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  1. Wales manager Ryan Giggs has described Gareth Bale as a "star among his ranks" ahead of their UEFA Nations League opener. Giggs will be in charge of his first competitive match as Dragons boss since taking over from Chris Coleman. The former Manchester United midfielder, who faced criticism while at United for missing a number of Wales friendlies, said he understood Bale's situation of being at a top club. Speaking to Sky Sports, Giggs said: "The thing about Gareth is he's a superstar but he is also one of the lads and that's great to see. "You know the lads take the mick out of him but you also recognise you have got a star within your ranks. "He's not only a great player but a really good bloke as well. With myself at United and Gareth at Real Madrid, you get that pressure week in, week out so you are sort of used to it. "But as you have seen over the last few years it doesn't affect him, he relishes more pressure. Bigger the situation, the better he does. "He started where he finished off last season with that fantastic goal in the Champions League final and even before that the form that he showed up until then. "So yeah, it's great. It's great when the players are doing well for their club, they come to you full of confidence and are fit. That is always a bonus for a national team manager." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  2. Following Chris Coleman's departure as Wales manager, the nation's football fans were understandably sad but comprehensive of his decision to seek pastures new (and more dosh, perhaps). Then all thoughts turned to who should replace Coleman as manager, and a number of candidates were touted. Craig Bellamy, Osian Roberts, Tony Pulis, Mark Bowen and Nathan Jones were just a few. Of course, in terms of footballing CV and star value, there was just one name on the list - Ryan Giggs, one of the most trophy-laden players in English football history. But Manchester United Giggs and Wales Giggs are two different beasts. Whilst United Giggs gave his all for his club, Wales Giggs was seen as blase and uncommitted to his nation. Some number-crunching from BBC Sport showed that, out of Giggs's 64 Dragons caps, just 10 came in friendlies, the player missing another 30 and failing to make a single appearance in a friendly match from 1991 to 2000. And of course, there were questions regarding certain aspects of his private life, which have left a sizeable amount of Wales fans objecting to his appointment on moral grounds. As a result, the #anyonebutgiggs hashtag began trending back in December, but to no avail, because the Football Association of Wales opted for Giggs as manager anyway. Cue a huge backlash regarding his experience, his commitment to Wales, his Welshness and his character. If we're looking at experience, Giggs - with his caretaker tenure at Manchester United - is just one of many Wales managers who have taken the job as novices or with little experience. Indeed, we can go back to the 1970s, when Mike Smith's first managerial job was the Wales national team in 1974. Likewise with Mike England in 1979. Then Mark Hughes in 1999. The Dragons have also appointed managers who may have had just one managerial job beforehand. Terry Yorath had managed Swansea City for just a few years before becoming Wales boss in 1988. Gary Speed was at Sheffield United for a matter of months. In fact, Chris Coleman is one of the more experienced managers to have been given the job, with four years at Fulham and stints at Real Sociedad, Coventry City and AEL - but his appointment wasn't particularly well-received either, given how his stock had fallen following the latter three jobs. So if we're looking at experience, then Giggs shouldn't be discounted for his lack thereof - having a young manager who can grow and develop alongside the team seems to have worked with Coleman. Now, the point about Giggs's commitment to the team. BBC Sport quoted Clayton Blackmore as saying the following: "I need to put something to rest that everybody is going on about, 'he didn't turn up for friendlies'. He didn't have much choice with that. "I was there when Sir Alex told me and Mark Hughes 'yous two can go, but Ryan's not going' because he's got to look after him. He was a young lad and in friendlies you never use him. We were happy with that. We needed him for the big tournament games. "I'm disappointed that we're even arguing about Ryan Giggs, whether fans want him or not. Because the simple fact is he's a man that loves Welsh football. "Of course there's a stigma against him saying he didn't turn up for friendlies, but if I had been a former player in a dressing room and Ryan Giggs hadn't turned up for friendlies, it wouldn't bother me one bit. He's turned up for the most important games." Then there is the issue about his Welshness, but as everybody knows, his captaincy of England at Under-15s level was because he went to school there, having left the Pentrebane area of Cardiff for Manchester at age five as his father moved to play for rugby league side Widnes. The final gripe seems to be about his personal life, and yes, I disapprove of what the various things he's done which have seen him in the front pages of the papers. The reality, however, is that many people in the footballing world have done things which, though not illegal, are definitely immoral, but if they don't infringe on any aspect of their footballing career, then can people - many of whom will also have "sinned" - really take the moral high ground? And if Giggs goes on to have success, will it all be conveniently glossed over? True, the role of Wales manager is that of role model. But I trust that the majority of up-and-coming Welsh youngsters will see him as one of the greatest British players of all time and a legend of the game, a star quality which will spur them on, rather than just have it in the back of their mind that he's an adulterer. In a nutshell, the main things that Ryan Giggs should be judged on are his managerial exploits. Wales have struck gold with several managers in the past, so I trust the new man at the helm should be given a chance to impress. Share your thoughts about this opinion article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  3. New Wales manager Ryan Giggs has pledged to use his fitness expertise to help improve Gareth Bale's injury record. The Real Madrid attacker has suffered 18 separate muscular problems since signing for the Spanish giants for a then world record deal five years ago. The 28-year-old has made just seven La Liga starts and also missed Wales' final two World Cup Qualifiers as they missed out on this summer's finals in Russia. Giggs, who turned to yoga as he prolonged his career at Manchester United beyond his 40th birthday, told reporters: "It's about passing on your knowledge that you experienced as a player. "I've got plenty of that obviously - the different things you will come up against. "So that might be a conversation because everyone wants a fit Gareth Bale, and everyone wants a fit Welsh national team so you have your best players to pick from." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  4. Wales have announced the appointment of Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs as their new manager on a four-year contract. The 44-year-old will be taking on his first major managerial role, his only experience so far having come in a four-game stint in interim charge of United after David Moyes was sacked. Giggs, capped 64 times by Wales in his 24-year professional career, takes over from Chris Coleman, who left the role in November to take over as manager of Championship side Sunderland. The former winger told reporters: "I am so proud to have been given the honour of managing the national team. "The challenges that we have ahead of us with the Nations League and qualification for Euro 2020 excite me a great deal. "I can't wait to start working with the players as we prepare for those crucial games later in the year. "I know that the criticism is going to come and the way to combat that is to win games and give it my all, which I'll do. "I'm just itching to get back into football, because that's where I feel comfortable, that's where I belong. "So many times it's been said that a good career as a player doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be a good manager. But I think that's down to the individual. "I'll do exactly what I did when I was a player - be professional, give it my all and enjoy it." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  5. Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has paid tribute to Gareth Barry after the West Bromwich Albion midfielder claimed the outright record for Premier League appearances. Barry made his 633rd league appearance in the 2-0 defeat at Arsenal on Monday night, surpassing the previous record set by the evergreen Welshman. The Hastings-born midfielder has enjoyed a fruitful 21-season career which has seen him feature for Aston Villa, Manchester City and Everton ahead of his summer switch to The Hawthorns. "Hi Gareth, massive congratulations on beating my Premier League appearance record," Giggs is quoted by Sky Sports News as saying "It's a huge feat. "I know that you're a professional lad and to play that many games at the top level is a massive achievement. So well done mate, and hopefully there's many more games to come." Barry said after the game: "It was something different this week, having a lot of media attention. It will be nice to put this milestone to bed. "I've not really given it too much thought about who is behind me. There is so much concentration on what you are doing." Share your thoughts about this news story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  6. Growing up watching football in the early 1990s, I witnessed the game develop at a very fast pace. In the early years of the game it wasn’t as technical as it is now, literally anyone could beat anyone and the top teams weren't that far apart in terms of natural talent. This all changed with the inclusion of more foreign-based players who introduced flair to the English game. Yet despite all this, I really miss some of the players of what I consider to be the golden generation of the Premier League. Yes, it’s not lost its star power or entertaining footballers but the elite league in England is missing 10 stars from the 90’s who instantly impacted life within the division. Here is who and why! Paulo Wanchope – Derby County 1997 was a good year for football, especially in the Premier League. Derby County had successfully gained promotion under Jim ‘The Bald Eagle’ Smith and they would have been likely considered to be one of the whipping boys of the division back then. However, due to the Costa Rican striker they had signed, they put together some of the most impressive performances of the season, one of which includes the surprise victory over Manchester United. Gianfranco Zola – Chelsea The small Italian is much like the majority on my list, yet as a youngster he had something that the majority didn’t have and that is a true passion to score the most amazing goals – something you could see in his facial expressions after scoring, almost pure joy! Very quick footed, the ability to lose a target man with a drop of the shoulder and of course his direct game against much taller opposition – Zola was a remarkable player for Chelsea. Ryan Giggs – Manchester United There won’t be another Welsh player like Ryan Giggs, the man could literally do everything. Yet the majority of my memories come from his amazing ability to run past his opposition – dribbling the ball almost like it was glued to his feet and very much in style of the United way. A player whose floating crosses just asked for a team-mate to convert them and a midfielder who could have lead the line as a successful striker if needed. Paul Gascoigne – Tottenham Hotspur I was quite young when Gazza played for Spurs, however he left a lasting effect on me. His dribbling and ability to use close footwork to outskill an opposition wasn’t at all like what many English players could do. His persona and goals largely made a huge impact in the Premier League and he’s certainly missed in the modern game. Fabrizio Ravanelli – Middlesbrough/Derby County Fabrizio Ravanelli and Juninho made a very compelling pair to watch. They made a weak Middlesbrough enjoyable and work well to make it hard for the opposition. Yet Ravanelli made a much larger impact for me. His silky skills and deadly finishing made him stand out for both Boro and County. Ian Wright – Arsenal Growing up I was a huge fan of Arsenal. Ian Wright was a class act on goal and someone I personally feel should have played more times for England. The striker just oozed confidence and much like Gianfranco Zola, Wrighty had a true passion for the game – he was literally like a school boy playing football. His ability to combine his natural pace with the ability to shoot, really allowed him to become one of the best English striker ever to grace the Premier League. David Ginola – Tottenham Hotspur/Newcastle United I preferred Ginola at Spurs, however he linked up very well during his time with Newcastle. The man knew how to attack on the wing, turning quick breaks into something amazing to watch – whilst his ability to cross the ball was simply amazing. He’s the type of player who didn’t have to do too much in order to stand out, just the composure and eye for goal made him a true legend of the Premier League. Eric Cantona – Manchester United I never liked Eric growing up, his arrogance and attitude just really frustrated me. I also strongly believed he was quite idle in terms of showing his true ability, now I know most United fans probably won’t agree with this. Yet he had that coolness that instantly changed a game and you could always tell when he was going to do something magical with the ball. Alan Shearer – Blackburn Rovers/Newcastle United For me he’s one of the greatest all time strikers of the Premier League and for England, Harry Kane isn’t a patch of Shearer’s talent. In 1994, he was Blackburn’s key signing and partnered well with whoever stood along side him. He was a player who simply just knew how to score no matter what. Dennis Bergkamp – Arsenal The Premier League greatly lacks a tactician of ‘The Flying Dutchman’s’ quality. He could be the player who singly pin points the perfect pass, or he could turn and attack with his direct approach. Match of the Day in the mid to late 90s was always enjoyable to watch when Dennis was on - he was magnificent on the ball. Share your thoughts about this feature article on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the chat with fellow football fans.
  7. Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs and Wales boss Chris Coleman are said to be the leading candidates for the vacant Swansea City job. Previous incumbent Bob Bradley was sacked on Tuesday after just 85 days in charge, with the Swans 19th in the Premier League. Rene Meulensteen, Manchester United's former first team coach, believes that Giggs would be well suited to Swansea. "I don't agree with Ryan not having management [experience]. He's got his apprenticeship in his time as an assistant manager at Manchester United," the Dutchman told BBC Sport. "Is it the right time for him? He has to start somewhere. And in many ways when he was linked with Swansea [in October], I thought it would be a really good club for him. "The club needs to sort itself out now because it's lost its stability and continuity it's had over the last five or six years." Bradley's successor is not expected to take charge before their Premier League match at home to Bournemouth on New Year's Eve. Former Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson, ex-Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew and ex-Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett are also said to be in the frame for the job. Share your thoughts about this story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the conversation.
  8. Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has confessed that he wanted Liverpool to win the Europa League last season - but only because it would have made them busier this time round. The Reds made it to the 2016 final but ended up losing 3-1 to Sevilla in Basel. Because they finished eighth in the Premier League, a Europa League victory would have seen them qualify for the Champions League. Giggs admits to being fearful that United's arch rivals could go all the way in the league this time around as a result of their reduced workload, and they are among the top teams in the table. "This might sound strange but watching the Europa League final in May, I found myself wanting Jurgen Klopp's team to win - although not because I enjoy watching Liverpool parade a trophy," he told The Telegraph. "Quite the opposite: I was thinking months ahead to the implications European football, or the absence of it, would have on their league form this season. "I am a Manchester United fan, and I was so long before I played for the club. I grew up in Salford when, 33 miles down the road, Liverpool had the best team in England, and often Europe. "During that final against Sevilla, it occurred to me that if Liverpool had this season without the draining effect of European football, and had recruited well in the summer, then they would have a real chance of challenging for the Premier League. "With a year at the club, Klopp would be better suited to the demands of the English game, his players would be well adapted to his way of playing and they would have no mid-week distraction from the task at the weekend." Share your thoughts about this story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the conversation.
  9. Ryan Giggs has slammed Manchester United's players for 'swapping shirts and laughing' following their 4-0 hammering by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. The Red Devils conceded after just 30 seconds when Pedro struck and things went downhill from there, culminating in the humiliating defeat for ex-Blues manager Jose Mourinho's new side. After the final whistle, a handful of United's players, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David de Gea, could be seen smiling and joking with their opponents. Giggs watched the game from the Premier League's official studio and was not impressed with the post-match events. "You can get beat in a football match, but then when you're getting beat and you're swapping shirts, which is something I don't like, call me old fashioned," The Independent quotes Giggs as saying. "If you get beat 4-0, you congratulate the opposition, you thank the supporters and then you get off the pitch. You don't stand around on the pitch, swapping shirts and laughing, with the team that's just beat you." United are seventh in the Premier League table, six points behind Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool, whom occupy the top three spots. Share your thoughts about this story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the conversation.
  10. Ryan Giggs has confirmed that he held talks with Swansea City about the manager's role before Bob Bradley replaced Francesco Guidolin. The Manchester United and Wales legend says he met with the Swans, but said the club's ambition did not match his. "I was enjoying a bit of travelling and I got a call off Swansea and I met them a couple of times," he told ITV Sport. "But in the end it was just mixed messages really from the football side and the ownership side of the club and I felt their ambitions didn't really match mine so it didn't quite work out." Giggs was interim manager at Old Trafford and was assistant to Louis van Gaal before parting company with the club after a 29-year association following the appointment of Jose Mourinho as manager. Share your thoughts about this story on Football Manics by signing up for FREE to the website, visiting the forum and joining the conversation.
  11. Ryan Giggs is a man who needs no introduction – his accolades and achievements speak for themselves. Put simply, he is the most decorated player in football history. During his time at Manchester United, he won 13 Premier League winner's medals, four FA Cup winner's medals, three League Cup winner's medals, two UEFA Champions League winner's medals, a FIFA Club World Cup winners medal, an Intercontinental Cup winner's medal, a UEFA Super Cup winner's medal and nine FA Community Shield winner's medals. Earlier this month, however, the Welshman’s 29-year association with the Red Devils came to an end as new manager Jose Mourinho decided to replace Giggs, assistant manager at Old Trafford, with long-time associate Rui Faria. Welsh born-and-bred, Giggs first played for Manchester City but was duly snapped up by the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson at the age of 15. From there, the winger made over 672 appearances for the Red Devils and scored 114 goals in a professional career spanning nearly a quarter of a century. He also won 64 caps for Wales and captained Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics in London. It was a sad day when he announced he was hanging up his boots at the end of the 2013-14 season, but he remained with the club as he had decided to carve out a career in coaching, which began a year earlier when David Moyes had appointed him as player-coach. When Moyes was sacked on 22 April 2014, after less than 10 months in the job, Giggs took over as the club's interim player-manager, earning himself a record of two wins, a draw and a defeat in the final four games of the season, and after Louis van Gaal was appointed, the Welshman – who turned down an approach from Swansea City – was promoted to assistant manager. Despite many predicting that Giggs would soon clinch the holy grail of Man Utd manager, particularly after Van Gaal was fired, it wasn’t to be as early as 2016 as Mourinho was appointed instead. Now Giggs is at a crossroads in his life as he has decided to leave the club that has had him under its wing for nearly 30 years as he reportedly declined a different job role under Mourinho. Currently not tied to any club, speculation has raged as the likes of Nottingham Forest and Hull City have been linked with Giggs, but as of Sunday 24 July he is still not in any managerial or coaching job. However, in typical Giggs fashion, he has kept himself busy on the pitch and has yet another piece of silverware to his name – the inaugural Premier Futsal League title, which he won with Mumbai as a marquee player. One thing is for sure – Ryan Giggs will always be the beloved number 11 of the Devils that tore teams apart from 1991 up until 2014, and where he will spend the 30th year of a remarkable footballing career remains to be seen, but everyone interested in the beautiful game will be eagerly awaiting his next move.
  12. Former Manchester United winger and assistant manager Ryan Giggs has emerged as one of the favourites to take over the vacant Hull City job. The 42-year-old recently called time on his 29-year stay at Old Trafford after new boss Jose Mourinho opted to bring in long-time colleague Rui Faria as his assistant. Sky Sports News has put the Welshman at 4/1 alongside Tigers assistant manager Mike Phelan to take over the reins at the KC Stadium after Bruce departed the role on Friday. Former Man Utd star Bruce, who held talks with Football Association over the vacant England manager's job earlier this month, has left the club amid a reported takeover bid which has supposedly restricted transfer activity, leaving them with only 13 fit outfield players. The Humberside outfit has been promoted back to the Premier League this season, under Bruce's watch.
  13. Ryan Giggs, Ronaldinho and Hernan Crespo will join Paul Scholes and Michel Salgado in the inaugural Premier Futsal tournament in India this month. Brazilian futsal star Falcao - a late replacement for the injured Deco - will also take part as star players when the inaugural six-team competition commences on July 15. The six franchises at Premier Futsal, which is not registered with the Indian federation or FIFA, will each feature one of the marquee stars. The franchises - Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, Goa, Bengaluru and Kochi - will be divided into two groups as they battle it out to reach the finals in Goa on July 23 and 24. Premier Futsal co-founder Nithyashree Subban said: "Amidst all the false allegations and attempts to tarnish the image of Premier Futsal, we are proud to kick-start our inaugural edition as scheduled on July 15 here in Chennai. "It was a strategic decision to host the league in just two cities, Chennai and Goa, and with six franchises. We have managed to secure signatures of players who are the legends of the game and will be seen playing in India in a few days. "As Premier Futsal Management, we are committed to grow Futsal here in India and we will expand the league to other cities in the future editions."
  14. Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson believes that the time is right for Ryan Giggs to leave Old Trafford, saying that he has the "steel" to succeed in management. The 42-year-old ended a 29-year stay at United after new boss Jose Mourinho decided not to retain him on his staff, opting instead for longtime associate Rui Faria. Ferguson, who nurtured Giggs throughout his career at the Red Devils, told BBC Sport: "It is time Ryan stood on his own feet, got out there and accepted the challenge. "I talk about his poker face. He has a bit of steel about him. It is such a highly intense results industry, you need people who go into it to have a bit of steel about them, a bit of character and personality. "I think he is ready to manage and he has a lot of quality. He doesn't want to spoil that quality by going to a club where it is sacking a manager every two minutes." Ferguson and Giggs shared 13 Premier League title successes, two Champions League wins, four FA Cup triumphs and four League Cup successes during their time at Man Utd.
  15. Manchester United have confirmed that assistant manager Ryan Giggs has left the club, ending his 29-year association with the Old Trafford club. The 42-year-old made a record 963 appearances for the Red Devils, winning 13 league titles, two European Cups, four FA Cups and four League Cups before retiring in 2014. Giggs, who gained his UEFA Pro Licence in the same year, then served as assistant to managers David Moyes and Louis van Gaal following Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement. "The time feels right and, although I have no immediate plans to step into management, it is where I want to be," Giggs said in a statement on the Man Utd website. "It's time for a new chapter and a new challenge. I'm excited about the future - I've had the best apprenticeship into management anyone could ever ask for." Giggs's role now seems likely to be taken by Rui Faria, long-time friend of recently-appointed manager Jose Mourinho.
  16. It is understood that Ryan Giggs is on the verge of ending his 29-year association with Manchester United. The Welshman is reportedly close to rejecting an offer of a coaching role within Jose Mourinho's backroom team, however after much deliberation over his future it appears Giggs will reject a deal to work under Jose Mourinho. Giggs enjoyed a stint as the clubs assistant manager under David Moyes and Van Gaal spanning three seasons, but Mourinho's long-standing right-hand man Rui Faria is due to take that position. Reporters have suggested that Giggs has been offered a coaching role in Mourinho's training team, but according to the Daily Mail, the 42-year-old has rejected the offer. The former midfielder won 35 trophies during a 24-year senior playing career at the Red Devils, but is believed to unhappy with the clubs conduct in recent years - with the general belief that United have gone back on their promise to give him the manager's job. Reports also suggest that Giggs has not yet spoken directly to Mourinho, who arrived on a three-year deal in May, five months after getting sacked by Chelsea.

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