Ryan Giggs denies rift with United boss David Moyes
Season led to rumours that pair have failed to see eye-to-eye
Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs at yesterday’s press conference where he denied a rift with David Moyes.
Pep Guardiola’s team are the holders and widely considered firm favourites ahead of tonight’s first-leg at Old Trafford against a United side seventh in the Premier League, 17 points behind leaders, Liverpool.
Moyes’s disappointing first season in charge had led to rumours that Giggs, who is player-coach, has failed to see eye-to-eye with the Scot on football issues. While it is understood that the Welshman has taken a lesser role during training, he was seen in discussion with Moyes during yesterday morning’s session.
Seated next to 50-year-old for the press conference ahead of Bayern’s visit, Giggs was asked how he got on with Moyes and being under-used as player this campaign.
He said: “There is no problem with the manager, I don’t know where that came from. The relationship is good. Of course as a player you want to play all the time. I know over the last five or six years you are not going to play every game. I normally play every two or three weeks to get the best out of me. The last game was probably my first for seven weeks but you are not sulking, you just have to be ready to play your best for the team.”
Giggs’s current 12-month deal ends this season. Yet he would not be drawn if this could be a last European campaign, stating playing on will be considered. “I don’t know. I’ll tell you after tomorrow ,” he said. “I am just trying to enjoy this season and then at the end I will take stock and see what I want to do. I am enjoying my football as much as ever, I feel fit and then at the end of the season, I will see what I want to do.”
Giggs, a member of the United that triumphed over Bayern in the 1999 final, admitted the current side are a formidable foe, but refused to bill them as favourites.
“Bayern are a fantastic team, they are the holders and Pep Guardiola has taken over and added a few new players and they are a very strong team, favourites in most people’s eyes. But we are Manchester United, and at Old Trafford we have had so many great nights. We don’t see ourselves as underdogs, we see ourselves as Manchester United playing at home.”
Alex Ferguson, Moyes’s predecessor, has been blamed in some quarters for United’s disappointing campaign, with questions raised about the strength of the squad he left.
While Moyes himself claimed Ferguson might have struggled this term due to the “ageing” nature of some players, Guardiola denied the 71-year-old could be viewed as at all culpable.
The Spaniard, who in his first season at Bayern won the Bundesliga with seven games to spare, did not speak directly of Moyes’s comments. But he did say: “I don’t know how Sir Alex Ferguson can have a bad influence on this club. It’s completely opposite.
“This club was the best club in England thanks to him. He re-organised the club and put the club on another level in this country.”
Moyes wants to sign Toni Kroos, the Bayern midfielder. But Guardiola added: “Toni has one year more of a contract and Toni will remain. I hope he can extend his contract and stay with us.”