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Ryan Giggs: slightly overrated?

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Ryan Giggs made his Manchester United debut in 1991, and 21 years later he is still an integral part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad. He is the most decorated player in the history of English football, including an astonishing 12 Premier League titles, and he is United’s all time record appearance holder. To many, he is an all time great. I disagree.

For all the great achievements and many accolades Giggs has received over the years, a part of me has often found myself thinking ‘is he really THAT great a footballer?’.

Before you think I am completely clueless, I do rate him very highly as both a player and a professional. As a Liverpool fan I have huge respect for him for what he has done in his career, and how he has been part of such an impressive period in United’s history, I just feel that he has not quite been the world-beater that many people think he has.

Admittedly individual awards aren’t the be-all and end-all of how a player is judged, but considering the amount of titles and cup competitions he has won, and the fact he is an attacking flair player, the only major awards he has won are the PFA Player of the Year and BBC Sports Personality of the Year, both in 2009. While both awards are hugely prestigious, for Giggs they were more of a Lifetime Achievement Award than recognition of his great displays in 2009. This sums up my opinion of Giggs; if you purely judge him on longevity then he is one of the all time great players, but if it comes down to pure talent and influence, which I feel it should, then he is not.

giggsy Ryan Giggs: slightly overrated?

When looking back at all the major games in Giggs’ career, including Champions League finals, FA Cup finals and huge league clashes with Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City over the years, how many has he actually played a pivotal role in?

Barring the remarkable FA Cup semi-final goal in 1999 against Arsenal, which he is deserves huge praise for, there is nothing else that springs to mind. He was quiet in all four Champions League finals he has played in, in 1999, 2008, 2009 and 2011, and while he didn’t necessarily do anything wrong in these games, the great players are the ones who decide matches of such magnitude.

Giggs has played in an incredible 13 domestic cup finals, winning eight of them, but he has never scored in any of them, which for a left winger/central midfielder is poor. You would’ve thought that on at least one of those occasions Giggs might been the difference between the two sides, but he hasn’t.

If you compare him to the other top British players of his generation, they have all had big moments in big games over their careers.

Paul Scholes has scored in the FA Cup Final, he scored a fabulous winner against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final in 2008 and he has scored winning goals against Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal numerous times. To me, he is in a different class to Giggs. Steven Gerrard has scored in the final of the Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup, winning two of them almost single-handedly. Wayne Rooney has decided huge matches with moments of individual brilliance, from the overhead kick against City to his superb finish in the Champions League semi-final against AC Milan in 2007. He also has goals in the Champions League and League Cup final. Even Frank Lampard, who himself has been criticised for going missing in big games, has Champions League and FA Cup final goals to his name.

scholes1 Ryan Giggs: slightly overrated?

It is certainly disrespectful to be flippant about the unbelievable length and consistency of the 38 year old’s career, and anyone who can play at the top level for two decades has to be a top player, but it doesn’t guarantee greatness in my opinion. To be a true great you have to have defining moments in that lengthy career, like Raul, Alessandro Del Piero and Bobby Charlton. I don’t believe Giggs has. Ian Callaghan is Liverpool’s record appearance holder but he is nowhere near the best player to have played for the club, and while Giggs is far superior to Callaghan, I believe there have been plenty better to have graced the Old Trafford turf than him.

Even at his peak, during the mid to late 90s, if someone had asked me to name the 20 best players in the world at that time, Giggs wouldn’t have come to mind. Before I am accused of any kind of Liverpool bias against United, players like Eric Cantona, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Roy Keane and Scholes were all, or still are, phenomenal players who I did think were among the world’s elite in their prime.

cantona Ryan Giggs: slightly overrated?

When it comes to representing Wales, Giggs has also never really had a defining moment. In fairness, the calibre of the Welsh team has been nowhere near the level of United during his career, but special players can still produce great moments playing for weak sides. Can you really think of a memorable Ryan Giggs moment for Wales?

ryan 200x161 Ryan Giggs: slightly overrated?

I’m fully aware that some reading this may feel this is a completely unfair assessment of one of the most highly thought of British players in history, but it is an opinion I hold quite strongly.

To me, Ryan Giggs has been a superb player over the last 20 years, with dribbling skills and pace in abundance, as well as an intelligent football brain and a cultured left foot. Off the pitch, regardless of recent events, he has been a model professional and a likeable character every since he arrived on the scene. The question is: is Ryan Giggs really THAT great?

Follow me on twitter: @henryjackson87, and read more of my work at www.onfootball.co.uk (@0nFootball)

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Comments (46)

  1. He would have been a legend if he was a Liverpool player. Neil Warnock said the greatest thing about being a Premiership manager was watching Giggs on the pitch.

    • Giggs has scored plenty of goals verses Man city and Liverpool over the years.

      Scored in the most champions league seasons

      Scored in Every Premier season all 20 of em

      scored 4 times against Juventus ( one of which was very important in taking them to the champs league final )

      scored a fair share of goals in that champs league run of 1999

      Assisted many many goals of all the other legends that have came and went at old trafford.

      Giggs is that good a great in the 90′s as a winger

      and now in a more mature role he equally shines.

  2. Good article. Exactly what i felt over the years though not compelled enough to write an article on it. To sum it up Giggsy is certainly a consistently above average player hence the longevity. But to rate him against the greats it would have to take various and serious consideration to even consider him as a candidate. for eg Beckham, for all his free kicks, crosses, workrate and star qualities, do you consider him a great? I imagine it hard to think so

  3. I am afraid I can only say yes. . Giggs IS a great player. When I imagine my list of 20 ‘best’ players at any one time, frequently a significant number on that list will be those players who amaze briefly and then seem to wane.

    However, if I start to look only at players who play at the top level for a large part of their careers, Giggs has to always be thereabouts. If I then look at players who dominate football for what I would consider ‘extreme’ numbers of years, now Giggs is one of a rather small elite group.
    As you mention the man is also a gentleman who rarely seeks limelight.

    I say this as a Liverpool fan too :D

  4. I have cried twice in my life watching a football player; the first one was Roberto Baggio and the second was Ryan Giggs – Alessandro Del Piero
    ****

    In the Premier League era, there have been very few players who have matched Ryan Giggs’ class. It seems the writer fails to understand the value of players who do not score in every other game. He would in all likelihood describe the likes of Xavi Hernadez, Claude Makelele, Luis Figo in a similar fashion.

    You don’t just become one of the, nay, THE most decorated player in the history of English football riding on the backs of other teammates.

    Giggs is a great player. I still vividly remember the games I played against him. My shock after watching Giggs play for the first time was very similar to the shock after seeing Luiz Ronaldo. – Zinedine Zidane.
    ****

    And for his apparent lack of big game goals, here are a few off the top of my head.
    1. 1999 FA Cup semifinal – His solo effort against Arsenal is regarded by many as one of the greatest goals of all time.
    2. 1998-99 Uefa Champions League semi-final, 1st leg – His crucial 90th minute equaliser against Juventus at Old Trafford set the pace for United’s legendary comeback in Turin in the second leg, sending United into the final at the Camp Nou.

    Giggs is a great player. I still vividly remember the games I played against him. My shock after watching Giggs play for the first time was very similar to the shock after seeing Luiz Ronaldo. – Zinedine Zidane.

    ****

    Of course the greatest players are not only judged by their goals, but in how they set up goals for their teammates, and Giggs demonstrated exactly that with numerous assists including setting up the equalising goal scored by Sheringham in the Champions Leage final against Bayern Munich in the 1998-99 season. We all know how that ended.

    Eric Cantona is a great player, but he’s not as good as Ryan Giggs. – Johann Cruyff

    ****

    So maybe I’m wrong.
    Maybe all these footballing legends are wrong.
    Maybe all those who voted him into the PFA Team of the Year multiple times are wrong.
    Maybe those who chose to include him in the PFA Team of the Century, the Premier League Team of the Decade, the FA Cup Team of the Century, the Premier League Team of Twenty PL Seasons, the English Hall of Fame were all wrong.

    Maybe he isn’t the Best Player of the Twenty Premier League Seasons, as he was named earlier this year.

    But then again, what are the odds that all these people are wrong, and the knowledgeable writer of this article is the only one who’s right? I’ll leave that one open-ended.

    He has the most talent than any other football player. He is delicate and dynamic. He is the player chosen by god – Luis Figo
    ****

  5. He has played for the greatest club in the world for 23 seasons, scoring in every single one. He has made 917 appearances in a team chock full of talent, and yet he has watched the likes of Beckham, Ronaldo, and Cantona all depart the club while he remains integral to it. He is 39 years old and still has the energy to play 120 minutes in a Carling Cup tie.

    Simply put, Ryan Giggs is a phenomenon. There will never be another player like him at Old Trafford, and no one will ever touch his 12 PL titles, 600+ PL appearances, 900+ (and possibly 1,000 before he finishes his career) Utd appearances, and a record of scoring in every single season he has played in.

    There are legends . . . and then there is Ryan Giggs. So, no, he isn’t ‘really that great’. He’s even better.

  6. Marco Materazzi has scored in a world cup final. Does that make him great? Giggs has scored innumerable important goals…Fa cup semi-final vs arsenal and Champs league semi-final vs Juve come to mind…Not to mention the winning penalty in the 2008 champs league final…Add to this countless league goals and assists…he is not Ronaldo or Messi or Maradona or Zidane but then most are not. He occupies that second rung of greats and no less…

  7. What a ridiculous article. I wonder how old the author is? People have a habit of looking at how he plays now – a very good player still at 38 but obviously at his age incapable of being among the elite – no player in history could be at that age, at least in midfield.

    Giggs has scored plenty of crucial goals – FA Cup Semi final being one nobody needs to be reminded of – but he’s scored plenty in the Champions League, against Juventus in particular. I also don’t think its a coincidence that his entry into the United team resulted in their most successful era ever. I’ll let that sink in. Think about it. No other player besides Paul Scholes has played nearly as many games in that time period, and he started a whole 5 years later.

    I think if it was common to play players of Giggs’ calibre in a ‘free role’ as is done nowadays with Messi and Ronaldo rather than as a disciplined left winger as it was, we would be talking of him in the same breath as Maradona and Pele, who both stole the limelight as central strikers.

    Though one just has to hear one of the many interviews given by his ex-team mates that do compare him to those two to know that he is not ‘slightly overrated’ he is more than a little underrated. Especially in his prime, ironically he’s getting more attention now. Hence why all the awards now, out of guilt that they weren’t given to him as they should have been when he was easily one of the best in the world.

  8. Giggs the legend- Giggs is a legend, I would love him to be a Liverpool player. He’s just not at the Best/Charlton/Ronaldo level like many think.

    Joneses- Thank for the comment, I personally wouldn’t put Beckham anywhere near the greats. Giggs is far, far superior to him.

    Bryan- Honest answer, thanks for the feedback. Nice to hear a different opinion from a fellow Liverpool fan.

    Tushar Sharma- The fact you have only really come up with one other example of a big goal he has scored (I used the Arsenal ’99 goal in the article) pretty much proves my point. It’s not just about scoring goals, it’s creating them, winning penalties, leading your team in big games. For me he hasn’t done that. As for endless quotes, Pele once called Nicky Butt the best player at the World Cup! I never once said he didn’t merit being in all the ‘best team’ awards, he just never stands out individually as much as the greats of all time.

    Dan- I respect your opinion, it’s hard to argue with stats like that. It’s just an opinion i’ve held for a while, it has absolutely nothing to do with bias like many clueless United fans think. I enjoy watching players like Scholes, Rooney and Valencia, and Giggs for that matter, he’s not one of the best ever.

  9. And who has the record for the most assists in the premier league? Even though records only began when he turned 29? He’s been the most creative player in the EPL just as a 30+ year old, out doing a lot of “greats” on that while they were in their prime. Who holds the record for most goals scored by a British player in the CL/European cup?

  10. “It’s not just about scoring goals, it’s creating them, winning penalties, leading your team in big games”

    Nobody has created more goals than Giggs, in his 30s he’s created more than his nearest challengers Lampard and Gerrard did in their 20s.

  11. http://www.myfootballfacts.com/Premier_League_All-Time_Players_Statistics.html

    Assist stats only go back to 2002, he’s also scored more goals than just about any other midfield player let alone winger.

  12. Depends on your definition of ‘great player’. You define it by making a difference in Champions League and F.A. Cup finals. I think it would be much fairer to consider his contribution to the United dominance of the last 20 Years as a whole.

    You can’t deny facts. He has more assists in the last 12 seasons of the Premier League than any other player. More than players such as Gerrard and Lampard who have also played throughout that period and three times as many as Paul Scholes (who you deem a superior player because he has scored one more goal on a big occasion… pretty dubious way of assessing greatness, surely Milan Baros is superior to both since he won the Golden Boot at a major international tournament?).

    He has also provided assists at the KEY moments. Against City in 2009/2010 he assisted three times, twice for Fletcher and in the last minute for Owen. In the knockout stages of the Champs League 2010/2011 he assisted or scored 6 of Uniteds 8 goals, including three assists against Chelsea over two legs in QF and an assist in the Champs League final against Barcelona (not a big enough game for you??)

    But if you really want proof of Ryan Giggs greatness just watch the 7-1 thrashing of Roma. Ronaldo and Rooney took the headlines, but Giggs took the standing ovation when he was taken off after 4 assists and Utd were 5-0 up, mostly due to his genius. Without Scholes in the midfield, Giggs DOMINATED that Roma team and United have never looked so balanced. I don’t want to disparage Scholes for the sake of Giggs but there is one simple reason why Giggs is superior: he can dictate a game from the same position as Scholes, but put Scholes on the left wing and you’re basically a man down.

    I respect your opinion and have heard it a few times, but it seems to ignore the facts and also ignore the performances. I can’t figure out where this myth that he doesn’t show up for big games has come from other than the fact he hasn’t scored regularly (though the winning penalty against Chelsea in the Champs League final should count for something). I would argue that he has had a bigger influence on United than any other player in the last 20 seasons, including Ronaldo and Cantona, and not just because he stayed longer. Mourinho said he is the best player in the history of the Premier League, Fergie regards him as his best player and countless ‘Greats’ consider him their superior as Tushar showed above.

    But if you don’t think hes anything special, I won’t lose any sleep over it!

  13. For further proof of his greatness, see last night’s performance, and many similar performances which don’t grab the headlines like a Ronaldo or Messi hat-trick.

  14. Just saw Russ’s post, spot-on. Just so everyone can see, here is the link:
    http://www.statbunker.com/football/ktg/index.php?PL=ktgalltime&Code=EPL&statType=assist

    And as for important goals, Norwich at the business-end of last season; goal against Wigan in 07/08 in the last game of the season to seal the League; winning the penalty in the 2004 F.A. Cup final after a quintessential Giggs dribble. Not Champions League Finals but BIG games where he made a difference.

    • Check this one out Robert as a rebuttal to his “big game” player assumption.

      Record British scorer in the Champions League / European Cup? its……………….

      Ryan Giggs with 28 goals.
      http://futbal.org/EC1.scorers.php

      Champions league goals seem pretty important to me.

      No if you include the prelim rounds against the minnows of Europe (not included in usual tables).

      It’s……….

      Ssssssstevie G, bumping up his tally beating up the minnows, like a flat track bully.

  15. I have never denied his goals/assists record in general, just in the biggest games. Frankly, for a left winger of his quality playing for the country’s best side for years, and one who takes free kicks and corners, he should probably be top of the list. Hats off to him for topping the list, but some stats can be deceiving. Scholes has never taken set pieces, for example. It’s who these assists have been against that are also key. Of course if you look hard enough there are instances where he has created a crucial goal or scored on the final day, but considering he’s played over 900 games its a small percentage of ‘great moments per game’ for me. Peter crouch has a fantastic record for England, but has he ever done it consistently in big games against top sides? No. The goals have been against Jamaica, Trinidad and alike. His goals per game record is better than Rooney, Owen and shearer. We all know he is far worse than those 3, who have produced in crucial games for their country. I don’t know how many times I have to say I think Giggs is a wonderful player, he is just not up there with the greatest ever British talents in my opinion. I find it insulting that there is talk of bias, considering the praise I have given other united players in the piece. I might not like the club but I have a huge respect for them. It’s just a cheap way of arguing your corner.

  16. But you miss the point. The reason why he has played in the country’s top side for all these years, and the reason why he takes free kicks and corners for a team packed with individuals who could do the job, is because quite simply, he is the best at it!

    Do you think Ferguson and the coaching staff decide Giggs should take corners and free kicks simply because he puts his hand up first in class? More likely the quality of delivery he has put in over a number of years (how many goals have Vidic and Ferdinand scored from Giggs set-pieces) means he is the best option.

    And I know Giggs didn’t cover himself in glory against Barcelona in either Champs League final, but no-one did those two nights including Ronaldo in the first one. But in big matches (I have already given plenty of examples), Giggs has regularly shown up and made a telling contribution, more so than Scholes I would argue whose goal against Barcelona in the semi finals is his only memorable moment in a big game in the last decade.

    I wouldn’t bring bias into it either, but I think it says a lot that 90% of the Liverpool/Arsenal/Chelsea and even City fans who post about Giggs are full of praise for him and will happily concede he is world class, and more, one of the greatest British players of all time. For me, he is the best of his generation, ahead of Gerrard, Lampard, and Beckham because his performances in Europe (scored in every season of the Champions League but one and the oldest scorer) have been more consistent and telling. The only British player of this generation who comes close is Scholes and I think Scholes is better at what he does than Giggs (dictating from deep) but in every other respect Giggs is a much more dangerous player.

    Compared to the George Bests, Bobby Charltons, Sir Stanley Matthews, it is very difficult to compare, just as it is difficult to compare Ronaldo with Pele or Messi with Maradonna. But I think it is far too dismissive of Giggs’ contributions and talent to not consider him in their class based on ‘a small percentage of great moments per game’. I know this is an old and tired argument, but had he been English, he would have had many more chances to contribute at the highest level (oldest goalscorer in the history of the Olympics btw) and would probably have taken England a hell of a lot closer to a final in the last 20 years. Just for penalty-taking he would have been worth a starting place. Given that the likes of Gerrard, Lampard and Scholes have had a chance for England and never really taken it in the big international tournaments, I really can’t see how anyone could distinguish between their achievements at international level and Giggs’.

  17. You United fans also seem to forget many of you were questioning his place in the side between 2001 and 2003, particularly after that famous miss against Arsenal at Old Trafford.

  18. Rohan Mirpuri- I think it is just something we will have to agree to disagree on. I appreciate the stance you are taking on the argument, and I agree many rival fans hold Giggs in even higher regard than I do (to repeat, I hold him in very high regard). I think the whole England and Giggs debate is irrelevant really. He could’ve been a world beater or he could easily have been as disappointing as all our other top players for England. It’s like me saying that if Gerrard had spent his entire career at United he would be thought of as an even greater player than he is now because he’d have been playing in a better side for all those years, winning Premier League titles every other year. It’s irrelevant because it’s never happened.

  19. I’m admittedly a lifelong Giggs fan fighting his corner, and not once questioned his place at the club and have felt pretty disappointed in ‘fans’ who have done so, not online in the period you mentioned but even now when they would have him forcefully retired. My argument about Giggs playing for a better international side is only to provide context. If you’re gonna argue he hasn’t done it in the big games, you also have to concede he hasn’t had as many opportunities to do so as the likes of Scholes, Gerrard, Lampard and looking abroad, Figo, Zidane, Ronaldo, etc.
    Your Gerrard analogy doesn’t really work because he had the opportunity to move to Chelsea but decided not to, and he has played with world class players at Liverpool anyway (Torres, Suarez, Alonso, Owen, to name a few).

    The biggest tribute to Giggs is the fact that Fergie has continued to pick him and never allowed him to consider leaving/retirement, unlike his peers who have all (including Scholes briefly) moved on. But as you said, neither of us is gonna change our opinions of how good he is, but I definitely feel you are in the minority of those who don’t consider him one of the greatest of his generation. Whether that counts for anything I have no idea.

  20. He IS one of the best of his generation, NOT all time though, in my opinion.

  21. giggs is one ov the greatest players of all time….u cant jst look at finals or semi-finals bt how the team actualy made it ther… evry game is a big game because u play ever game to win

  22. You didn’t come anywhere close to saying that in your article. You made it seem more like he was a bit-part player in a great team, never really having a great influence but contributing occasionally. That is a huge mis-representation.

    You compared him unfavourably with Gerrard, Lampard, Scholes, Raul and Del Piero. Do you genuinely believe Giggs isn’t in their class? If he IS one of the best of his generation, surely he is comparable with all these ‘greats’?

  23. His longevity makes him comparable but not his influence. Personally I would rather have all those at their peak ahead of giggs, barring Lampard.

  24. I’d say you have quite strongly made your point.

    I’d say he’s one of the most consistent players. And no one can argue that.

    However, I’d say: If i were to rephrase the title, it would be- Ryan Giggs: Slightly overachieved?

    One thing which one should not forget is that every player who has achieved something in a long and successful career will be dubbed great by the media and everything moves on from there. And of course they will always be legends, at least in their supporters’ eyes.

    I’d say he Ryan is a great player but he has certainly overachieved. SAF has seen other qualities in him apart from the 90 mins in pitch that has led to him playing for so long, and credit goes to Ryan and Ryan only.

  25. Can we all agree that Zidane, Cruyff, Del Piero and Figo are legends? Yes? And can we agree that such praise from legends are reserved only for the really special ones and not the overrated? Yes? These are guys who have played the game at the highest level and they feel that Giggs is magic but our paragon of journalistic virtue here thinks otherwise. Remarkable.

  26. Well said Ahmed. If you really wanted to you could find all kinds of obscure quotes from great players over the years.

    • To be fair, the original poster has a fair point. I was just pointing out the other side.

      The commenter who said Giggs has over-achieved probably has the best comment.

    • What a ridiculous argument Henry. Pele’s hyperbolic praise of Nicky Butt should be taken as an anomaly, not just because it’s Nicky Butt but because Pele’s list of the top 100 players has been roundly regarded as laughable.

      When the majority of the top footballers in Europe all praise one player in unison it is sheer stupidity to disregard their opinions just because they don’t suit your own argument.

      And I challenge you to find another pro who has spoken of Harry Kewell for example as highly as Figo, Zidane and Del Piero have spoken of Giggs. I bet you can’t. And I bet you really want to.

    • And another challenge, find one person involved in the game (former/current pro or manager or anybody you like really) who doesn’t rank Giggs among the greats of his generation and among the best left-wingers of all time.

      For every 1 that you find I bet I can find a dozen who agree with me.

  27. Enough said about his longevity.

    Lets take his individual influence.

    Creativity
    • 1st on the all-time EPL assist list.
    • 1st EPL player to clock 100 official assists

    More Creative than any other (EPL) player in his generation. He’s outdone Steven Gerrard in his prime as a 30+ year old. More than likely has double the tally of anyone else as record availability discounts the first half of Giggs’ career.
    Goal Scoring
    • 1st Manchester United player to 100 PL goals
    • 3rd Midfielder to clock 100 PL goals
    • 1st wide player to clock 100 PL goals
    • 17th overall on the all-time EPL scorers list
    • 8th on the Manchester United all-time scorers list
    • 1st on the goal scorers list in the European cup / Champions league (British Record)
    • 112 top flight goals
    • 165 first team goals
    Not bad for a lad “who should score more goals” as he’s often criticized. Stuck out wide and only ever took 3 pens (All converted) & and was stuck out wide (Creating for others on an unmatched scale).

    Individual flair
    Subjective but who would not put him in the top 3 dribblers of his generation (EPL at least)? It’s not worth bringing Gerrard in to this is it? I very much doubt anybody has many more individual goals.
    Montage says it best.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khMo-MSWIUA

    If that’s not the biggest individual contribution to the most successful period of dominance in English football history, I don’t know who is? If Giggs is not great, Gerrard is not even good.

  28. It’s all too common with the internet “expert” to dispute quantitate evidence with “female intuition”, to say “yes but stats don’t tell the whole story” and then dribble on about their supposedly qualitative opinion, which is objective to say the least. The author can feel it in his water during his menstrual cycle so the stats must be wrong. Either that or he over values his opinion because he’s an internet “expert” who’s not at all been influenced by the back pages of his newspaper or the ramblings of his tribal, self congratulating own clubs culture at all. The kind of incestuous hype that got David Beckham over rated or convinces a certain demographic Cheryl Cole is talented. Every now and then the hype subsides, and the silent minority speaks it’s mind and can be heard above the loud idiots. It means all the more when it’s un-aided and comes from nowhere.
    The nation said thank you for blessing us with your talent Ryan.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tv_and_radio/sports_personality_of_the_year/8410840.stm
    And then Manchester United fans said,
    “We were watching you do the business Ryan while others took the lime light, you are our greastest ever”
    http://www.manutd.com/en/News-And-Features/Football-News/2011/Jan/Giggs-is-the-greatest.aspx
    Then the premier league said, “We agree”
    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/4317915/Ryan-Giggs-is-Premier-Leagues-best-ever-player-Alex-Ferguson-is-the-top-boss.html

    But some internet expert’s tampon disagrees so what the hell.

  29. **Silent Majority**

  30. Classy stuff Russ, i’m impressed.

  31. Overachieved implies he achieved more than he deserved. How can that possibly be right? Andy Gray said it best when Giggsy scored the goal that sealed the title in 07/08- “Football has a way of rewarding the good guys” (this was before the irrelevant, off-field antics came out). You don’t win that many league titles/make that many F.A. Cup final appearances/play in that many Champions League Finals unless you are the best option your manager has in a position. Ryan Giggs, and NO-ONE can deny this, is the best left-winger that this country has ever seen and in the top 5 of all time in that position. Anyone who tries to deny this has obviously been watching him with a) envy or b) a blindfold.

    The statistics paint a very clear picture of the quality of Giggs as a player, but the best way is to actually watch him. If you can watch the following clip and deny that he is one of the most talented (and accomplished) players of all time, you must be fooling yourself:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgEA95Ut2z8

  32. Henry Jackson, you’re clueless. There, I said it.

    I’m a lifelong Liverpool supporter and I would not even dare to imagine what we could have achieved if we have Giggs instead of McManaman. Giggs is a winner and it is telling that he’s the first who broke through in that class of 1992. Let’s be honest, if he sucked, how would others reacted? The way he played, the way he trained, that undoubtedly translates to Beckham, Scholes, Butt, and the Nevilles. Yes they had Cantona, but the person who would inspire them was Giggs. That’s the “if he can make it, why can’t I?”.

    I say with strong conviction that he is the one who started it all. Cantona was hugely influential figure but if Giggs failed in his first (and second year), the world might not have seen class of 1992. He convinced Fergie that the kids were good enough. The rest was history.

  33. Don’t agree that giggs was the reason for the start of the united dominance. That was down to many things, of which giggs was a part of. Ferguson deserves the most credit, and cantona, schmeichal and keane were all as important to the team as giggs at that time.

    Of course he would’ve made a difference instead of macmanaman and I wouldve loved to see him at anfield. My point is, and perhaps I didn’t make it clear enough in the piece, is that the likes of George best, bobby Charlton and Ronaldo, who people compare giggs to in terms of talent, would’ve been far more influential.

  34. i don”t agree forget not his goal against juventus 99 1-1.his assist against bayern cl final 1999 the winning goal against arsenal semifinal facup 99.the second goal against wigan 0-2,that goal make”s united champions the winning penalty against chelsea cl final 2008,an giggs had played 12 cupfinals an had won 7 .7 facupfinales won 4. 5 leaguecupfinales won 3 he don”t play 2010 against astonvilla,2-1 united .

  35. The thing is Giggs is 39 now …for an explosive winger player that is 9 years past his prime….trust me ..the Giggs of the 90′s was sublime…he was a FAR better dribbler than C.Ronaldo …He went past players with ease (Cristiano goes past a maximum of 2 players) ..but was /is one of the best providers of key passes and through balls….

  36. Unless a player(who is coming to an end) goes into drugs ,gets stuck in an inferior league,goes insane or worse- gets fat …their place in history gets questioned ..*exceptions noted.

  37. if he is not the greatest,all his contemporary premier league players dare not to say that they are greater..