London: Former English midfielder Paul Scholes has blamed ‘selfish’ England players who put ‘personal ambitions’ ahead of the country for the failures of the national side.
“I always felt when I first started with England that players – especially players at clubs like your Aston Villas – try to use England as a way to get to a top club," he said. "You feel, are they there for the right reason,” Scholes was quoted, as saying by a daily.
“I think they are very selfish people. They are all there to get their bit of glory, their bit of headlines, to think I will get a move from this. I think that is the biggest problem with English players,” he added.
Scholes gave up playing for England after Euro 2004, his fourth major tournament, where they failed to progress beyond the quarterfinal.
“If you look through our teams, there are loads of technically brilliant players but for some reason when we go on to the international scene, we don`t look like that,” he said.
For the first time, Scholes, rated by world-class stars including Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry and Xavi as the best midfielder of his generation, revealed that the self-centered mindset of a number of his teammates was one of the main reasons behind his international retirement at the age of 29.
“It was a frustration for us United lads. When there is a simple pass of 10 yards, they might try and smack it 80 yards. They will do things to try and get themselves noticed,” Scholes said.
“If you look at the Spain team now, they all seem to play for each other. There isn`t one of them who would try to do something in a game that doesn`t suit the team. And that could happen over here,” he added.
Scholes will take up a coaching role with Manchester United in September after retiring as a player last season.
“Whether in two years I have got enough experience and feel like I want to go into management, then maybe,” he said.