Callum O'Toole

Callum O'Toole


I am a recent graduate from The University of Manchester. A lover of drama and excellence in sport, but favor boring excellence over dramatic incompetence. I have too many opinions on too many subjects to keep it all bottled up. And I absolutely love a good sporting debate.

Bulletin Board

or to post this comment
  • Aaron Turner posted 1786 days ago

    Aaron Turner

    if latest articles are anything to go by it appears he lost his job after writing the most stupid article to ever appear on bleacher report. what a toole

  • Anan Hossain posted 2422 days ago

    Anan Hossain

    ur a retard

  • Ashish Kulkarni posted 2423 days ago

    Ashish Kulkarni

    Read your latest article Callum. Definitely didn't want to be one of the people shouting abuse in the comments section. Also, I thought I'd go directly to the source since there's more of a chance you'd read this if it was not a half-mental rant on the article.

    Anyway, I think that while you hit upon an interesting point (about praise being the loudest on the day of retirement), you are missing the essence of Scholes. He never sought to control a game the way Keane and Vieira did. His influence was always so much more subtle: if you watch the difference between him and Carrick these days, you will see it. Scholes is always open for a pass. He gets the ball, passes and moves. Gets it again, passes again and repeats. And all the while, his brain is functioning on another level: the level of grandeur, of luring the opposition into a mistake. He is forever working, forever playing God on the field and he maintains and uses possession like no man (including Xavi/Iniesta) I have ever seen.

    And unlike Xavi, he has never had a partner as invested in sitting back and maintaining possession as himself so he often has to be the voice of patience all by himself. As for his influence waning, he started this season in the running for PFA Player of the Year. Not to mention last season where he was praised almost as much (including going through a match against Fulham with a 100% pass success rate!!). His form has only dipped slightly towards the end of this season and I believe that is because SAF consciously began to rest him more often. Surely he cannot play week-in-week-out at his age, and that drop in gametime seems to have had a slight impact on his game.

    As for his lack of appearance in the Champions League finals, Keane was bound to receive all the press attention after his showing against Juve. And against Barca, I believe that playing Carrick (twice!) is one of the few major mistakes in SAF's career. Like selling Jaap Stam, I believe it will be some years before he can reminisce about it and admit the error. He definitely cannot admit it now because it is still fresh in his and the fans' memories. Once he wins that next European trophy, he may well release another autobiography mentioning these two finals.

    Finally, there is the fact I mentioned about praise on retirement day. I don't know a single good player who has at least a few fans who would swear he is the best player of all time. There are people who would swear by Edgar Davids even. Popular opinion is a game of averages, meaning that if 70% of people consider Maradona/Pele as the greatest, they probably are. Of the remaining, 20% probably go with Cruyff, Puskas, Zidane, Messi and then there are the 10% who would pick Xavi or Scholes. And these 10% are the most vocal when their idol is retiring.

    While I don't think he is the greatest player of all time, I do think he was just as influential for his team (if not slightly more) than the greats of our generation like Xavi and Zidane. No offence intended, you expressed an opinion and I have tried to convince you of mine. Hope you agree now, if not...well, that's what opinions are for right?