Paul Scholes admits he made comeback mistake at back end of Man Utd career

Paul Scholes has admitted that it was a mistake for him to extend his Manchester United career into another year in 2012.

Scholes is a United legend, having helped the club win 11 Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies during a 20-year playing career spent at one club.

The central midfielder was a key player for Sir Alex Ferguson, scoring 152 times in 711 matches for United altogether.

His United career is split into two parts – an initial spell from 1993 to 2011 and a second brief stint from 2012 to 2013.

And it is that second spell, which came when Scholes decided to come out of retirement, that contains regret for Scholes.

Scholes initially re-joined the side to play in the back end of the 2011/12 season, but he decided to sign a one-year contract extension in the summer after Sergio Aguero’s famous last-gasp goal against QPR gave Manchester City the title on goal difference.

Although United won the 2012/13 Premier League title in Scholes and Ferguson’s final season in the game, he admits his performances were not up to scratch.

“It was a mistake to carry on. Definitely a mistake,” the 47-year-old said onBT Sport’s ‘What I Wore’ series.

“I can remember two or three games into that next season I thought ‘what have I done?'

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“When I played central midfield I like to go into games thinking ‘I just want to have all the time in the world here, just nobody around me, just find a little bit of space and pass the ball around.

“Then you play against people like Robbie Savage – an absolute nuisance, trying to close you down dead quick. I don’t want that, I just want it nice and relaxed.

“The way I played I didn’t really have to beat people or be stronger, quicker than the other person.

“I suppose Patrick Vieira, you play against him, he is so long, he is so big. You think you’ve got the ball, and the next minute he nicks it over your head, he was a clever player.

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“There’s one more that people won’t think of. We used to play against Portsmouth. Do you remember Papa Bouba Diop? Big, massive. They used to call him the wardrobe.

“You get involved physically with him and you’re wasting your time. I always found him awkward to play against. He wasn’t a Vieira, of course he wasn’t, but he still had talent.”

Scholes made eight starts and eight substitute appearances in the 2012/13 season for United as they avenged the previous year’s hurt by beating rivals City to the title.

He bowed out alongside Ferguson by coming on as a substitute in the remarkable 5-5 draw against West Brom on May 19, 2013.

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