Welsh veteran Giggs receives United banner accolade
FORMER Wales star Ryan Giggs will celebrate another accolade at Manchester United’s FA Cup tie with Arsenal today.
In the past fortnight the 37-year-old veteran has celebrated the 20th anniversary of his debut and a record-breaking 607th league appearance for United.
And today he will be afforded the honour of a banner hanging from the Stretford End, to join the one belonging to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the inflammatory one that commemorates the number of years since Manchester City last won a trophy.
“It is brilliant,” said Giggs.
“It is where I used to go as a kid so to have a banner there up with the legends who are already there will be great.”
The Red Devils head into the quarter-final tie with Arsenal at Old Trafford knowing another reverse would represent their worst run since 2001.
Judging by the in-depth inquests into their recent dip in form, it is hard to remember it is less than six weeks ago United were being hailed as champions elect as they ran up a 29-game unbeaten run.
Yet Giggs did not get carried away then. And he feels the key to emerging from this mini-slump is to retain the same even-handed approach.
“You try to keep a level head no matter what is happening,” he said.
“If you are on a 10-game winning streak or have lost a couple of games, you need to keep the same calmness and not get too carried away.
“Criticism comes with the territory.
“We have had two defeats. Outside the club, people are thinking what is wrong? The only way to stop them saying that is to do it on the pitch.
“That is what we intend to do, starting against Arsenal.”
To be successful Giggs is aware United must perform far better than they did in losing 3-1 at Liverpool last Sunday.
“It has been a week of reflection,” admitted Giggs.
“We knew going into the two games – Chelsea and Liverpool – it was going to be tough for us.
“Actually, we were quite happy with our performance against Chelsea, things just didn’t go for us which can happen.
“We were more disappointed with the performance and the result at Anfield.
“We just didn’t turn up. We didn’t play and we didn’t deserve to win.”
Arsenal have had their own problems recently, losing the Carling Cup final to Birmingham, being held at home by Sunderland in the Premier League and being dumped out of the Champions League by Barcelona.
But Gunners boss Arsene Wenger feels not having such a
congested fixture list ahead could just work in their favour.
“We will not be overloaded, that’s the advantage of it,” said Wenger, who will again be without skipper Cesc Fabregas, who aggravated his hamstring problem in the Nou Camp.
“We want to deal well with the two psychological blows that we had recently and that’s our purpose.
“If we manage to do that then it will be an advantage.”