Search icon


24th Jan 2024

Roy Keane on the Man United player who didn’t like international duty

Lee Costello

Roy Keane

“Scholes never liked going away.”

Roy Keane has opened up about conversations he had with his former Manchester United teammate Paul Scholes who didn’t like international duty and retired early to prolong his club career.

Scholes retired from international duty back in 2004 but went on to play for United right up until 2013, leaving many believing that he had cut his time with the international team too short.

A lot has been made of the ‘Golden Generation’ at the time, and with a midfield that boasted Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, David Beckham, Owen Hargreaves, Joe Cole and many more, the ex Red Devil didn’t want to play with limited game time.

Roy Keane on how Paul Scholes didn’t like playing for England.

However, speaking on the latest episode of the Stick to Football podcast, Keane has revealed that he used to have conversations with Scholes, when the playmaker would openly admit that he didn’t enjoy his time with England.

“Obviously you’re [England] playing at Wembley all the time, you get that momentum, then there is more pressure,” said Keane.

“The lads are based in England, you’ve got family, surely all that comes into play because sometimes being away for a long spell didn’t seem to suit certain countries.

“You’d hear the Brazilian lads love being away for four or five weeks together, and if the lads [in the England camp] weren’t getting on that well together, that does make it a long tournament.

“‘Scholesy’ never liked going away – [Paul] Scholes obviously retired from England young, and he used to come back, and he’d say he didn’t like it.”

Paul Scholes

Frank Lampard makes interesting admission about Paul Scholes.

One of the reasons Scholes’ retired was because of the emergence of Lampard, who was also an attacking midfielder at that time, and although the United star went on to play in a deeper role, during this period he more of a box to box player.

However, the Chelsea legend admits that having the Old Trafford hero around could have solved a lot of problems for England during this period.

“There are a lot of factors to it,” Lampard said. “Paul Scholes is an incredible player, and when I first got into the England squad, I probably upset the apple cart a little bit because I was another attacking midfielder, so we had three of them.

“We had a decent Euros that year (2004), but we got knocked out. Then Scholesy retired from the national football team for his own reasons, then went into that deeper role at Manchester United and became a quarterback and was unreal.

“You can look back and say ‘Why didn’t you (England) play Scholesy there’, but at that point he wasn’t playing there, he was arriving into the box.”

Lampard continued: “I remember him scoring those two goals against Scotland (in 1999) – he was an incredible player throughout his whole career, but the circumstances had changed.

“Wayne [Rooney] and Michael [Owen] didn’t quite play together in the two that much, then Michael started to get his injuries and Wayne came into the team. It was never as clear cut – it was a good squad, and maybe getting another body in midfield, for sure, would’ve helped.”

Related links:

WATCH: Liverpool BOTTLED the title race 🤬 | Who will win the Premier League?