Manchester United have a plethora of legends in the true sense of the word. The question has often been asked that who of the lot is United's stand out outright to legend. From the class of the Busby Babes, to the survivors of the Munich disaster, to the Class of 92 that will be immortalized this weekend on DVD, to the individual brilliance of marvel players Robson, Cantona, Keane et al, it is really difficult to come up with a name that does justice to the term legend supreme at the club.
Recently, Manchester United fans were asked to vote on the club's official website on who they regard as United's all time greatest player. Ryan Giggs came out on top of that poll and it's really hard to argue with that result. The Welshman joined United at 14yrs and has been a part of United's first team establishment since 1991. It's a testament of Giggs' talent and fitness that he has been playing at the top level since, morphing time and time again to suit the changes that modern football has demanded of his body. He has scored the club's greatest FA Cup goal todate and has won more than any other professional to have played for the club. He also holds the club's record appearances total and you can bet that by the time he retires, the figure will be such that we shall not see another surpass it in our lifetime.
Ryan Giggs ticks all the boxes when it comes to the model Manchester United professional and the club has been lucky to have him in the dressing room for nearly 3 decades as he has been the inspiration of a lot of the younger players that have been at the club since. Seeing a man who has won it all still do the basics and the hard stuff early morning on the training pitch has helped the club avoid a situation of players slacking off just because the club has won a couple of medals.
It is testament to the legendary status of the man that on United's visits to big European venues in the Champions League, he has been given standing ovations from fans that owe him nothing and have no right to follow his career. The legend that is Giggs has been recognised in Rome, at the San Siro and at the Bernabeau and these are fans that have witnessed some of the game's greatest payers of all time. More recently, Wayne Rooney has spoken of how the Bayer centre-half asked how Giggs managed to play at that level 2 days short of his 40th birthday.
Ryan Giggs is Manchester United's legend supreme. Admittedly, he cannot perform to top levels anymore---I mean he's now a 40 year old---but the fact that he has remained relevant to United's cause for the best part of 30 years is remarkable. Having the mental resolve to take to the pitch and risk his reputation even at the age of 40 is perhaps the biggest endearment to Ryan. He has allowed the club to get the best out of him for virtually all of his athletic life. If that is not sacrifice, then I do not know what is.
This weekend, a Ryan Giggs-less United travel to the capital to take on a Spurs side that is still smarting from that 6-0 drubbing at the Etihad. However, you'd imagine that they'll be fired up for this one, especially with United's problems well documented and Spurs in search of a morale booting win. What better than to beat the champions. United are likely to have RVP available for the tie which in all certainty means that Kagawa will give way for Rooney in the hole and Nani will probably be replaced by the Japanese on the left.
The result at Cardiff last week means that in order to stay in touch with the league leaders, we need to find a way of wining against a team from whom we only harvested a point last season. It will undoubtedly be a difficult game but Spurs have failed to score more than one goal on so many occasions in the league and we've just hit 5 away in Europe. Confidence should be sky high among the players but hard work, more than anything else will be required. Spurs enjoy fast tempo football at home, slowing them down could take the sting out of the fans and hence the adrenaline from their players.
The game kickstarts a December that will make or break our title challenge this season. The 6 winnable games therein are just what we need ahead of a tricky January. Anything less than the 15 points from the month will make the title run in down to the mistakes of our rivals rather than our own brilliance. Our league form at the moment means that we shall register about 75 points if the current trend is anything to go by and that is usually not enough to win the league. It can also be difficult to make the top 4 with that total these days so you do hope that the club starts shipping in more points that we're doing on average.
United have a good record at Spurs but their recent signings have made them more than a match for us in any one off. That they won at Old Trafford last season shows how the gap between us and them has reduced in terms of quality on the pitch. It is why hardwork and discipline will be the ultimate difference between the sides this weekend. Fingers crossed it's us.
ONWARDS AND UPWARDS!
Labels: MANCHESTER UNITED, PREVIEWS, RYAN GIGGS