Giggs set to select Giggs for Hull City visit
Ryan Giggs’ future is in the balance as his tenure as interim Manchester United manager finishes after Sunday’s final match, the trip to Southampton, and his one-year playing contract also expires in the summer. Photograph; Nigel Roddis/Reuters
Ryan Giggs is set to select himself in Manchester United’s squad for this evening’s visit of Hull City in what could be his last chance to play at Old Trafford and say farewell after 23 supremely successful seasons.
The club have confirmed that Wayne Rooney will miss the game after failing to recover from a groin strain.
Giggs’s future is in the balance as his tenure as interim manager finishes after Sunday’s final match, the trip to Southampton, and his one-year playing contract also expires in the summer.
While Giggs may become a member of Louis van Gaal’s coaching staff, with the Netherlands coach expected to be confirmed in the position this week, the Welshman may refuse any offer if the role is not senior enough.
He might also play on for another season though there is no guarantee that Van Gaal, or whoever is the next number one, will offer a contract extension.
As Giggs is the most decorated player in United’s history and a fans’ favourite, both he and supporters would want the opportunity to say a proper goodbye, so this has informed the 40-year-old’s thinking.
Giggs has scored in every season since the Premier League began in 1992 except the current one, though this is not a priority.
“I want to do what’s best to win the game and not just make room for me in the starting lineup or on the bench, which I won’t do,” he said.
“Of course, the perfect scenario is me coming on and scoring a goal, the winning goal, and hopefully everyone will be happy, but it doesn’t always work like that. We’ll have to wait and see what happens on the night.”
Hull’s visit is definitely Nemanja Vidic’s Old Trafford swan song, while it could also prove the same for Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra, whose respective careers at United may also end on Sunday.
Vidic departs for Internazionale after eight years in which he won five Premier League titles, the Champions League and three League Cups.
“I have great memories,” he said. “To win five titles and the Champions League, I couldn’t dream of winning that many titles and of playing with so many great players. I have learned a lot, not just on the pitch but off the pitch as well.”
Vidic, who joined from Spartak Moscow for €8.5 million in January 2006, was the final captain Alex Ferguson appointed.
“I have been playing for the greatest manager ever, I believe,” he said. “It was a great experience and this is going to be the best part of my career, these years with United.
“Manchester United make you feel part of the family. I have developed as a man at this club, it has been a great experience for me and my family. I have nothing to regret, I have given 100 per cent.”
The 2008 European Cup final penalty shoot-out win against Chelsea at the Luzhniki Stadium was Vidic’s highlight.
“You don’t win the Champions League every year,” he said. “The club has won it three times and I was lucky to be part of a team who won it once. And we won it in Moscow, where I played for Spartak for one and a half years. I came back to the stadium to lift the trophy and that’s the greatest memory I have.”
Giggs said of Vidic: “Its always the same when great players leave the club. The club carries on but it’s always difficult when they do leave because they give such service and you do need to replace these sort of players. Not like for like sometimes, but obviously with quality.”
Evra, who arrived from Monaco for €6.7 million at the same time as Vidic, said: “I am really sad because when you speak about Nemanja it’s like you are speaking about myself because we joined the club together.
‘Our first game’
“I remember our first game, it was so hard – we played in the reserves. We were so poor and Rene [Meulensteen], the manager, took us both out.
“For me I am really sad to lose the rock because I call him the rock. Thanks to him because I play alongside him and he was a great centre-back. When you see a player like Nemanja Vidic is leaving this club you feel really sad.”
Evra may also move to Italian football, though he could yet stay.
Ferdinand has stated he would continue at United if he was offered a new deal. –