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Giggs set for emotional return

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailAs Manchester United travel to Cardiff tomorrow they’ll not only hope to secure a fourth consecutive league win, but they’ll also want to kick off what promises to be an extremely difficult week in the best possible way.

A trip to the Welsh capital is followed by a potentially crucial tie away at Leverkusen on Wednesday, before United complete their hat-trick of away games with a visit to big-spending and goal-shy Tottenham Hotspurs next week – in case David Moyes assumed beating Arsenal would buy him some time, the next seven days will be a timely reminder that at United, tests are never too far away.

United are still betting favourites for the Cardiff game according to but that’s more a case of reputation than fact – with Carrick injured and United’s indifferent start to the season, it will be a much harder game than it looks. Which is worrying since it’s the easiest of the three away games we have!

United return to Cardiff for the first time since 1975 with a seemingly ever growing injury list, with Michael Carrick and Phil Jones joining Danny Welbeck on the sideline.

Carrick’s absence, in particular, is likely to deal a massive blow to Moyes’ gameplan, given the last thing United’s already wafer-thin midfield needed was an injury to the mercurial Geordie, whose vacant spot is likely to be filled by Tom Cleverley, while Ryan Giggs could be in line for a rare start.

The thought of Giggsy being in the starting XI is as sentimental – it’d be his first appearance against his hometown club for 23 years – as it is likely to be met with disapproval by many Reds. However, with Marouane Fellaini proving as useful as England’s batting line-up two nights ago and Anderson clearly not an option worth considering, Giggs suddenly represents a good option.

With United’s frontline virtually picking itself, Antonio Valencia and Shinji Kagawa should feature again in midfield, as United will likely have to sustain Cardiff’s physical challenge in the form of Gary Medel and, albeit to a lesser extent, Craig Bellamy. The Chilean midfielder’s uncompromising approach has already rattled a few opponents this season, while Bellamy needs no introduction.

The former Manchester City and Liverpool man would love nothing more than spoiling United’s party, but the Reds’ defence seems to have turned a corner  and since Nemanja Vidic returned to the side, David Moyes’ men have conceded just once in four games in all competitions, a huge improvement from the shaky defending we witnessed too often at the start of the season and statistic that should worry Cardiff, who have failed to score in five Premier League this season.

Having been hospitalised after a clash with David De Gea two weeks ago, Vidic should make the team tomorrow, as should Rafael, whose attacking contribution down the right flank has been sorely missed, given that Chris Smalling clearly doesn’t offer the same option going forward in support of Valencia.

Apart from the political shenanigans that have at times threatened to engulf their season, Cardiff have done rather well for a newly-promoted team and a trip to South Wales is by no means an easy assignment, but if United are serious about defending their title, it’s the sort of match they must win.




  1. Redrich

    23 November 2013 at 02:41

    Ian, you do realize that your blog is being hijacked mate, don’t you.
    If this is what you want now, fine, I’ll be off.
    You have a couple of clowns who are turning this place into a laughing stock and it’s at a level I can’t tolerate.

    • red astair

      23 November 2013 at 10:38

      @Redrich: Variety is the spice of life. Opinions are only opinions whether they are sound or stupid, and even stupid ones start sound discussions. Anyway, the bottom line is we are all football fans and clearly not capable of rational, objective analysis of anything where Utd is involved 😆 Would you really have it any different?

    • mike_macca

      23 November 2013 at 12:29

      “If this is what you want now, fine, I’ll be off”

      More comebacks than Frank Sinatra 🙂


    • BigRed

      23 November 2013 at 14:18

      @Redrich: Clowns with opinions you can’t stomach?

      Do you live in a bubble where everything is rosey and perfect?

      Football is all about opinion, and not everyone has to share the same one as you.

  2. Julian

    23 November 2013 at 09:47

    Sentimentality or not, if Giggs plays and Januzaj doesn’t I will be a bit miffed!

    • red astair

      23 November 2013 at 10:32

      @Julian: I agree, if we are winning comfortably, then there’s no reason why Giggs shouldn’t get the last 10 minutes or so. Otherwise, I think starting with Giggs is a bit of a risk Utd don’t really need to take.

    • mike_macca

      23 November 2013 at 12:33


      A bit miffed Julian!

      Even if MUFC hammer Cardiff… it is still a bad management decision to pick the once ‘brilliant’ Ryan Giggs over alternative options.

      Hey Ryan……Time to take the ‘playing’ boots off.


    • BigRed

      23 November 2013 at 14:22

      @Julian: I agree. Starting Giggs, or putting him on ahead of younger, better players is the wrong way to go.
      I think most United fans would afford Moyes more patience if he blooded our better youngsters more often and tried to play the right way.
      Starting a 40 year old is a bit embarassing.

  3. red astair

    23 November 2013 at 10:50

    We have had some good results lately, probably a bit premature to say we are on a run, but the momentum is in the right direction. The break for the internationals will have disrupted that momentum so it’s important we pick up where we left off. If Giggs could last for 90 minutes without becoming a liability, then no problem, but it’s more likely Januzaj will start and Giggs replace him for the last 10 minutes. The fact is, this is the Premier League, and there’s no room for sentiment, well, not until the game’s in the bag.


    23 November 2013 at 14:28

    Sentimentality should never come into any managers decision, just a sign of weakness as far as I’m concerned. Wouldn’t care if they’re 16 or 40, u should be selected on ability and if he can do the job or not. With giggs, the speed of pace might be going but the speed of mind is still there. Whether he plays for the first 60 mins or last 20 he usually has a way of still influencing a game. Age shouldn’t cloud people’s judgement. Maldini at milan showed that even touching 40 class is something that you’re born with.giggs is from the same mould.

  5. mike_macca

    23 November 2013 at 15:44


    In all the chaos of a ‘Giggs’ return to a salting X1, I forgot to add the following to an earlier post.

    Excellent, balanced and on the mark comments.


  6. mike_macca

    23 November 2013 at 17:40

    West Ham vs Chelsea:

    The game is only 10 mins old….. but the great pace of Chelsea reminds me of something….. the sort of pace I remember watching……. from a MUFC side.


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