Ryan Giggs is not having a great season and I have been surprised somewhat at how easily he has kept his starting place in the team. With Nani emerging as a good winger, I’d have liked to see him rewarded with more time on the field this season. He is lacking in several departments, that is to be expected, but he can only improve with minutes on the pitch. At such a young age, of course he has plenty of time for that ahead of him, but his competition for Giggs’ place compliments Ryan, with Nani seemingly deserving a starting place more often than he’s been given credit for.
What Giggs is now lacking in pace he can make up for in experience, but generally, Giggs has looked pretty lazy and unmotivated on too many occasions this season. This isn’t me having a dig at him, as he is a much loved player, and has contributed massively to our success, recently, and in years gone by. But I can’t help but feel his performances would improve if he felt as though he had more pressure on him. He has had truly poor games, but has managed to see out the ninety minutes, and is straight in the first XI the following game.
Some may argue Ferguson is eager to give Giggs the opportunity to beat Sir Bobby Charlton’s appearances, and with him turning thirty four next week, time is not on his side. I’m all for that. Nobody deserves a place in our history books more than Ryan Giggs at present, but this shouldn’t be to the exclusion of players deserving of a match.
However, in our recent victory over Blackburn Rovers, Giggsy played a blinder, following a rare omission from the team when Ferguson trusted our young players to see us through to the next round of Europe against Dynamo Kiev. It was his perfectly weighted and placed corner from which Ronaldo scored our first goal, breaking the deadlock in a game when we’d already seen one Blackburn attempt come back off the woodwork. He played some great football and showed off some silky skills we haven’t seen in some time (6 mins 23 on the video), and was unfortunate to be floored by the Blackburn defence after making mugs of them with his quick feet just outside the area. He saw out the ninety minutes, and fully deserved to do so.
Surely dropping Giggs more often would be the perfect way to ignite that hunger and passion he seems to be lacking at times? No player should feel as though his place in the team is safe, but it appears that’s exactly how it is for Giggs.
However, he has today said that he does feel the pressure, and that every day at training is a test for him against our crop of young players. “When you come into training and you’re up against young, quality players it’s a test every day,” he said. “That only helps to bring your game on. There’s so much enthusiasm amongst the lads and it’s a great place to be at the moment. They’re all very enthusiastic and the team spirit is as good as ever.”
Giggsy has still got it, that I am not denying, but I think the only way we can really see the full benefit of our new signings is if they are given more time on the park. Not only will this improve their game, but it will improve the game of our older players. Nani, Anderson and Simpson should all be giving Giggs, Scholes and Neville a run for their money, and making them feel as though they have to work harder than ever to keep their place in the team.
So come on Fergie, give Nani a go, and watch Giggs go from strength to strength!
What do you think? Should Nani and Ronaldo be given more time to terrorise our opposition down the wings? Or does Giggs deserve to play because of his legendary status at the club?