Nicky Butt hails Alex Ferguson decision to re-sign Paul Scholes
Monday 09 January 2012
Nicky Butt believes Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson pulled off a psychological masterstroke by confirming Paul Scholes was coming out of retirement just before yesterday's Manchester derby.
United went into the FA Cup third-round tie at the Etihad Stadium on a downer following back-to-back Barclays Premier League defeats, but appeared to be given a lift by the news of Scholes' return, which broke just an hour before kick-off.
Ferguson's men swept into a 3-0 lead by half-time and, as City tore into their opponents after half-time, Scholes was brought on to help stabilise the midfield and seal a thrilling 3-2 win.
"It was a smart move by the manager," former United midfielder Butt told MUTV. "It took all the attention off their home record and the bookmakers' odds and switched all the attention to Paul Scholes and Manchester United.
"It was a great little bit of psychology."
Having spent so many years playing alongside Scholes, who retired at the end of last season, Butt knows exactly what his old team-mate can add to United's quest for honours.
"You are not going to get a better player than Paul Scholes," he said. "He is a phenomenal player. He can do what no one else can do.
"He dictates play and keeps things simple. There is no one better at doing that.
"It is a massive boost for everyone at the club."
Wayne Rooney scored two of United's goals yesterday and admitted that Scholes' inclusion in the matchday squad had come out of the blue even to the rest of the players.
"We just thought he was coming along to watch the game," Rooney said. "We saw him getting changed and someone asked him what he was doing, then we saw the number 22 shirt with Scholes on the back.
"That was a bit weird but it is great for us. He is a well-liked lad around the dressing room."
Latest in Sport
Chelsea vs Manchester United player ratings: Match-winner Eden Hazard leads the way, but Radamel Falcao endures game to forget
Chelsea 1 Manchester United 0: Eight things we learnt as Blues step closer to the Premier League title
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Where are the tickets for the fight?
Chelsea transfer news: Jose Mourinho plays down news signings Nathan and Yoshinori Muto but talks up Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Arsenal transfer news: Mikel Arteta needs 'five minutes' to sign new contract and remain with the Gunners
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate