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Friday afternoon question: Should Giggs win PFA player of the year?
Ryan Giggs has probably never received the recognition he deserves for his contribution to Manchester United’s success over the last 15 years.
No other player has collected the full set of medals for all the silverware which has filled the Old Trafford trophy cabinet over that time. Yet several, including Eric Cantona, Roy Keane and Cristiano Ronaldo, have received the major individual awards which have eluded the man who has played more games for United than anyone else.
Giggs started in the first team as a 17-year-old winger famously likened by his manager Alex Ferguson to a “spaniel chasing a slip of paper in the wind”. Ferguson recently described Giggs as the ultimate professional whose burning desire to continue playing at the highest level at the age of 35 should make him a role model for all aspiring footballers.
Giggs has unsurprisingly lost the raw pace which, combined with his skills, used to leave defenders with what his manager called “twisted blood”. But he more than compensates now with a vast experience which allows him to play in a variety of positions.
Ferguson played Giggs as a holding central midfielder in the recent Premier League win over Chelsea and he was used as a striker in Sunday’s FA Cup victory over Derby County. Typically, the Welshman gave a masterclass of passing and clever touches which created three goals and prompted more calls for him to be named England’s Footballer of the Year.
From exuberant spaniel to top dog. That would be a fitting reward for one of British football’s most popular and enduring players.
PHOTO: Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs stretches during a training session at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow May 20, 2008. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh