Tuesday, 1 September 2009
Feared By The Blues, Loved By The Reds...
I can sense that with all but 4 games burned in the Premier League calender, that footballing obituaries are being started to be written for the end of a certain players career.
Alas, the modern day hero we call Ryan Giggs is coming to the end of his shelf life, breathing his final breaths as a player, before he embarks on a journey into management, sitting on the Match of the Day sofa with Alan Hansen, and lowering his golf handicap to scratch.
We cannot expect him to go on forever.
Giggsy has already astounded me with his longevity. I remember sitting in the stands at Old Trafford 4 years ago witnessing what i thought was his last stand. Pace gone. Passing awkward. Petrol tank empty. And yet somehow, he manages to find a filling station, re-energise and play an important part for the club. Even at half time this last weekend against Arsenal, I and many others, were crying for the manager to substitute the old war horse at half time...not quick enough to support Rooney up front and getting mugged off at every opportunity by Diaby and Denilson...Then what does he do? He plays a sublime pass forward for the penalty, and grabs a further assist by bouncing the ball off Diaby's bonce. Magic stuff.
To be truthful, probably Scholes and Neville are the prime candidates for passing into United Legend this season, but I think the Lord Ryan will be close behind them, if not holding their hands, skipping off together to that big Sky Sports News centre in the sky. All have been amazing servants to this club, in an age where loyalty means jack to the businessman footballer.
But Giggs will be the one remembered the most fondly. More fondly than Keane. More fondly than Ronaldo. And right up there with Cantona, Robson and Best. Its amazing to think that in the very early Nineties that all our faith lay in a young lad called Lee Sharpe, England International at the age of 19, and creator of many an interesting goal celebration (Remember the Lee Sharpe Shuffle? The Elvis cornerflag routine?) It was felt that he was the real deal, and that Giggs would be a brilliant understudy. Funny how things turn out.(Lee Sharpe can now be found on a fantasy love island near you)
The man is a legend. And for that reason alone i will enjoy watching him in these last games for the club..he may only grace Old Trafford another 20 times this season and with rotation will probably play a lot less that this!
So its thank you Ryan Giggs.
Grown men and women will cry tears of respect and mourn his passing. For a player that never once shamed his club and only bestowed glory. A player that never felt compelled to go out dressed in a sarong and marry a pop star. A player that never felt the need to go out and kick someones head in with his drunken ape-like hangers on. A player who was never caught up in a sex and drugs scandal. A player who won more trophies than any other in history. A player that danced through the Arsenal team in 1999 to score the greatest United goal I ever saw. A player who forever more will own the Number Eleven and our hearts.
Lets hope that maybe his last act is lifting the European Cup above his head in Madrid in 2010..for that's how fairytales are supposed to end.