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Scholes: Wayne Rooney and modern football have become too nice

Retired Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes believes Wayne Rooney has lost his aggressive edge, and adds football in general is going soft.

United legend Paul Scholes has once again aired his views on newly appointed club captain Wayne Rooney, who will begin serving his three-match ban this weekend by missing the clash at Everton.

The retired 39-year-old believes Rooney has lost the aggressive edge that he came to the club with in 2002, and has called on him to regain some of that nasty approach.

Scholes wrote in the London Evening Standard: “In recent years I think he’s been too nice to opponents. You see him helping players up after challenges.

"He’s better when he’s nastier. That was the way he was when he came on to the scene 12 years ago. He was the player who was aggressive and did not try to hide the fact that he hated losing.

“As for myself, I did not spend too much time giving opponents a hand up after I had fouled them – well, only if I thought it might change the referee’s mind about a card.”

The former midfielder went on to slam modern football for becoming too soft, and has criticised the handshakes and niceties that happen before a game.

He added: "On a separate note, I do find it bizarre how much shaking of hands and embracing goes on before games now. You should shake hands after a game, not before. Players, and fans, feed off the big rivalries, like Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira.

“I see some players greeting opponents before the game like long lost friends. I got the impression when I played that a lot of it was for show and they didn’t really know one another. These days, people seem too keen to be nice to the opposition.”

Whilst Scholes has a point that we don't see rivalries like Keane vs Vieira anymore, handshakes are an age old tradition in football and are unlikely to be consigned to the history books anytime soon.

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