Can Scholes be the fulcrum for England?
What was your reaction when Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp said Paul Scholes should go to the 2012 European Championship?
Inevitable, after Scholes came out of retirement to remind us he is still one of England's best midfielders? Or a very shrewd bit of man-management?
Before we plough into what difference Scholes has already made to Manchester United since coming out of retirement in January, it is worth clarifying that Redknapp has distanced himself from the England manager's job and might not even take it. Then, there is whether Scholes himself wants to deal with England circus again.
Having retired from England duty after Euro 2004 after being played out of position, the now 37-year-old did hint regret at not taking up former England boss Fabio Capello's offer to play at the 2010 World Cup. He was contacted by Capello's assistant Franco Baldini and only given hours to make a decision before the England squad was named.
But by calling for Scholes to travel to Poland and Ukraine four months before the tournament starts, Redknapp has already succeeded in giving Scholes plenty of thinking time no matter whether the Spurs manager changes jobs or not.
On Sunday, when Manchester United aim to end Tottenham's already narrow Premier League title chances while boosting their own, Scholes will be able to further endorse Redknapp's judgement.
It may be stretching it to call it an audition, and ex-England defender Gary Pallister is in the camp that believes his former Manchester United team-mate will not come out of international retirement.
But he does think Scholes' ability to dictate a game could offer England an added dimension just as he has at Old Trafford this season. And he thinks Redknapp could be the man to tempt him.
"International football suits Scholes down to a tee," Pallister says. "If you give the ball away you can wait a hell of a long time to get it back and the one thing he gives you is control of the ball. He doesn't give it away too often and I'm sure he would be a plus, but I don't think it's going to happen.
"If Harry Redknapp got the England job and said to him, 'listen, Scholesy I want you to be a pivotal part of this European Championship' then it might sway him but my gut feeling is it won't happen.
"Scholes is probably right in just concentrating on Manchester United and hopefully getting another season out of himself next year. I think he's made his mind up once about it and it would be very much a surprise if he was to turn around now."
Scholes, of course, has already performed a U-turn on a par with his legendary poise on the ball. Not even his own team-mates were fully aware when he jumped off the team bus in the FA Cup tie against Manchester City in January, having quit the game at the end of last season.
But after a few games to find his full range of passing, it is as if he has never been away. We are not talking of a vintage Scholes from eight years ago, but the way he is again the fulcrum of the team may just be the difference between United winning the title or not.
Scholes came into the side when fellow midfielders Tom Cleverley and Anderson were out injured, and comparing the six Premier League games he has appeared in this season with the 20 where he was absent, Manchester United's win percentage has jumped from 70% to 83%.
It is perhaps obvious that average possession, passes per game and overall pass completion have improved for Sir Alex Ferguson's team since Scholes' return. But it is his ability to restore some semblance of order towards the end of pivotal games that has been more noticeable.
Two recent conversations with colleagues suggest that Scholes's value is still misunderstood. One said after Scholes racked up another set of pass completion statistics close to 90% that he could do the same if he also executed so many 10 yard passes. The other said Scholes didn't have the legs for international football. Both miss the point entirely.
When people talk about his range of passing, they focus on his ability to ping the ball 50 yards to a team-mate's big toe. But what is also impressive, and perhaps more crucial, is his pass selection. By playing, quick, short and often first-time passes, Scholes has a rare quality in English football which allows him to control the pace of the game. That is why is he so revered in Spain, by the likes of Barcelona midfielder Xavi.
Scholes recognises when to settle on the ball rather than going on the attack immediately, which can be the case with other English midfielders once they have won possession.
Equally, his technique, awareness and experience mean that he is often the first person fellow midfielders and defenders look for, as can be seen from the passes from Scholes and to him in the recent league win over Liverpool.
Team-mates know that if they pass to him, the ball will stick, no matter what pressure he or the team is under as the game reaches a critical stage. In football terms, Scholes is the cure for the English disease: giving the ball away.
In January, he was brought on at Arsenal as United snatched a late winner and two of the three goals his team scored in the 3-3 fightback at Chelsea came when Scholes had been introduced past the hour mark. In the FA Cup tie at Liverpool, he was withdrawn and United slipped to a late defeat.
Having already reached his trademark 90% pass completion rate of the previous four seasons, and having been tackled once every 95 minutes this season, Scholes is once again the pivot of the team. That could prove the decisive quality as the title race comes to the boil.
"He's one of the best midfielders that England has ever produced so he has brought back control and a rhythm to the team," Pallister adds. "He's a player that everyone has a lot of confidence in as well so that gives the team a huge lift.
"Players of his age can make a difference. If you've been through title run-ins before, you know how you are going to handle the nerves when it comes down to the final few games. United have got plenty of players in their ranks who have done that whereas City are yet to find out about themselves in that kind of situation."
Scholes' role in guiding his younger team-mates to another potential top-flight honour may also give the new England boss something to think about with a crop of under-21 players starting to feed into the senior squad.
Scott Parker, Gareth Barry and, if he is fit in time, Jack Wilshere may be ahead in the queue for the deep lying midfielder, but can they get a grip on the game or spark fear into the opposition like Scholes?
There were times in the 3-2 defeat by the Netherlands on Wednesday when England's midfield was lacking someone to link play quickly with first time passes or hit wide men early. The ginger prince could yet be the perfect person to introduce from the bench just when England need it most.