Sir Alex Ferguson may have left Old Trafford, but Ryan Giggs’ spot in the starting line-up for the Community Shield showed that the manager’s legacy will live on for some time to come.
The Welsh winger, who has played in every season of the Premier League, has this summer become a coach at Old Trafford. But that hasn’t distracted him from playing, as he showed with a solid performance against Wigan.
His transition to a central midfielder is virtually permanent these days, but he stuck to his role in the three-man midfield with great duty. Giggs’ passing range was fully exhibited, and some tough tackles showed that he is no stranger to that side of the game either.
Upon being substituted, he went to sit with his fellow coaches on the bench. And he could be a great mediator between players on the pitch and their new manager – David Moyes.
He will be 40 in November, and will struggle to play a full 90 minutes on a regular basis. But he has shown, albeit against weaker opposition, that he has a big role to play as a central midfielder this season, should Moyes fail to secure the signature of a big-name.
This model professional is also someone for youngsters Adnan Januzaj and Jesse Lingard to look up to. The pair shone on United’s pre-season tour, and will have benefitted greatly from spending time with the Welsh wizard both on and off the pitch.
Having been at the club for more than two decades, Giggs knows what it means to wear the red shirt. After the retirements of David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers in recent times, he is now the only remaining student of the classs of ’92 still playing.
And it is up to him to pass the mantle onto the next generation of Manchester United stars, who are dreaming of emulating the sheer success experienced during Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure.
If anyone is capable of this task, then it is probably Giggs, who has surprised many by the longevity of his playing career. He now aims to please fans from the bench as well as on the pitch.
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