I have a confession to make, I’m not proud of it and if I’m honest I think I’m a bit scared about the ramifications of putting it down on paper. I’m anxious about giving it flesh, giving it a physical reality where previously it’s only resided in the deepest, darkest recesses of my simple brain. Let me say this before I do: Cut me and I bleed red, right! A biological fact you might argue. No! I’m a red through and through and I’ve even been to see them – more than once – and I’ve got the ticket stubs to prove it.
BUT *intake of deep breath* Ihaven’treallyalwaysthoughtRyanGiggswasallthat. There. Said it. What you didn’t catch that? Too bad. Pint please barman.
“Ryan Giggs, Ryan Giggs, running down the wing, Ryan Giggs, Ryan Giggs, running down the wing…” Stuart Atkinson, my best friend at school, used to sing that song at almost every opportunity for a whole term. He’d been to a game (again) at O.T and Giggs had been twisting some poor defenceless right full-backs blood (again). I never used to join in despite his remonstrations. You see I never really had the boy with hairy twiglets for legs down as one of my faves. Sparky was my man – now he could carry a perm; not a floppy cutesy Giggsy perm … a man’s perm! Young Ryan wasn’t even in MY starting 11.
I was also a big Lee Sharpe fan. His back- heel-flick against Barcelona is still one of my favourite United goals of all (my) time. I, against everyone else on the planets opinion, thought he was much more consistent than Dani Behr’s bloke. I thought Giggsy’s final ball was often found wanting at key moments in games. Lee Sharpe would be all Elvis in the corner, where as Giggsy just seemed to mope off all nonchalant, to cool for school. Not for me.
I always thought the hyperbole surrounding THAT goal against Arsenal was a tad over-cooked. I’m definitely in the camp that says ‘old Arsenal defence, Seaman dreadful’. I do think that he is a little careless when finishing and crossing, with his final ball, if you will. I do think he had a couple of particularly poor seasons in the early noughties that might have seen other players in danger of being moved on. And I do think the Sports Personality and PFA awards may have been more than a bit based on sentimentality. BUT *intake of second deep breath* I absolutely love Ryan Giggs!
His penalty against Chelsea, in the Champions League final, was the moment that he finally had me. Quite superficial in a lot of ways, I hear you whisper, well, that was it … The Moment I realised just how much I loved Ryan Giggs. Maybe if it had come sooner, I wouldn’t now appreciate him quite so much? I look back on old footage before colour t’internet and I now realise that he is actually one of my absolute favourite United players of all time. Quite a transformation I hear you say again (you should stop that whispering, it’s rude). I love him so much now to the extent that if he’s not on the team sheet I get a little bit nervous.
In hindsight as a 32 year old pretending to be an adult sometimes, I realise that my main problem with Giggsy had nothing to do with football in the slightest, it was purely based on the fact that he was ‘well fit’ and all the girls at school, mainly the ones I thought were ‘well fit’ thought so too. So, there you go you were right I’m just superficial … but lighter for sharing.