Scholes deserves more accolades says Fletcher

Darren Fletcher is convinced a love of the quiet life has prevented Paul Scholes gaining the worldwide recognition his talents deserve.

Scholes breathed new life into Manchester United's title challenge at the weekend, scoring a last-gasp header which allowed Sir Alex Ferguson's men to close the gap on league leaders Chelsea to a single point.

The goal came just 24 hours after the 35-year-old agreed a new one-year contract at Old Trafford, which Ferguson feels is fully merited given Scholes' performances in the latter half of the campaign.

No-one at United needs any convincing about Scholes' talent, but despite picking up nine Premier League titles, the former England midfielder has never won any prestigious individual awards and his name was again absent when the PFA revealed their four-man shortlist last week.

Fletcher feels the only explanation is the devotion Scholes applies to shunning the limelight.

He is often changed and out of the dressing room before his team-mates have headed for the shower, while in post-match mixed zones he now just laughs as he heads through without checking his stride.

"We won't ever see another one like Paul Scholes. He is a legend and a real benchmark," Scotland skipper Fletcher said.

"He is not interested in the modern day footballer's life off the pitch, but he is a world-class player on it.

"He has probably never really got the true recognition he deserved outside of Manchester United because he never did the media. He didn't do interviews and never put himself out for things like that.

"I cannot believe he has never been nominated for World, European or domestic individual honours because in his prime he was scoring 20 goals a season from midfield.

"It is astonishing he has never won a personal award but given the choice of winning something and then having to get up and do the speech, I think he would rather not have won them."

Scholes now operates in a far more withdrawn role than he used to occupy in his prime and, in Gary Neville's words, "passed Manchester City to death" on Saturday.

His overall performance belied the doubts that existed in his mind at the turn of the year about his contribution to the Red Devils' cause and whether he did have a future beyond the end of this season.

Fletcher never thought it was a question that required an answer.

"It is crazy to suggest that he shouldn't have got another contract," he said. "On Saturday he was the best player on the park. Even before his goal he was controlling it at his tempo.

"He slowed it down when it was needed. He was always available and quickened it up when it was called for. He was an inspiration playing like that.

"All the players here want him at United next year, together with Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville he remains a great inspiration to us all.

"Proper fans who know the game realise that maybe he doesn't go box-to-box these days for 90 minutes, but nobody expects that. We have others who can do the work for him.

"Now he is more selective with his runs and there is still nobody better at it.

"If I can get anywhere near to that when I am 35 then I will be very happy. Even now I would be happy to get to that level."

Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
News
Clarke Carlisle
sport
Sport
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
News
Coca-Cola has become one of the largest companies in the world to push staff towards switching off their voicemails, in a move intended to streamline operations and boost productivity
peopleCoca-Cola staff urged to switch it off to boost productivity
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there