Tuesday, April 29, 2008

United: Scholesy renaissance

Perhaps his overall contribution wasn't the most classic, but for an aging Paul Scholes, one last trademark thunderbolt should cement his name in United folk-lore forever.

More than his name, the style with which he played. The modesty which underscored his every touch. The simple passes that so many other footballers find complex.

Paul Scholes is a legend.

He typifies what is great about football. What he lacks in speed and size he makes up with vision, intelligence, and guile.

He is an inspiration to balding twenty-somethings everywhere (.. mainly here) who fancy themselves as footballers despite being remarkably slow and knobby-kneed.

Although it was not merely Paul Scholes who vanquished the Catalans today. Carlos Tevez was ubiquitous, rampaging into defenders, pressuring always. Owen Hargreaves, for a second consecutive time against the Spanish superclub, was imperious, dutiful, and full of energy. The rest of our defesce was not always as assured, but the end justifies the mean -- our passage to Moscow written on two clean-sheets.

No heroic feat is accomplished without it's villains, though. Our goalkeeper inspires fear into the hearts of his defenders and supporters. Michael Carrick seems determined to never make an impact on a football match. Nani was again guilty of being far too deliberate with the ball; so often would United benefit from Nani turning on his afterburners immediately, instead of loitering on the ball upon possession. Ronaldo, as noted in a prior entry, is yet to muster the maturity to take over games of such great occasion, although he seemed more comfortable in the second half. Ryan Giggs, to his credit, managed 2 touches on the ball in 12 minutes. A purely aesthetic cameo from the man, who justifies his moniker of "Welsh wizard" more with his elderly performances than his trickery.

Scholesy, though, who missed the historic 1999 final due to suspension, may find himself the main character in a fairy tale ending, come May 21st.

Certainly deserving of a ginger prince!

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