The sharp intake of breath followed by the feeling of intense euphoria is something i think every United fan felt when they heard the news that our Ginger prince was returning. The news of his return was a shot from the dark, no one really expected it to happen and the rumors doing rounds earlier in the day were almost immediately ridiculed by one and all. According to Wayne Rooney, the news of his return was kept so quiet that even the players themselves had no clue about his impending return until they saw him in the dressing room prior to the game.
I know that Scholes's return has been written to death and this belated article from me covers most of what has already been written, but i couldn't resist from giving my 2 cents worth on the return of one of Old Trafford's favorite sons.
It's hard to believe that one man's return can have such a profound impact on a team, but Scholesy is among the few who are capable of that feat. The news of his return sparked a Twitter frenzy the likes of which i have never seen before, my timeline had tweets of excitement and joy coming so fast that it made F1 seem mundane and slow.
His return though not perfect was still very impressive, Scholesy had almost 70 touches in the 30 mins that he was on the pitch, way more than City's £25 million summer acquisition Samir Nasri, who played 81 minutes of the game. The ball always seemed to go to him and all our attacks started through him, it was almost natural to our players on the pitch, he was ruling the midfield within minutes of his introduction. It seemed like he's never gone, we were even given a glimpse of his trademark tackling ability too.
Though he was partly responsible for City's second goal, rustiness is expected from a man who hasn't played a professional football game for almost 6-7 months, plus had just 2-3 days of training to prepare for the game. thus he came into the game with almost zero match fitness.
Another effect of his return is the added cloud of uncertainty over the future of certain midfielders in the team. His return is ominous for the likes of Gibson, Pogba and Anderson. While Gibbo's time at the club looks to be coming to an end (sure to please a lot of fans out there), and i'm sure Anderson will also be sent packing if he doesn't buck up, he needs to show that he can perform like he did at the start of the season on a regular basis and prove that we don't need Scholesy in the team.
As the season progresses he's sure to get better, and his match sharpness will return. We'll be seeing much more of Scholesy in the coming months and he's sure to be a key player for us in the title race. Opposition fans may ridicule us now, but with almost half the season still remaining to be played, there's a lot of football left to be played and underestimating Manchester United is never a good idea.
Scholes may not be able to play for an entire 90 minutes or play more than 1 game a week but the few minutes he spends on the pitch are sufficient for him to have an impact as he showed against City. Even if he didn't have the dream return that everyone wanted, he's already made an immediate impact mentally on both the fans and the team, one which at this crucial time of the season could be a turning point, one that sets us rolling on towards title no. 20!