Why Manchester United Must Replace Paul Scholes to Be a Truly Great Team

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Why Manchester United Must Replace Paul Scholes to Be a Truly Great Team
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Paul Scholes

Paul Scholes, like Ryan Giggs, has been a mainstay of Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United since 1994. But there will never be another one like him.

And in some ways United don't need a Scholes clone, like they don't need a Roy Keane clone. 

The game has changed.

But of course that is not to say that there isn't plenty of room for a consummate long- and short-distance passer who can put a ball on a sixpence.

The trouble is that with the density of modern day covering and marking there is less opportunity for the "marquee" pass than there was, unless you play for a counterattacking team.

Which of course United still are.

Indeed they are an attacking team in general. They try to win every match and probably use wide players as much as any top team in Europe. That is one of the scenarios where a player with a consistent ability to ping a long pass or switch the play has value.

However, even Sir Alex has implied that Nick Powell can be "the new Paul Scholes." What a tag to hang 'round somebody's neck!

So let's be clear, here. We are not conducting an "identity parade" to try to spot the next Paul Scholes. But what we shall be doing is considering the tactical nuances and some possible personnel to complete a jigsaw that may only be missing one or at most two critical pieces to achieve greatness.

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