Sport Soccer

Saturday 16 December 2017

Scholes is United legend and a real benchmark, says Fletcher

Darren Fletcher says Paul Scholes is a Manchester United legend. Photo: Getty Images
Darren Fletcher says Paul Scholes is a Manchester United legend. Photo: Getty Images

Mark Ogden

Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher insists Paul Scholes silenced his doubters with his match-winning performance against Manchester City last Saturday.

Scholes, 35, put United back in contention for the Premier League title with his injury-time header that sealed a 1-0 victory at Eastlands.

The former England midfielder has had an up and down campaign, with his early season form leading to doubts over his ability to last the pace in recent weeks.

But with Scholes having signed a new one-year contract at Old Trafford last Friday, Fletcher claims that the United legend has more than earned his extended stay at the club.

Fletcher said: "It is crazy to suggest that Scholesy shouldn't have got another contract. If you saw the game on Saturday, he was the best player on the park.

“Even before his goal in injury time, he was controlling the derby at his tempo. He slowed it down when it was needed.

“He was always available and quickened it up when it was called for. He was an inspiration playing like that.

"All the players here want him at United next year. All the players like him, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville are wanted around the place because they remain a great inspiration to us all.

"Proper fans who know the game would have known Paul still had value in him.

"They realise that maybe he doesn't go box-to-box these days for 90 minutes and nobody expects that.

“We have others who can do the work for him and he pops up and times his runs and is more selective with his runs rather than doing it all the time. There is nobody better at it than him.

"If the manager could have clones of players then Scholesy would definitely be one of them. Paul is phenomenal. He is an inspiration to every player at this club.

"He is a legend and a real benchmark. I don't think we will ever see another one like Paul Scholes.”

United can now win the league for a fourth successive time if they win their three remaining fixtures - against Spurs, Sunderland and Stoke - and Chelsea fail to record three victories against Stoke, Liverpool and Wigan.

And after defeating City, Fletcher admits that United are now just waiting for Chelsea to drop points.

He said: "After a real couple of disappointing results, the derby was a massive game for us.

“We had to put the pressure on Chelsea. We wanted to win the Manchester derby and ensure we kept fighting for the league.

"We did our job and you just have to be there when Chelsea make a slip."

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