Scholes Out - Can We Cope?
Just as Hargreaves and Fletcher returned and Saha and Carrick on the verge of getting back, Paul Scholes will be sent for an operation and will miss three months.
The ginger maestro suffered a knee injury in Kyiv during training before the game. He underwent two scans, one on Friday and another on Monday to discover the extent of his injury. Though the first one proved inconclusive the second confirmed ligament damage that requires an operation.
A club spokesperson told ManUtd.com: 'We can confirm that Paul Scholes has suffered a knee ligament injury. He will undergo an operation on Thursday and will be out for approximately 12 weeks.'
At first hearing it's dreadful and on second it's terrible. But the point is that despite the fantastic form he enjoyed throghout last season there's no use in harping on about this loss. We must concentrate on how to cope with it and I firmly believe that Fergie won't be swallowed by self-pity as he aims to preserve our excellent form.
It could be much worrying of course if Anderson wasn't in such encouraging form. His emergence takes away a lot from the sheer catastrophe and helps to see things in a positive light. Another thing is that Hargreaves actually looked sharp and efficient even after coming back from a lengthy injury and that's surely a good sign. Michael Carrick, producing a very solid debut season, could also be back for the Arsenal game and hopefully we'll manage to keep him fit afterwards.
With the ever-reliable Darren Fletcher, that's four central midfielders we can call upon when necessary. True, it's fair to say that neither of them is blessed by the kind of vision that Scholes possesses in abundance. But all of them do at least one thing better than the Ginger Ninja: and that's tackling... Anderson and Hargreaves are excellent if we aim to play a swift, counter-attacking style, even better than any partnership involving Scholes. Problems could come when away teams park the bus at Old Trafford: at those times we might miss the creativity of Scholes, the way he opens up defences.
All in all, I think such an injury would have been a much more cruel blow last season when we were desperately reliant on Scholes in midfield - though one could observe that the finest performance was indeed produced without him as he was suspended for the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Roma. And though he's my favourite player, I believe that we will cope without him: this squad has enough quality and he can be back fresh and hungry for the crucial closing stages of the season.
Foster and Park, another knee-victims will be there to help him. Both are aiming to come back in January and though it will be a bonus to have all three of them back at once, one must seriously wonder why our players are picking up these knee injuries with such alarming frequency? But that will be analysed in another article later. At the moment, the most important is not to lose our heads and trust the midfielders and the whole team who proved in Kyiv and against Boro that they can excel without Scholesy, too.