Wayne Rooney and James Milner have all come out with statements saying that they would love to have Paul Scholes back in the national side. It’s not a tepid endorsement – the two genuinely believe that Scholes could make the difference.
Zinedine Zidane has stated that he intensely regretted never having played alongside the ‘most complete footballer’. High praise because Zidane defined ‘complete footballer’ himself.
Scholes has been in magnificent form for Man Utd in this early season and he shows no signs of slowing down. Before the World Cup there were signs that Scholes could have been persuaded to come back from retirement if Capello had personally called him- in the end the outreach was done by his Franco Baldini, his assistant. For that Capello was roundly criticized.
A missed opportunity because Scholes would have improved the midfield a hundred fold. Getting out of the group stage on top might have changed their World Cup fortunes. But could Scholes be tempted back? He might be – with so many footballers advocating his return. Can you imagine this happening before the World Cup? Surely, Joe Cole included in the Algeria game after players lobbied for his return changed the dynamic between them and the hitherto inflexible Capello.
It’s almost as if the players are trying to force the England manager to atone for not doing the right thing. Call him up they seem to say- get him back because his passes are going to find Rooney, Zamora, Bent or whomever you want to play. Capello might be forced to do it if England fail to impress in their Euro qualifiers while Scholes continues his Man Utd exploits this season.