Ryan Giggs might turn 40 today, but the United legend shows no signs of being in a rush of hanging up his boots, nor has his appetite for success been satisfied by the unprecedented amount of trophies he’s collected during his career.
Should he play on Sunday against Spurs, Giggsy would become only the seventh player in history to take part in a Premier League match after turning 40 – Kevin Phillips, Teddy Sheringham, Gordon Strachan, Brad Friedel, Mark Schwarzer and Mike Pollitt did it before him – and after his vintage performance against Bayer Leverkusen, few would bet against him being involved again.
David Moyes insisted he’s determined to enjoy more wins like last night’s 5-0 thrashing of Bayer Leverkusen and that best is yet to come for Manchester United this season.
An injury-depleted United arrived in Germany on the back of stuttering start to the season and facing a team that a lost just once in the last 12 games in all competitions, but the Reds produced a superb performance, putting the host to the sword from the start and ran riot throughout the games, scoring five goals and securing a spot in the knockout stage of the Champions League.
At times, very rarely, football offers moments when form goes out of the window, predictions are disregarded and expectations are forgotten in the blink of an eye, giving way to an unpredictable, yet exhilarating, 90 minutes.
That, in a nutshell, sums up United’s trip to Leverkusen, for not even the most optimistic of Reds – a species growing increasingly rare in recent times – would have envisaged the superb performance David Moyes’ men offered tonight as they put Bayer Leverkusen to the sword in swashbuckling fashion.
Manchester United face Bayer Leverkusen tonight in the Champions League, hoping to bounce back from the disappointment of Sunday’s draw at Cardiff and, more crucially, take a decisive step towards the knockout stage of the competition.
It won’t, however, be an easy task – a rather recurrent theme this season – as while United arrive in Germany still unbeaten and top of Group A, their route to the knockout stage could become extremely trickier were they to fail to pick up a positive result tonight, against a Leverkusen team that has won the last seven games in the Champions League on home turf.
Former Manchester United number two Mike Phelan has claimed he was in charge of Manchester United over the last five years, given the amount of work Sir Alex Ferguson chose to delegate to his assistant.
Phelan, who departed the club in the wake of David Moyes’ arrival at Old Trafford, said that while Sir Alex Ferguson remained the public face of the club, much of the work behind the scenes and on the training ground was delegate to his coaching staff, including Phelan.
Rio Ferdinand has claimed that despite a stuttering start to the season, Manchester United are still a force to be reckoned with in the title race and that he isn’t worried about the look of the current Premier League table, for the only that matters is to be at the top of the pile after the last game of the season.
United’s 2-2 draw at Cardiff on Sunday, saw the Reds conceding a late equaliser for the second time this season and have seen David Moyes’ men drop to sixth, seven points adrift of league leaders Arsenal.
Manchester United could soon turn to Everton. But before the conspiracy theorists get carried away, United aren’t planning to hire yet more members of David Moyes’ former staff at Goodison Park, nor are they planning to swap Adnan Januzaj for Leon Osman.
Instead, United are said to be considering a January move for Brazilian striker Everton Ribeiro, whose name alone is granted to generate widespread irony given the circumstances that have surrounded Moyes and United since the Scotsman replaced Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford.
It’s not known whether football is played in Heaven, but if the beautiful game graces the abode of the angels, then November 25th must be the day when great players are introduced to their teammates.
Eight years ago today, Reds and non across the globe mourned the passing of George Best, one of the greatest players to have ever lived and arguably the symbol of a generation and a figure still idolised by United fans. Today, Manchester United Football Club (for the man himself lived throughout an era when teams were essentially just that, football clubs) lost a man who, despite being the polar opposite of Best, reached a status every bit as legendary as the Belfast boy.