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The FOOTBALL Thread (2009-2010)

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Hail Giggsy!




Ryan Giggs: ‘When I finish at Manchester United, I won’t play for another club’


When Ryan Giggs first stepped in to the Manchester United dressing room, as a 17-year-old, he was struck by how much older everyone else seemed. “I thought Steve Bruce and Bryan Robson were ancient,†he said. “I mean really, really old.â€


Nearly two decades later, and having celebrated his 36th birthday at the end of last month — the day after scoring his 100th Premier League goal — it still comes as something of a shock to Giggs that he is now seen as the elder statesman at Old Trafford.


“I can’t get my head around the fact that the young players look at me the same way I used to look at Robbo and Brucey,†he said. “I don’t feel I’m that old yet. I often forget that everyone is younger than me because in my head I still think I’m about 25.â€


This season, Giggs has once again defied his advancing years and been United’s most influential player, continuing the form that last season made him the oldest PFA Player of the Year. On Sunday night, to his visible shock, he added the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award to his groaning mantelpiece to become only the fifth footballer, and the first non-Englishman, to gain such recognition.


Giggs is earning plaudits and relishing his time on the pitch. “I’ve enjoyed my football more in the last three or four years than before because I don’t take it for granted, which you possibly do when you’re younger,†he said.


“While my body won’t do what it is told all the time, my mind is quicker. I am much better at positioning so I don’t waste energy. You have to think about your game more and use the ball better because that explosive pace has gone, but I’m a better player than I was in my early twenties.â€


Giggs attributes his longevity to “good genesâ€, regular yoga sessions and making several lifestyle sacrifices. “You can’t get away with the things you used to, like going out drinking and eating fast food,†he said. “You have to watch your diet, and I hardly drink any alcohol now. I just lead a bit of a boring life.â€


How does he relate to United’s young players who hold him in such reverence? “I get on with them really well,†he said. “They’re all very respectful. I am aware they look up to me, so I make an effort to look after them. I suppose our lives are different; I’ll go home and play with the children, but they go out more, come in to training in mad clothes and talk about cars, the same things I did at their age.â€


With the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo during the close season, and only a trio of modest summer signings to replace the Portugal international, Giggs’s form has helped to fill the creative void left by Ronaldo’s departure, keeping United only three points behind Chelsea at the top of the Barclays Premier League, and through to the Champions League knockout stages as group winners.


“So far I haven’t noticed too much difference without Cristiano,†Giggs said. “Of course, he was an unbelievable player, but we still have more or less the same players.â€


As the symbol of that dying breed, the one-club man, who never even seriously flirted with the idea of leaving, did Ronaldo’s poorly disguised desire to leave Old Trafford ever irk Giggs? “No, because he isn’t a Mancunian, he isn’t even English, so he had a different mentality, and he always wanted to play for Real Madrid, we knew that. He got his chance and he took it. He was a joy to play with and a good lad.â€


With his United contract expiring at the end of the season, Giggs’s future is undecided, although his wish is to continue, and last week Sir Alex Ferguson hinted that Giggs would be offered a new one-year contract. “It is a case of seeing how I feel at the end of each season. I’ll have to ask myself if I am still enjoying it and motivated to come in to training each day.â€


What is certain is that there will be no foreign or lower-league cameos. “When I finish with United, that’s it, I won’t play for another club,†he said. Afterwards, the plan is to go into coaching; Giggs is already studying for his ‘A’ Badge. “I want to be prepared when I finish and have the right qualifications.†he added. Could he even be groomed as Ferguson’s successor? “No, that’s not for me. I’m sure United will go for an experienced manager.â€


Giggs is in the rare position of having played for one club manager his entire career. “Our relationship has never been better,†he said. “It has evolved. He speaks to me like a friend, and asks for my advice, which gives me tremendous confidence. We still argue, which is quite normal, we are all winners. The younger players still fear him, but not like when I was their age. He has mellowed, he isn’t near as frightening as 20 years ago.â€


So who will retire first, Giggs or Ferguson? “I think it will be me, the manager is as good as ever, and will go on for a long time. I can still see him as manager of United in five years’ time, easily, because as long as he is healthy he will have the desire to carry on. I know he still has that desire.â€


Giggs is aware he cannot go on for ever and is nearing the end of a career in which he has become the most decorated player in English football history. “I’m not scared of the future, I’m looking forward to new challenges,†he said. “I wouldn’t swap my career for anyone’s, I have won so much and been a part of so many great teams, I have been very lucky.â€

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A white flag adorned the Wolverhampton Wanderers bus when it rolled up at Old Trafford last night, with Mick McCarthy unashamedly leaving his ambitions and his first team back in the Black Country.


There were no surprises in what ensued, with Manchester United running out winners without needing to work up a sweat, nor at the frustration of the visiting supporters, who ended the night chanting “we want our money back†and “40 quid to watch the reservesâ€.



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Originally Posted By: thursday
it was as if the McCarthey wanted to rest his real team as it would be a no hoper at OT. What a loser.

maybe he is scared of facing Burnley on Saturday!
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Wonder how much truth in this one


Liverpool are ready to take Ruud van Nistelrooy on loan for six months when the January transfer window opens.


The former Manchester United striker, who underwent a successful operation to have his tonsils removed yesterday, is desperate to leave Real Madrid to play regular football and be part of Holland's World Cup squad.


Liverpool are reluctant to sign Van Nistelrooy permanently but manager Rafa Benitez knows he needs someone to play alongside Fernando Torres to rekindle the Reds' season.


However, the Bernabeu hierarchy are determined to off load the 33-year-old on a permanent basis and any switch will rely on Benitez persuading the Spanish giants to let him have the striker on loan.


Van Nistelrooy is fit after a long-term knee injury but with Raul, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Higuain and Karim Benzema ahead of him his chances at the Bernabeu are limited.


Arsenal and Blackburn Rovers have also shown an interest in Van Nistelrooy but the striker is believed to favour a move to Anfield.

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How's old horseface been doing of late?


Wolves boss Mick McCarthy has been asked to explain his controversial team selection at Manchester United last night.


McCarthy made 10 changes to the side that defeated Tottenham on Saturday for the encounter at Old Trafford, and then watched his team lose 3-0.


Wolves fans vented their frustration during the game, although McCarthy defended his stance.


However, the Premier League have now got involved and want to know McCarthy's version of events.


"wanted to" razz

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Originally Posted By: RobBright
Do teams have to put out their strongest XI?

I think that if its deemed "unsporting" then they could be in hot water. Did Fergie not sail close to the wind with this a season or 2 ago?
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Fergie put out a youngster side in the mickey mouse cup almost 10 seasons ago. I forget the names, but the commentary 3 years on was that the whipper snapper team that lost that tie 0-1 were in fact the first team of that season.


That is the depth in ManU.


Wolves are just counts

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