EXCLUSIVE: Scholes writes off "mollycoddled" England
Published 21:02 16/09/11 By David McDonnell
Paul Scholes has blasted England’s “mollycoddled and pampered” stars and claimed they have no chance of winning a trophy.
In a brutal attack on the national team, Manchester United legend Scholes also claimed England’s chances of glory had been ruined by managers more interested in money than success.
Scholes, who admitted his failure to win either a European Championship or World Cup with England was one of the biggest regrets of his career, also said changing the man in charge so often had undermined the country’s chances of success.
Although Fabio Capello’s side are on the brink of qualifying for Euro 2012, Scholes has already written off their chances - nine months before next summer’s tournament gets under way.
“I think the England team these days are treated like world superstars from what they do at club level,” said Scholes.
“I don’t think that helps when they go to England, because they’re all mollycoddled and pampered.
“They’re treated like they’re world champions before actually being a successful team to do that.
“I just think the England manager these days changes that often there can never be that stability - I think managers just go out for the England job for the money these days.”
Asked if he could see England winning a trophy any time soon, Scholes, speaking to United fanzine Red News, said: “You would always like to say ‘yes’ but, for me, at the minute, no I can’t.
“You can go over the last four or five tournaments. England may have got to a couple of quarter-finals, but there’s nothing else to show for it and South Africa was a complete disaster.
“I just don’t know why. Maybe there’s too much expectation on England.”
Despite winning 10 Premier League titles with United, for whom he played 672 times, scoring 150 goals and earning 66 England caps, Scholes played down his status as one of the best players of his generation.
He has been hailed by the likes of Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta as the most gifted player of his time, but Scholes said he did not deserve to be held in the same regard as the world’s best.
“I don’t agree with [me] being one of the best players in the world,” he said.
“These players go on to win European Championships, they go on to win World Cups. I always felt I fell short of that level.
“I’ve only won one European Cup, whereas the top players in the world, like your Xavis and Iniestas are there year-in, year-out - these are the players.
“Your [Zinadine] Zidanes and Ronaldos, these are the ones who are winning World Cups, these are the proper players. I think I fell below that level.”
* Scholes was speaking to Red News. For the full interview go to www.rednews.co.uk