The Dugout - McAllister: Scholes is the Prem's best
Gary McAllister picks out Paul Scholes as the best player from the past 20 years in the Premier League.
Who was your sporting hero as a boy?
I played for Motherwell, and I was a Motherwell fan, but the team at the time was Liverpool. I'm from Bellshill, which is where Sir Matt Busby came from, so there was an attraction to Manchester United for people in that area, but I liked Liverpool, especially because of Scottish players like Kenny Dalglish and Graeme Souness.
The player that I tried to copy and emulate, and who I loved watching, was Glenn Hoddle. I've been fortunate to work with him on television since. When I first came down to England I played against him as well. He was my sort of footballer.
Another player, who you may not have heard of but is a Motherwell cult hero, was Joe Wark.
Who was the most talented player you have ever worked with?
He was at the back end of his career, but working with him you saw how he trained and prepared for matches. I would say that he is one of the main reasons why I managed to play on until I was 38 or 39. Myself, Gary Speed and David Batty all played well into our 30s. We learned that if you live right and prepare right then you can extend your career.
For two or three seasons at Leeds, Strachan was on fire. He was massive the year we won the title.
What player that has graced the Barclays Premier League in the past 20 years stands out for you and why?
I think that there have been some outstanding players, especially some foreign players who have come in like Eric Cantona. Obviously he didn't quite have the same impact at Leeds as he did at Manchester United. Then there was Gianfranco Zola, Dennis Bergkamp... but there is only one player for me, and that's Paul Scholes.
I can remember watching a FA Youth Cup tie at Leeds in which a little ginger-haired guy stuck out like a sore thumb. I heard how he'd had a couple of training sessions with the reserves at Manchester United, and everyone looked at each other and said 'he shouldn't be with us at youth level'. Within a week he was training with the first team.
Outside of football, who do you most admire and why?
Obviously I have a lot of footballing heroes, but from sport in general I would say Seve Ballesteros. I saw him play live a few times, but unfortunately never got to meet him. Just seeing him made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I've been to a couple of Ryder Cups and The Open and, when he walked up the course towards you, you could just feel his presence. He had an aura about him. It was so sad to see him leave us last year. His celebration at St Andrew's – every time you see it, it's still amazing.
Gary McAllister was speaking to Yahoo!'s 'The Dugout' through its partnership with the League Managers Association