Ryan Giggs keeps tearing them apart

In yesterday’s fantastic come from behind 4-2 win at West Ham, United saw it fit to introduce a new left back at half time. He’s not played there much in truth and he’s thirty-seven so I’m not sure whether or not he has much staying power in the position and could struggle to out muscle Patrice Evra to claim the role. However he was very impressive and immediately after his introduction bombed forward in support of the attack and whipped in a pinpoint cross with which Hernandez should have done better with. In the eighty-fourth minute though Hernandez made up for his miss as our new left back drilled another cross through a crowd of players for Chicharito to tap home the Reds fourth goal.

Not a bad debut I’m sure you’ll agree, however you and I both know this was no debut, this was the 867th appearance for a United stalwart, this was Ryan Giggs. As Sir Alex altered his tactics at the break at Upton Park with United trailing 2-0 he sacrificed seasoned left back Patrice Evra for the attacking prowess of Hernandez. This left the left-back spot unoccupied and with a small defensive injury crisis on our hands I speculated with my fellow Reds whether we would move Fabio to left-back and play someone like Gibson at right-back or would we be extremely bold and play 3-4-3. Typically none of us second guessed the manager as he moved Ryan Giggs from playing deep behind Rooney to left full back, remarkable.

Unsurprisingly Giggs relished his new role despite claiming after the match that he didn’t particularly enjoy it but it didn’t look like that from a spectator’s point of view. Giggsy also stated that he was now “used” to the position which is also astonishing bearing in mind before yesterday’s game Ryan had only ever played left-back twice in his entire United career, those appearances came in the last ten minutes at the Britannia Stadium in 2008/09 and at last year’s League game at Upton back where he occupied the spot for the last twenty. Yesterday’s game was his longest stint in the position as he occupied it for the entire second half and in truth Giggs was brilliant.

His endless energy never ceases to amaze as he continued to overlap his winger for the entirety of the second period, his defensive skills were also put to the test and the Welshman passed them with flying colours. At one stage the left back spot was temporarily shared my messrs Rooney and Giggs, not the most experienced of defensive units but their passion for the United cause cannot be underestimated.

Season upon season Giggs returns with an unquenchable desire for success and having already signed a new one year deal will be at Old Trafford for the foreseeable future. He is still very important to United as a creative outlet aswell. At thirty seven, playing less regular than he used to Giggs still has five assists too his name, at first glance you may not think that this is a particularly astonishing stat but when you realise he is level with the likes of Steven Gerrard, James Milner and David Silva; all of whom are regular starters and the main creative outlets for their team, the stat seems more impressive. However as we all know his skill as a player is now just part of the package, he now has experience and know how to add to the bargain, very rare in an attacking midfielder (whose legs usually go earlier causing them to retire) but Giggs has obviously put the hard yards in in training as he continues to bamboozle young fledgling right backs sometimes fifteen years his junior (I’m sure Ryan won’t thank me for the age reference). I’ve had great pleasure this season watching Giggs “tear apart” players such as City’s Micah Richards and Liverpool’s Martin Kelly and fortunately we have another seasons worth of the Welsh Wizard’s mazy runs to enjoy.

Recently in a poll in the clubs official magazine Ryan Giggs was voted the best player ever to pull on a United shirt, of course pols like this are a generational thing but surely nobody can have any complaints with the victory. Twenty years of solid service but not from a no thrills defender but from a classy tricky forward, we’ve not seen the like before and I doubt we will ever see it again. We all know that Giggsy’s days in football are numbered but there’s still some time yet, so enjoy watching him and relish the fact that United have been blessed to have such a player for such a length of time.

So as United prepare for the first leg of the Champions League quarter final this Wednesday it begs the question where will Giggs play, striker, left back, may be even centre half. Well, in truth he might actually not make the staring XI at all, most likely rested after his East-London exerts. But he’ll be ready when the Boss gives him the call to go on, in any position, because as one intuitive Red put it:

He’ll play where he wants,
He’ll play where he wants,
Ryan Giggs,
He’ll play where he wants.

By Nathan Thomas

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