Patrick Vieira described Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to bring Paul Scholes out of retirement as an act of desperation.
But after the ever-green midfielder struck the all-important second goal in Sunday’s 2-0 win over QPR, it looked more inspired than desperate.
Scholes is rightly regarded as one of the greatest players of his generation – along with Vieira it should be said – so fetching him back into the fold should never have been seen as gamble.
If that wasn’t evidence enough, Fergie’s record over the last 20 years proves that he does nothing out of a sense of desperation.
He did what all good managers do; he spotted a chance to improve his squad and made it happen, convincing the former England man that he could pull on his boots and help his side pip Manchester City to the title.
His performances have been excellent but then again they do say class is permanent.
There is now talk that Scholes may even be persuaded to see out another year at Old Trafford and if he does, I think he’ll continue to have a major say on United’s fortunes.
The fella is a top, top player and if he thinks that his body is still up to the rough and tumble of the Premier League then that should be enough for Sir Alex to hand him a contract extension.
City on the other hand look like a team which are falling apart in front of Roberto Mancini’s eyes.
The loss at Arsenal on Sunday allowed United to open up an eight point game and put Mancini’s own future at the club under scrutiny.
Eight points is a massive gap in any competition.
But when you look at United’s ability over the years to see out title races, it becomes mission (almost) impossible.
They have the quality in their side to push United right to the wire but it is a massive ask, especially seeing as it looks like they will be without enigmatic striker Mario Balotelli after another undisciplined display from the Italian.
As much as I love Balotelli, he’s not helping his team one bit with his childish behaviour and lack of discipline.
If the FA takes a dim view of his first half challenge on Alex Song – which really should have warranted a red card – then he could miss the rest of the campaign.
With Carlos Tevez still some way from match fitness, and the continued inconsistent form of Edin Dzeko, City are pretty short up front and already rely too much on Sergio Aguero.
All in all, a season which started with so much promise for City looks set to end with the feeling of disappointment that the Blues should now be used to after all these years.