Tag Ryan Giggs

Tag Ryan Giggs

Giggs: legend Scholes can go on

December 8, 2009 Tags: , Shorts 1 comment

As word on the street spreads that Paul Scholes may bring an end to a glorious career when the season finishes in May, Ryan Giggs has backed the ginger legend to continue playing. Scholes, who scored in United’s 4-0 win at West Ham United on Saturday, is out of contract in June.

“I preferred it when I was playing more often and scoring a lot more goals. It’s different now, I only play once every two or three weeks,” said Scholes, 35, who has appeared more than 600 times for the club.

“You have to be okay with that, you haven’t got a choice. Players want to play every week but I know now that can’t always happen.”

Scholes is on a one-year deal at the club, which is normal for players over 30 at the club, and the club’s hierarchy is likely to offer the Bury-born midfielder an extra deal this winter. But the prospect of retiring from the game is something that Scholes has considered.

“You do think about it but I’m not too sure. I’ll just carrying on at the minute and see what happens come the end of the season,” he said.

Giggs, favourite for BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, thinks that Scholes can match the Welshan and continue playing well past his 35th birthday.

“It is totally up to Scholesy. It all depends on how you feel and it is the same with me,” Giggs told PremierLeague.com, the official website of the Premier League.

“It is still fairly early in the season. It is the middle of the campaign and not at the end and I feel good at the moment. I am sure Scholesy feels the same.

“With the experience he has got and the quality he has got you want that around the place for as long as possible.

“We all want to play every game and Paul is no different. He wants to play every week but with the squad we have got that is impossible.

“It is difficult at times when you go two or three weeks without a game and internationals come along and you are not involved in those as well. It is difficult to get back into the rhythm of it.

“You have to adapt to not playing every week but I have probably been doing it for the past three or four years so I have got used to it. Scholesy isn’t used to it the same. But I am more of a dynamic player than Scholesy so perhaps I need more breaks.

“He can still get forward or sit in front of the back four and control the game. I can also play a number of positions but he is just the centre of midfield so it is more difficult to play every week.

“So all this not playing regularly is new to him. But he’ll adapt to it as he has been proving.

“Saturday was what Scholesy is all about – controlling the game. He never gives the ball away. His passing range is the best in the game whether it is five yards or 45 yards, he is capable of doing both.

“Paul is showing over the last couple of weeks just what a great player he still is.”

Poll: Ryan Giggs is…

November 28, 2009 Tags: , Polls 4 comments

Ryan Giggs, 36 Sunday, scored his 100th Premier League goal against Portsmouth in Manchester United’s 4-1 win on the South Coast. Superlatives fail to adequately describe Giggs’ career. A great player, a great man and a great role model in an age when false celebrity is all. Truly, an inspiration. Happy Birthday, Ryan.

Ryan Giggs is...

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Arise Sir Ryan Giggs!

October 1, 2009 Tags: Opinion 4 comments

Ryan Giggs will be Knighted in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list if the signatories of a new petition are heard by the Palace ahead of the 1 January 2010 announcement. SirRyanGiggs.com asks that Giggs, “the most decorated player in English footballing history having served the full length of his career demonstrating loyalty to his club,” now be considered for Knighthood.

Giggs, who has appeared more than eight hundred times for the club, won the PFA Footballer of the Year title last year. He has also been in superb form this season, with two goals and five assists in all competitions. The petitioners note Giggs’ loyalty, that he has never been sent off in a United shirt, while asking the Crown to show him the sword!

Sign the petition at here

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Remarkable Giggs as good as ever

September 26, 2009 Tags: Shorts 1 comment

Ryan Giggs’ form is “remarkable”, according to his manager, Sir Alex Ferguson. Speaking ahead of today’s Premier League game at Stoke, Ferguson praised Giggs’ performances, work ethic and hunger to continue playing at the top level. Giggs, named PFA Footballer of the Year last season, turns 36 in November but has put in a series of eye-catching performances this term.

“The horrible part of being a footballer is that at some stage you are finished with the game — age catches us all,” said Ferguson in his weekly press conference.

“When someone like Ryan is playing at the level he is at, he realises to stay there, he has to prepare himself in the right way. He has to look after himself and do the right things.

“It’s a lot to do with how he lives his life and prepares for games, and he’s helped by the fact he’s got a good physique. He has never carried any weight and has always been a slim athlete.

“It is not a matter of him defying his age. It is more a case that there is no discernible deterioration in his game at all. It is remarkable. I don’t know what else there is to say about him. His form is just the same as it was last season.”

Giggs, rested for the midweek Carling Cup victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers, is likely to start today’s game in the potteries.

United risk losing focus as Golden Generation prepares to bow out

April 29, 2009 Tags: , Opinion 2 comments

Paul Aaron Scholes, born 16 November 1974, is precisely one month younger than me. When the ginger maestro burst onto the scene in the mid-90s I quietly reveled in this fact; here was a guy at the heart of a new golden generation that was to dominate his profession for a decade. Fast forward almost 15 years – Portsmouth at Old Trafford last week – and Scholes stepped out for his 600th game in a United shirt, surely the last milestone before the curtain falls on a glittering career. Now the proximity of our birthdates is not such a good omen; It’s not nice to be reminded that you’re over the hill.

That Scholes deserves all the plaudits heaped on him is not in question. As is often noted, his quiet professionalism is in stark contrast to the celebrity-obsessed idiocy that afflicts most modern premiership players. But the passing of Schole’s golden generation is in danger of overshadowing a deeper problem at OT. When Scholes and co exit stage left, what’s the next act?

The opening game of United’s 1995/96 season – a 3-1 loss to Aston Villa – is chiefly remembered for Alan Hanson’s smug post match assertion that “you cannae win anything with kids.” United’s team that day included Scholes, David Beckham, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers, players that were to lead United to unparalleled success later that decade.

This generation reached its pinnacle in the 1999 treble winning season. The team at this point featured arguably English football’s best ever midfield quartet: Giggs, Scholes, Keane, Beckham. This midfield was famously disrupted by the arrival of Veron (who managed one decent game for United in three years) and the exit of Beckham (who had become more interested in haircuts by this point). What followed was a series of rubbish signings (Djemba Djemba, Kleberson etc.) and good ones (Rooney, Ronaldo) but a new homegrown generation never materialised. This was never more evident than in the signings of Anderson and Nani, bought as long-term replacements for Scholes and Giggs, respectively.

It’s no surprise that the young, dynamic team that emerged in the mid-90s is held in such high regard at the club given the legacy of the Busby Babes, but both sides are the exception to United’s history, not the rule. Virtually the whole of the 70s and 80s was spent buying established players and it’s been pretty much the same since the treble winning team was broken up. The harsh truth is that United’s constant talk of investing in youth and nurturing young talent is mostly bollocks. For every Macheda that comes along, there’s a million Chris Eagles who are shipped off to the lower leagues and never heard of again.

As he proved with his pinpoint pass to set-up Carrick’s goal against Portsmouth in his 600th game, Scholes has his place in the current team on merit rather than sentiment. But OT will be awash with sentimentality as his golden generation retires over the next year or so, and that’s no good thing for a club that has built its success on a ruthlessness that keeps it moving forward at all costs.

This sentimentality will be evident again tonight when Giggs is expected to notch up an unprecedented 800th appearance for the club. As with Scholes, the newly-crowned player of the year deserves his swansong. But there’s already some silly talk of United retiring Gigg’s number 11 shirt; a proposal seemingly dreamt up by some United suit with no knowledge of the club’s history prior to 1991 (Norman Whiteside and George Best are just two legends to have worn the shirt before him).

So, let the golden generation bow out gracefully, but let’s now concentrate on developing a new one rather than celebrating an old one. I’m sure both Scholes and Giggs would agree.

Giggs backlash begins

April 28, 2009 Tags: , Opinion No comments

Ryan Giggs was presented with this year’s Professional Footballers Association award for Player of the Year on Sunday night. But the Welshman barely had time to place the gong is his overflowing trophy cabinet before the backlash began. Quel surprise!

“He’s only started 12 Premier League games this season,” argued the Daily Mail before putting up Andy Towsend and Jamie Redknapp to argue their point. Pundit Towsend said, while answering the rhetoric question whether Giggs deserved the award,  that the “statistics say no” before going on to have an opinion on the matter himself. He thinks too, you know. Redknapp then demanded that the voting system be looked at, clearly wondering why non-Liverpool players are actually allowed to win.

Even Giggs’ former Welsh teammate John Hartson, fresh from winning nothing of note in his entire career, put the boot in by saying “personally, he wouldn’t have got my vote.” Fortunately, Hartson would still have to be a professional footballer to vote. Clue’s in the title, John. Then Liverpool’s long-forgotten England failure John ‘Errr’ Barnes ‘ Errr’ weighed in too, lending his support for Gerrard.

Meanwhile, over at the Scouse-loving BBC, online columnist ‘Pop’ Robson claimed that “any right thinking person would’ve plumped for Gerrard or Vidic.” Guess the pros who face Giggs week in, week out, just weren’t right-thinking enough for you Pop?

Not that we should let statistics tell the tale but, for the record, Giggs has played in 40 of United’s 58 games this season – exactly the same number as Gerrard. Good job Andy didn’t let the facts get in the way of a good headline!

Or perhaps Giggs – who has been a superb creative force from central midfield this season – does actually deserve the award? True, there has been no obvious candidate this year in the way Cristiano Ronaldo stormed to the award in the past two campaigns. Vidic, van der Sar, Ferdinand and even Gerrard have been excellent this season. But that’s the point, the votes were always likely to be split pretty evenly and in all probability Giggs won a close run contest.

After failing to come up with an clear – or consistent – alternative our friends in the press have now taken to patronising Giggs. Lauding the PFA prize as some kind of ‘lifetime achievement’ award made out of sympathy for a player in his swansong.

The truth is, of course, while many players will recognise Giggs’ 18 years service to the game, and his spotless professional record (no Red cards for United, no barroom brawls, no tabloid preening) – many actually voted for Giggs because of the quality of his football. No longer able to sprint up and down the left wing, number 11 Giggs has transformed his game to become a classic number 10 – picking out passes with ease and finding space where others can’t.

The Football Writers’ Award is announced in a few weeks, and after the shortlist of Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea nominees is whittled down, Steven Gerrard will take home the prize. Giggs meanwhile will walk off with his 10th Premiership crown. The mark of a genuine legend.

OAPs prove better than ever

April 26, 2009 Tags: , Shorts No comments

Wednesday night Ryan Giggs will don a red shirt for the 800th time in a competitive game. The historic milestone comes shortly after the Paul Scholes – the Ginger Prince – played his 600th game for the club. In that match, against Portsmouth last Wednesday night, Scholes slotted a sumptuous ball through the Pompey defence to release Michael Carrick for the second goal of the game. The Salford-born magician, it seems, may have lost much of his old zip and eye for a goal but none of his world-class brilliance on the ball. Giggs meanwhile is having yet another Indian-summer – 17 years after his debut. Aging the pair may be but they provide further proof, it were ever needed, that class is permanent.