We love to read the weekly scribblings of Paul Scholes. Not just because he is proving to be such an insightful and edgy pundit for on TV and in his weekly columns. But also because he doesn’t seem like the sort of guy who can be told what to write.
That said, he’s obviously been asked to recount a festive story from his time at Manchester United by his current employer. Because, in this week’s instalment, he abruptly cuts off from a eulogy about the recently retired Thierry Henry to enlighten us about some of the Christmas shenanigans that traditionally go on at Manchester United – including a yearly pantomime in which the younger stars take a pop at the more seasoned players.
He told The London Evening Standard:
At Manchester United there is an old Christmas tradition that the apprentices – as we were known in my teenage years – put on a pantomime show for the first team which was full of jokes at the expense of the senior players.
We certainly can’t imagine such camaraderie at Christmas 2013 as Manchester United were in the middle of a mini crisis. But the charisma of Louis van Gaal has brought so much cheer back to Manchester United that we can easily imagine the James Wilsons and Luke Shaws getting involved in such a show. We wait with bated breath to see if any such tales are publicised this year. Scholes says that it not only gave him satisfaction to see the reactions of the ‘victims’ but also worked as a great team bonding exercise.
The point of the exercise was to make a bit of a fool of yourself in front of your team-mates, no bad thing when it comes to breaking down the insecurities and rivalries in a group of teenage boys. We also loved the wicked jokes about the first team players. That tradition continued right up to my retirement and I always enjoyed the reaction on the faces of the some of the biggest names at United