sport news IAN LADYMAN: The absence of Premier League legend Paul Scholes as a coach is a ... trends now

sport news IAN LADYMAN: The absence of Premier League legend Paul Scholes as a coach is a ... trends now
sport news IAN LADYMAN: The absence of Premier League legend Paul Scholes as a coach is a ... trends now

sport news IAN LADYMAN: The absence of Premier League legend Paul Scholes as a coach is a ... trends now

As we mark the 30th anniversary of the Premier League, two of its greatest midfielders Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard were side by side on the touchline at Villa Park.

Another, Patrick Vieira, will be in charge of Crystal Palace at Liverpool this evening. Roy Keane, meanwhile, was once successful in taking Sunderland to the Premier League.

As for the one who could see and read the game better than any of them — the one who could smack a ball against a tree at training from 30 yards — he remains lost to the game.

Frank Lampard (left) and Steven Gerrard are bosses but Paul Scholes is not a prominent figure

Frank Lampard (left) and Steven Gerrard are bosses but Paul Scholes is not a prominent figure

The Manchester United and Premier League icon's knowledge is not used enough in the sport

The Manchester United and Premier League icon's knowledge is not used enough in the sport

Paul Scholes? The chances are he was watching Manchester United on TV at his home north of the city on Saturday and wondering when he is going to be offered the opportunity to pass on all that he knows.

We only see Scholes on the television these days, or read about him in the sports news. Last week, for example, his thoughts on United's home defeat by Brighton came to our attention via a social media post.

'Midfielders it's all about body shape when receiving the ball,' wrote Scholes.

'Too many times facing their own goal and can only play one way... get on the 'half turn' for **** sake and bring your forward players into the game.'

It was more fodder for the online headline writers. Scholes slams Fred and Scott McTominay, and so on. We know how that works.

United could have done with Scholes' words of advice during their 4-0 thrashing at Brentford

United could have done with Scholes' words of advice during their 4-0 thrashing at Brentford 

But reading those words it was hard not to imagine the 47-year-old on a training field somewhere, gripping a young midfield player by the shoulders and walking him through his positioning.

Given Scholes' record — 11 Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues, 66 England caps — it is hard to envisage any up-and-coming midfielder being naive enough not to inhale every single word.

Scholes probably does not have the personality to manage. He is bright but would never claim to be a natural or enthusiastic communicator. He took the job at Oldham once but walked away after 28 days fearing interference from above in team selection.

He does have his coaching badges, however, and does want to be involved. He misses the game that was once his life and has not managed to fill the hole it has left.

It is hard to imagine him networking or 'playing the game, using mates in the media' as Keane so witheringly described the search for work when in conversation with Gary Neville on a podcast last year.

But the fact is that someone like

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