in the corner sullenly at school while drawing violent images on his pencil case.
But he showed on Tuesday night, as he looked through his eyebrows, barely raising his head to make eye contact with the host, Ed Chamberlin, that he can deliver a swift kick to the proverbials. He skewered Marouane Fellaini ("for the money they paid for him, I'd be expecting a lot more") before letting rip on Arsenal's players "going missing" in their "tippy-tappy" way of playing.
It made you wish for a parallel universe, where Scholes, Keane and Neville were given a couple of hours and an open bar to pick apart the state of their club.
Keane would go all high-pitched and trip over his words in his pantomime "angry" voice. Neville would then chime in with some analysis of United's tactical failings.
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Scholes would take a deep breath before letting out a sigh, as he did on Tuesday when Chamberlin asked him where United need to strengthen. Then in his broad, monotone Mancunian accent, he would say his piece. It wouldn't take long, but it would be to the point – and no doubt both Keane and Neville would take a sip of their drinks in silence. Because they would both know that Scholes, the sullen, dangerous-looking man in the corner, was right.
As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”
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