Paul Scholes video: Scholes admits 'disappointment' with how his England career panned out

The Independent's new football columnist also explains why he feels there is a lack of home-grown talent coming from the Premier League academies

The Independent’s chief football correspondent Sam Wallace spoke to new columnist Paul Scholes after the Manchester United legend signed to write a weekly column on all things going on in the Premier League.

Scholes has made the shift into punditry after being convinced by his former United team-mate Gary Neville that it was the right move, and as he explains, he is looking forward to giving his opinion whether it is right or wrong.

He also reflected on his illustrious career, and explained that even though he enjoyed phenomenal success with United, he would’ve liked to have won more internationally with England.

“[I’m] probably disappointed with England really,” Scholes told Sam Wallace. “I found myself lucky to have played with England and you’re always proud to play for England, but when it came to major tournaments it was disappointing. That’s something that I wish could have been better, but you have to look back and look at the trophies I did win. I’d say I was very lucky.

Watch the Paul Scholes interview below:

 

“I was lucky enough to play in some unbelievable teams, and when you’re a footballer you have to have the right people around you, the right players if you’re going to shine and especially when you play in my position you need to have forwards that are good players. The amount of forward-thinking centre forwards, wingers, players that I’ve been able to pass the ball to, without them you’re nothing really.

“To have played with the likes of [Cristiano] Ronaldo, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs  and some of the centre forwards, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Ruud van Nistlerooy, Teddy Sheringham, you know I could go on forever – Wayne Rooney. These are the players that make centre midfield players and defenders, they’re the players that win you the league and they score all your goals for you.”

 

Scholes has been both praised and criticised for his punditry work so far after giving a damning verdict of Manchester United under David Moyes last season, but the former midfielder explained that he is only giving his opinion and it is up to the listener to decide if he is right.

“I say it as I think it is,” said Scholes. “It might upset people, I don’t intend to upset anybody. From the last couple of months and talking about the World Cup, it seems I might have done that, but it’s not my intention, it’s just giving my honest opinion about something. People don’t like it or if people like it then great.

“But I’ll be honest this year, what I see in a game of football, I will give my opinion if it’s right or wrong, it’s up to people to decide by it’s my opinion.

“I’m not too sure what to expect. I suppose I’ve had a little taste of it through the World Cup but I’m looking forward to it.”

Read more: Paul Scholes signs with The Independent
Scholes - In his own words

The 39-year-old also gave his view on why there is a lack of young English talent being brought through Premier League academies in recent years.

“Maybe our lads, I just don’t think they’re tough enough,” he explained. “I know to be a footballer you don’t have to be tough all the time, there’s different attributes, but our academy players are picked up and taken to school, picked up and taken to the training ground. They have everything done for them.

“When we were kids, I’m not saying it was the right thing but I used to meet Nicky [Butt], we’d get three buses to the club training ground just to get to training for 9’o’clock in the morning and the same on the way home as well.

“I think we were a little more streetwise. These days I think the kids aren’t as mentally tough, they get a little too much done for them. Like I say, they’re not allowed to mop floors, they’re not allowed to clean boots, where’s the grounding for them. It’s just the only thing they’re interested in is a little bit of money really and a nice car.

 “I was lucky enough to play in some unbelievable teams, and when you’re a footballer you have to have the right people around you, the right players if you’re going to shine and especially when you play in my position you need to have forwards that are good players. The amount of forward-thinking centre forwards, wingers, players that I’ve been able to pass the ball to, without them you’re nothing really.

“To have played with the likes of [Cristiano] Ronaldo, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs  and some of the centre forwards, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Ruud van Nistlerooy, Teddy Sheringham, you know I could go on forever – Wayne Rooney. These are the players that make centre midfield players and defenders, they’re the players that win you the league and they score all your goals for you.

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