In a surprise move, Gary Neville today joined Roy Hodgson’s England coaching staff for Euro 2012, seeing Paul Scholes’ odds of making the squad cut significantly to 2/1.
Only yesterday Scholes was a 16/1 shot to travel to Poland and Ukraine, with it seeming an insurmountable task to talk the 37-year-old out of his long-standing international retirement.
However, a combination of factors have now resulted in a series of price changes for Scholes to take part, and he could be set to answer his country’s call.
After beginning the day at 6/1 to make the cut, the news that Scott Parker may miss the tournament through injury saw midfield schemer Scholes initially trimmed to 7/2.
Neville’s appointment as a member of Hodgson’s backroom team then saw Scholes’ price chopped further to 2/1, which many punters are still clambering to take on.
It was a massive shock to everybody when Scholes ended a six month exile from the game in January, but he has proved a valuable asset to Manchester United since his return, once again becoming an integral component in the Premier League runners up’s side.
Even at 37 years old, he remains England’s most naturally gifted playmaker, so would be a low-risk addition to Hodgson’s squad, despite his advancing years.
Whilst having not been tempted out of international retirement for England’s last two major tournaments, the presence of Neville could go some way to swaying Scholes’ decision this time round.
The pair rose through the Man United youth ranks together, and the maintenance of their close friendship since Neville quit the game last year could see him prove a catalyst to an international return.
Scholes’ vast international experience would prove a massive positive for the national side, even if he was used more sparingly than at club level, so he could prove value at 2/1 to add to his 66 England caps.