No, just no, “Scholesy”. If you had pulled that defence ten years ago, it MIGHT have carried some water. But at the close of a career, as a post-mortem, one thing is clear. You’re either what everyone accuses you of, or you just didn’t give a shit enough to improve your game enough so that the tag doesn’t apply to you. Attempting tackles (often!) that have no academic difference from that launched by a cynical tackler means you ARE a cynical tackler to everyone else in the world. I would suggest if you didn’t play for Manyoo, IF you weren’t coddled by Fergie, IF English referees and fans didn’t laugh off the most astonishing challenges with the ever-present “Oh, it’s only Scholesy…”, you would find playing for a league bottom-half club with that mentality and behaviour a rude shock. Enough to, say, get you carded straight into Division 2.
Trying the “but I didn’t shear off anyone’s leg” tactic doesn’t work either, the only reason it didn’t happen is just the law of averages. A player in a small club doing the same stuff will do it more often, since the side will generally be under siege by bigger and better teams. Hence, there’s no reason why Scholes won’t do a Shawcross or Taylor if he was forced to ply his trade elsewhere than Manyoo. Working on that side of the game isn’t a waste of time, ESPECIALLY if you keep doing risky tackles as a force of habit. Manyoo would actually benefit from a player that didn’t have zero competence in defence and had to be paired with a water carrier in Keane, Hargreaves, Carrick, Anderson, Fletcher et al, reducing the tactical flexibility of the team. I hate to say it, but now that all their careers are winding down, it’s sad to see the Neviller being the most sensible of Fergie’s bumper crop (besides that pesky problem of trolling Pool).
Oh, since we’re on the subject of repelling footballing objects….this made for unintentional comedy too.