Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Game Made Beautiful Again - Zenith2k

The red tide is washing in again. Manchester United has found a new belief in itself because of one man. Paul Scholes' reawakened genius has invigorated a squad which was in danger of slumbering through another season without achieving its obvious potential. Scholes has allowed the Old Trafford faithful to dream again. Without him the unfolding United fairytale would have no animator.

But the diminutive ginger master is not the only individual to have drawn enthused responses from the Stretford End this season. Christiano Ronaldo, Patrice Evra, Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs and even the previously maligned Michael Carrick have shown the ability that a side destined for greatness must exhibit. Coupled with an unyielding back line including the ferocious Nemanja Vidic and the sublime Rio Ferdinand, this makes for an imperious side with a solid foundation. So far this season, Manchester United's pursuit of the title has been relentless.

Scholes' hunger to distribute possession together with an unparalleled vision for incisive passing has made him United's player of the season. Whilst Ronaldo has been the protagonist, Scholes has been the director; the reason for the growing belief of the players and the fans. The fervour with which he has set about demolishing opposing teams has instilled in his compatriots a will to win missing since Roy Keane was in his prime at the club.

In fact Scholes' recent resurgence has been partly due to the emergence of Michael Carrick as the hub of the team. Carrick isn't a player with the raw emotion characteristic of past United midfielders, but his neat, intelligent play has led to a previously lacking assuredness in the centre. Carrick's constant supply of possession to Scholes has been a major factor in the midfield renaissance.

Key signings Vidic, Evra and Park have proved their worth. Along with the maturation of Rooney and Ronaldo they have banished the demons of a transfer record which had been, in recent seasons, an embarrassment to Ferguson. The new squad he has nurtured may now be nearing its peak.

This mixture of experience and youth is reminiscent of the '99 treble-winning side and of Ferguson's first great team born in the early nineties. The shrewdness of Scholes and Giggs is the foil to the raw desire of Ronaldo and Rooney. Where Ronaldo has been the virtuoso of the team, Rooney has been the essence. Rooney's refusal to let a game pass him by has been the beating heart of the United collective. He gives his all for the side in every game and possesses a hunger for his trade which makes him the model professional. But it is to Scholes they should both pay homage, for this duo has enjoyed a new lease of life under the cohesion he has brought back to the team.

Scholes is heading towards a number of awards and should receive the global recognition he rightly deserves. There is no single man to whom one team has owed so much this season.


andrewm said...

OK ....

Trying to leave tribal loyalties aside as much as I can, is this piece not a little over the top?

".... destined for greatness ...." - we shall see.

You should write for the club website. They'd love you.

PS. They haven't won anything yet you know.

MotM said...

Ho Hum... Me too andrewm.

Better not say much, except that Scholes has just been sent off (and will miss 3 crucial games, just what you want from a senior pro) and was always disappointing when it mattered for England.

It's not a vintage season and whether Chelsea or Man Utd win it, neither is a vintage side.

PS Giggs for Footballer of the Year - start the bandwagon here. It'll be a disgrace if he doesn't get it in his career.

andrewm said...

Ah .... shite.

MotM said...

The wind is with them. From the radio and the MBM report, it was much more "The Game made Ugly and Pragmatic Again" than Beautiful, and I guess that's my criticism of this piece.

guitougoal said...

hum...hum, it's a stretch but a good one. I kind of agree with motm with the wind and scholes.

Anonymous said...

well, i'll admit that Lille away, Fulham and Liverpool games have pretty much flown in the face of what I've written. But so far this season, some of the football we have produced has been sensational. I wouldn't agree that our first choice side is not 'vintage'. With the addition of another midfielder and striker (Hargreaves and Torres hopefully), I can't wait for the future too.

And on a blog i'd always prefer to present some kind of bias to get people talking.


greengrass said...

I can't pretend to be objective when it comes to the Red Devils.
I feel, however, that Scoles is certainly worth a tribute. Nice, too, to see Carrick getting some praise: he's worth it.
Is the side peaking? I think not: it's an in-between side that will only peak when Scholes and Giggs are, sadly, memories.
Maybe then John O'Shea will have fulfilled his promise as a striker...

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