Paul Scholes was too overcome with nerves to say what he wanted to David Platt when the then-Manchester City assistant manager reacted to the sight of the Man United midfielder warming up in the 2011/12 FA Cup third round tie
Alex Ferguson had gone to great lengths to make sure that it would be a surprise when Paul Scholes was named as a substitute for the Manchester derby in the FA Cup.
Scholes had retired the previous summer but the midfielder reversed his decision in early 2012 and his comeback was kept from everyone, including his teammates, until the sides were announced for the third round clash with Man City.
After being forced to buy his own boots for the comeback game, Scholes was a bag of nerves when the time came to warm up and he was at fault for the first of City’s two goals but he managed to compose himself and see out the result for the Red Devils.
Reflecting on the match during an interview on The Robbie Fowler Podcast, Scholes explained what was going through his head when he was making his return.
“The game came along, we were 3-0 up and I was a sub with about 20 minutes to go so the gaffer thought it was safe to put me on,” Scholes said.
“I remember warming up thinking ‘what am I doing?’ I knew I wanted it but that feeling of nervousness coming back and having the pressure.
“David Platt was their assistant manager and he said to me, ‘What the fuck are you doing?’
“I couldn’t speak but I just wanted to say to him, ‘Look, I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing but it’s got fuck all to do with you.’ I was just thinking about getting on the pitch and not making a dick of myself.
“We were 3-0 up, Vincent Kompany had been sent off for a shocking tackle but I gave the ball away and they scored. About five minutes later, it was 3-2 and I was panicking like mad.
“But I did alright, I managed to keep the ball a little bit against the 10 men and we managed to just scrape through. And the rest of the season, I felt really good.”
Scholes hung up his boots for good at the end of the following campaign, with Ferguson calling time on his career the very same day.