Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Giggs - boo or cheer?

The news that Ryan Giggs is to retire after Saturday's game against the Czech Republic has left me reeling. My first reaction is one of panic, disappointment, and even mortality. That young lad who was scoring free kicks against Belgium in the early nineties is to stop playing for us. How can this be? Does everything have to stop? It seems so.

The decision is another kick in the teeth for Wales. We need to know why so many of our best players feel that they can't be bothered to turn out for Wales, something the rest of us would sell our Grandmothers for. Let's just look at the team we could put out on Saturday.

Coyne; Delaney, Bale, Collins, Gabbidon, Speed, Savage, Giggs, Davies, Bellamy, Earnshaw.

I wouldn't mind backing that team, but in crucial areas, we have players missing that we just can't afford. And they're missing out of choice. Take Giggs out of that lineup and things look really depressing.

Even when we have been really poor and seemingly hopeless, the presence of Giggs on the field has been reassuring, some cause for optimism. And let's face it. Giggs' presence has doubled crowds over the past ten years. we can all complain about the kids blowing their hooters, but we'll soon find out that life without the Giggs fans is even worse.

What irks me is that Giggs apparently made his decision to retire after the game in Dublin, a game in which he was totally ineffectual, and played far below his club standards. This is something we've become used to, but nevertheless if he had played half decently, he wouldn't be retiring now.

He had many detractors amongst Welsh fans, some of whom wanted him dropped due to his paltry total of friendly appearances. Well they're going to get their chance to experience life without him, and it isn't going to be pretty.

More immediately, I'm not sure what my reaction will be on Saturday. Do I applaud and respect the best footballer that we've had since Billy Meredith? Or do I boo a man that is undoubtedly letting us down?

Welsh football is at a low already, and it's going to get a lot, lot lower. Who will be the next rat to desert the sinking ship?


Anonymous said...

"Who will be the next rat to desert the sinking ship?"


Americanwr said...

I agree 100% with this post. As a Wales (and Man U) fan I have great admiration for Giggsy and he's undoubtedly made a great contribution to Wales over many years. But there's little doubt in my mind that he could have done more and that his decision to leave at this point in his career shows that those who've questioned his commitment to Wales have been justified.

So I think I'll be cheering him out of respect for his talents and the fact that, even at 75%, he's been a credit to Wales for so long. But a part of me will be wondering, "what if...".

Livzy said...

Giggs would undoubtedly have had well over 120 caps had he played any friendlies before his first (was it 2005?)and thats nearly 15 years into his professional career.

however all I can say is that Giggs is one of the greatest sproting talents to come out of Wales in my generation.

his ability, professionalism, clean living, dedication, attitude and achievements must surely inspire every left footed Welsh player from Eric's under 7's all the way through to yer Gareth Bales.

I know for a certain fact that Giggs has exactly that effect on my oown son. Born in england he may be but the sight of Ryan Giggs, Ryan Giggs flying down the wing gets him out of bed that little bit earlier and training that little bit harder and dreaming of glory that little bit more.