Scholesy can be king at United until he's 40
Sir Alex Ferguson is backing Paul Scholes to be King of the United midfield jungle up to his 40th birthday. But the Reds boss has predicted the 35-year-old will remain in self-imposed England exile and has slated Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger for criticising the player's dark side. United's engine room inspiration has won all three man-of-the-match awards in the games against Chelsea in the Community Shield and Newcastle and Fulham in the Premier League. In November, the Mancunian will be 36 and is already fourth highest in the club's all-time appearance list. If he hasn't retired by 2014 he would clock up 20 years as a United senior. And the prospect of the ginger magician still patrolling the midfield in four years' time is very much a serious proposition. The advantages Paul has had is the way he has looked after himself and his lifestyle. It is absolutely perfect as far as a manager is concerned, said Sir Alex. We have a few at the club who live their lives the right way. They look after themselves and are good professionals. Scholes is a good example. If you look after yourself you can have a long career in the game. I couldn't have possibly thought for a minute that if you had asked me 10-15 years ago if he'd still be playing at 35-36 years of age. I would never have believed that, considered he plays in an area of the pitch which is the most intense area. It is just amazing to do that. For a player at United to play for that long is different because the intensity of our games is different to others. I am not overstating it to say that every game Man United play is a Cup Final, there is no question about that. But playing to your 40s can be done. The key also is how much they are enjoying it. And, of course, those injuries if you stay clear of them you never know and Paul is staying clear of them. Arsene Wenger has been among many adding fulsome praise for Scholes's early-season impact. But the Arsenal boss also added a barb about Scholes' dark side which upset Fergie. I don't know why Arsene Wenger said that, he said. When you are asked your opinion about someone with the ability and performance level of Paul Scholes I don't see why he should say that. Paul is not the best tackler, everybody knows that, but he has not injured anyone in his time here. Will Scholes be playing at United when he's 40? Have your say.
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