Pallister: Giggs still going strong
Former Manchester United defender Gary Pallister feels Ryan Giggs is still playing for the club on merit rather than sentiment.
Giggs continues to be selected under new manager David Moyes and this, according to Pallister, proves the worth of the former Wales international. As he turns 40 today (Friday), it seems few would bet against him continuing beyond the end of the current campaign.
"It's about time Giggsy retired - he's keeping kids out of the game!" joked Pallister, who was honoured alongside Ryan, then the Young Player of the Year, at the 1992 PFA Awards.
"What can you say? I just love watching him play. Obviously I played with him for seven years and watched him mature and become the player he is. He's still making an impact. I hear some people say he's 40 but don't look at his age, look at what he does on the pitch still.
"He is still making a contribution and can still play on the left-hand side of midfield, never mind in the centre. He's not going to play as many games as most of the players in the squad but, when he does play, he is fit enough and good enough to make an impact. We've seen David Moyes is already using him and there's no sympathy vote there. He is using him because he can play an important role in the team."
Former centre-back Pallister recalled the first time he clapped eyes on the schoolboy superstar, soon after signing for the Reds from Middlesbrough in 1989.
"I first saw him as a 15-year-old when he was called Ryan Wilson," he relayed. "I went to watch the youth team with Paul Ince as we were in a hotel and had just signed for the club.
"We went to Old Trafford and sat with the manager. He turned around to me and Incey and said: 'There's a kid playing tonight on the left wing called Ryan Wilson and he is going to be a star.'
"I thought: 'That's a big statement, gaffer.' Here was a spindly-looking 15-year-old kid but he ran amok against kids who were 16 or 17 and was terrific. The manager was obviously right as he went on to become a star and one of the best players ever to don the shirt of Manchester United."