Jaap Stam reveals how Man Utd coach was ‘completely rocked’ by Paul Scholes

Joe Williams
Man Utd legend Paul Scholes
Paul Scholes ahead of a Champions League match.

Former Manchester United defender Jaap Stam has described how Paul Scholes reprimanded Steve McClaren for trying to introduce stretching to the players.

Stam is widely considered one of the best defenders of his generation after playing for Man Utd, PSV Eindhoven, Lazio, Milan and Ajax and other clubs.

His career was catapulted to a new level at Man Utd with the centre-back becoming the most expensive defender in history when the Red Devils paid £10.6m to take him from PSV to Old Trafford.

Stam went on to win three Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a Champions League title during his time at Man Utd, while he was in the PFA Team of the Year in all of his three full seasons at Old Trafford.

The Dutchman and his team-mates were part of one of the best teams in the world at the time and Stam has revealed that new coaching was not always welcomed by all of the Man Utd squad.

“The physical, I didn’t start to grow until I came to the first of DOS Kampen,” Stam told the Cor Potcast.

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“My legs got bigger and then my upper body. I don’t know how that happened. And when I got into football in paid football, that was how it was. I never did strength training. At Zwolle, at Cambuur perhaps once, at Willem II not and we have never done strength training at PSV.

“At Manchester United, there was nothing at all. Steve McClaren arrived with stretches and was completely rocked by Paul Scholes.

“‘Stretching? Stretching? We also performed without you and your stretching, huh,’ McClaren was told.”

Stam recently agreed with Scholes on his former team-mates’ verdict that new Man Utd signing Rasmus Hojlund needs more help from the rest of Erik ten Hag’s squad.

Hojlund has yet to score in the Premier League this season but the Denmark international has had a positive impact on their performances, while he has bagged five goals in five matches in the Champions League.

“He has made a really good impression on me,” Stam told Tipsbladet earlier this month. “I think he is a really good player.

“He is very talented. He has an excellent left foot, a really good physique and lots of speed. And he has shown that in his first matches for United.

“When you come to such a big club as a very young man, it is not easy to show his qualities. Because he also needs the players around him (to help out). He needs them to put him on the stage and give him opportunities to score.”