Thursday, 7 April 2011

Giggs is Manchester United's best ever

It's advantage Manchester United in their Champions League quarter-final. A one-nil first leg lead secured at Chelsea puts Sir Alex Ferguson's charges in the box seat for a final four place.

Rooney's deft finish caps a brilliant United move
Hungry Wayne Rooney put his two-match ban to one side to strike the winner, but all the plaudits must go elsewhere.

That Ryan Giggs is already a legend is without doubt. But after his virtuoso moment at Stamford Bridge, I think he's got to be classed as United's best ever. He just keeps delivering.

Yes, a greater United figure than Bobby Charlton, Eric Cantona, George Best - even Ralphy Milne.

And what crowns him as United's greatest is his ongoing athleticism, his influence and sheer consistency at the highest level. The marriage of good form and experience that only a 37-year-old could have (late thirties, remember!)

But he also has something in his locker that even another giant of longevity, Paolo Maldini didn't have; that's the individual brilliance to create a winning goal from nothing.

Could Ryan Giggs play to the age of 40?
Yes, Rooney's bicycle kick against Manchester City was fantastic, but United's winner at Chelsea was a team goal of breathtaking precision. Carrick's cross field pass was collected on the run by Giggs, who made space for a defence splicing pass to Rooney who steered the ball into the net giving the post a little "ting" as it crossed the line.

Giggs, Giggs, Giggs!

Fergie believes he can play another couple of seasons yet and who would doubt that? Giggs has signed another year's extension to his contract but you're a long-time retired - and I'm sure the Salford-born Welshman will accept each offer so long as he remains an asset to the team.

The model professional maintains his lithe physique with yoga, topping up his already abundant natural fitness. No "thickening process" for this man, as Fergie described Eric Cantona's body in 1998. Giggs remains thin through thick and thin.

Amid all the bluster and comment claiming this current United crop is far from great, in reality, they're about five weeks from it. As April progresses, a second Treble is possible. For Giggs, it could mean a twelfth Premier League title and a hattrick in the Champions League.

And just like Manchester itself, long may he reign.

Also on Soccermongery: The day in 2009 when Giggs and Becks became greats.

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Monday, 4 April 2011

Michael Jackson statue reduces Cottage status

Can't see the wood for the trees.

We all know Chairman Mo plumbs depths of nouveau riche bad taste, but lobbing this joke of a statue up at Craven Cottage makes both a fool of himself and a target for mockery from away support. 

Like a sad orphan cast out from its rightful Harrod's home (the intended resting place for this garbage), Al Fayed's imposed MJ's effigy on his football public instead. Why didn't you put it in your back garden instead, Mo?

"If you don' like it, go'n'suppor' Chelsea instead!", snapped 'gyppy Mo at incredulous Cottagers, so scoring a silly PR own goal in the process.

Challenging McClaren's authority?

Coulda been Mo and MJ's lovechild
But the Fulham faithful have a point. Isn't this an insult to the club's real icons? Elland Road has Billy Bremner, Stoke City sits behind Sir Stanley Matthews, it's Cloughie at Forest and William McGregor outside Villa Park. Surely Wacko shouldn't overshadow Johnny Haynes at the Cottage? Mind you, chop its hair and you get Bobby Zamora, so it's not all bad, I suppose.

But which visiting boss will be able to resist a quip about the neither black nor white effigy? Every Fulham fan remembers the ridicule the Bad star suffered when he went to the Cottage one Saturday. They chanted "I'm forever blowing Bubbles!" as he did a lap of honour.

Brum, baby burn!
It won't be long before someone puts a traffic cone on MJ's head or takes direct action and burns it down like the ridiculous statue in Birmingham's Centenary Square; never replaced after being ravaged by fire eight years ago.

There's no truth in the rumour that its made of the same material as Jacko was after 1994!

Your home ground needs to be a fortress, not a focus for stunts like this. But don't worry Fulham fans, nothing is forever. It's a gimme for the new owner to stamp his or her authority on the club and be removed ten seconds after arrival!

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