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United players were taught to 'show no pain' says Scholes

Ashley Young’s play-acting became a problem at United at one point, Scholes also said.

Young has been widely criticised for diving in the past.
Young has been widely criticised for diving in the past.
Image: EMPICS Sport

PAUL SCHOLES HAS revealed how Alex Ferguson and Eric Harrison taught Manchester United players not to show pain on the pitch and says he doesn’t understand why players feign injury.

It’s a rarity nowadays to get through a full programme of Premier League fixtures without seeing some sort of play acting but last weekend’s action was even more apparent than usual.

Jan Vertoghen, James Tomkins and Stevan Jovetic were all caught in the act of trying to con the referee when there was really very little wrong with them and Scholes has taken exception to it.

In his latest Evening Standard column the 40-year-old said: “It always mystifies me why any player would want to try to get an opponent sent off that way, be it James Tomkins clutching his face after Kevin Mirallas shoved him or Jan Vertonghen making the most of Gaston Ramirez’s kick-out at him.”

Scholes, who played under Ferguson for his entire career, revealed that the Scot used to teach his players never to show pain, but that it became more difficult as more overseas players came into the Premier League.

Eric Harrison, and then later Sir Alex, taught me an important lesson as a footballer: show no pain. No matter how much it hurts, pick yourself up and walk away as if nothing has happened. It was not always easy. In the Euro 2000 play-off against Scotland, Don Hutchison went right over the top on me and raked his studs down my leg. I was in agony but I got up and walked away.

Scholes says that players could complain as much as they liked in the dressing room but never in front of the opposition.

Also addressed in the column is how the play-acting of Ashley Young became a problem at the club at one time.

“For Ashley Young it became a problem at times. Ashley went over too easily and you can see that in some players it is simply part of what they do. It is hard for them to change.”

Scholes says he admired Cristiano Ronaldo for how he adapted to the physicality of the Premier League and cut diving out of his game despite being kicked more than any other player.

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