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Man Utd's Scholes disputes his reputation for reckless tackling

Acknowledged by his peers as one of the best midfielder's of his generation Manchester United star Paul Scholes has been explaining his reasons for retirement and musing on his reputation for reckless challenging. In short the former England player rejects the theory there was any malice behind his infamous tackling technique.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, whilst appreciative of his skills, claimed Scholes had a "dark side".

And following the final red card of his career, for a thigh-high challenge on Pablo Zabaleta in United's FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City at Wembley in April, Scholes, whose 90 yellow cards make him the third most booked player in Premier League history, feels his reputation is unwarranted.

"I have just been unlucky," he said.

"I never had red mist against anybody.

"The one against Zabaleta, I didn't do on purpose. It was just bad timing.

"The ball was up there and the way your leg goes it has to come down and unfortunately it came down on his leg.

"I would never intentionally try to hurt somebody. Nobody has ever had to go off following one of my tackles and nobody has broken their leg.

"I have never been nasty."

Scholes has a no desire for the limelight and announced his retirement when he had disappeared on holiday, with the minimum of fuss, in the wake of United's Champions League final defeat to Barcelona.

"I knew it was the right time to happen," he said.

"You can't go on forever. It's all done now and I am looking towards the future.

"There wasn't one moment in particular. There were a few games later in the season where I didn't feel great, and in training as well. In general it was the way I felt.

"Nobody wants to play a bit-part, but I'd realised that at this stage of my career and where I was physically, it was the right way to use me.

"But, it wasn't the odd game, I was only actually feeling good when I was coming on for the last 15 or 20 minutes at the end of matches, which wasn't right."

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Dave Williams

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