Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has recently revealed that Franco Baldini’s call in an attempt to lure him out of international retirement for the World Cup left him with only two hours to contemplate his decision whilst admitting that his answer may have been different had Fabio Capello called personally.
He said “Would I have joined up if Capello had called me? I don’t know, maybe it might have meant more” which raises further questions over Capello’s disciplinarian approach to the management of the England side.
England’s disappointing campaign was a catalyst for major speculation surrounding the Italian’s future and this social blunder perhaps typifies what went wrong in South Africa: a lack of personal touch.
Once revered for his strict regime, Capello will now no doubt be asked the question as to why it was too much for him to pick up the phone and speak to Scholes himself if he believed he would make an impact in England’s engine room. A player with 66 England caps and 14 goals from 1997-2004 described by Zinedine Zidane as “undoubtedly the greatest player of his generation” was surely worth a minor display of common courtesy.
Scholes, 35, is too modest to claim he would have made the difference for England in South Africa or in fact that he would have got the best out of United team-mate Wayne Rooney but Capello felt his presence would have given him other options, particularly with concerns over the fitness of Manchester City’s Gareth Barry which only serves to highlight Capello’s faux pas.
Scholes will now focus on regaining the Premier League title from Chelsea in the upcoming season but says he is also slightly wary about Manchester City’s shopping spree and for someone who came through the Old Trafford youth system, seeing his near neighbours eclipse the club he loves is simply inconceivable.
“The last thing we want is City above us” he said.
“It is great for the city to have two top teams – a change from them being in the Second Division 10 years ago”.
Whilst Scholes gears up for the domestic campaign it is highly likely Capello will blood youngsters in their upcoming friendly against Hungary in August with the likes of Joe Hart, Adam Johnson, Ashley Young, Michael Dawson and even Jack Rodwell being touted to replace the likes of Scholes , James and Heskey.
Unfortunately in what appears to be Scholes final chance on the big stage, he was let down by the absence of a personable approach from Capello and we will no doubt be seeing him still going strong next season – for club not country.