Queens Park Rangers boss Harry Redknapp claims that Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs could have solved England's problems.
In his new autobiography A Man Walks On To a Pitch, Redknapp has lavished praise on the Welsh wizard and has given his verdict on how different the England national team's fortunes could have been had Giggs chosen to represent them rather than Wales, the country where he was born.
40-Year-old Giggs retired at the end of last season and since then has been appointed current Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal's right hand man at the club.
"Every Englishman wishes Ryan could have played for us because we had a real problem on the left throughout the 1990s, but his family is all Welsh. He played for England Schoolboys, but the moment it came to senior football he could only represent Wales," Redknapp writes in his book.
"It could have solved so many issues had he been able to play for England because we ruined a succession of players out on that left flank: Paul Scholes retired because he kept getting stuck out there; Joe Cole made a decent fist of it for a while; they even tried my lad Jamie out there in one game."
Giggs has represented England Schoolboys while growing up before representing Wales over 60 times at senior level.
Comparison with Billy Bonds
Redknapp went on to compare Ryan Giggs with West Ham legend Billy Bonds who was of a similar physique to the Welshman.
"Ryan Giggs just had an athlete’s physique. He could run all day," he said.
"The only other player I’ve seen like that was West Ham’s Billy Bonds, who was all ribs. He never blew up in the summer, never put weight on year to year, and that was Giggs, too."
Redknapp also revealed his astonishment on watching Giggs shirtless against Arsenal.
"I remember when Ryan took his shirt off after scoring that wonder goal against Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final replay in 1999 — there was nothing of him, really."
"He was muscular, yes, but you’d think a powerful full back would be able to bash him up. They couldn’t," he added.
England's left wing crisis
England have experimented with a plethora of players on the left wing. From Shaun Wright-Phillips to Cole to Stewart Downing to until recently, Ashley Young. No one however has been able to lock down the position as his own.
Redknapp has expressed his opinion on how difficult the role is and says that Giggs was born to take up that position.
"It’s a scary position if it is not yours by right because it is so hard to get in the game. Ryan was born there; he had pace, he could cross, come inside or go outside," the former Portsmouth manager added.
Giggs' clears air on his international allegiance
In an interview with Goal two years ago, Giggs revealed that he had absolutely no intention of representing England at international level.
"There was a lot of confusion about the situation because I played for England Schoolboys," he said.
"Then, because of the problems England had on the left of midfield, people would say to me 'you should have chosen England'. But I was never able to choose England."
Giggs also went on to describe the stark contrast between his club career with United and his international career with wales.
He added: "My career for my country has obviously been the total opposite to the one for my club. I've been so successful with United but not so with Wales.
"I would always watch the other lads, especially those ones I grew up with, go away on international tournaments and wish that I could do the same."
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