I feel it necessary to write to you about my behaviour this season as it’s been bothering me somewhat ever since we played Chelsea in the Capital One Cup. That night as I stood in the United end at Stamford Bridge it dawned on me that not only were Chelsea fans amongst the most boring in the country and that “Champions of Europe, we know what we are” chant needs burying under the patio, but also that you far from being ‘past it’ were actually still a superb footballer with plenty to offer our great club.
I’m ashamed to admit that somehow during the early part of the season, despite knowing full well that you’d won every trophy in the game, had played more times for United than anyone else and scored arguably our greatest ever goal, I questioned whether you still deserved to be in the starting eleven. I wasn’t alone, I saw the reaction when you started the game against Spurs, some of the comments following our abject performance at Anfield – despite a win-seemed to focus totally on you. Did I defend you? Did I say, “class is permanent, form is temporary? No. I simply shrugged and went along with the status quo, agreeing like a lemming following the crowd to certain doom that this should be your last season.
I’d like to say my idiocy ended there, but no it didn’t, against Norwich I somehow failed to see the lunacy in blaming a poor team performance on your selection, agreeing with people who said “Giggs should not be starting.” I’m ashamed to admit it my short-sightedness, or even shorter memory, went further as after an awful first half against Newcastle at Old Trafford in the Premier League as I retuned to my seat for the second half I commented “I’m surprised he’s not subbed Giggs,” What happened? I’ll remind you in case that stellar performance has faded into the countless others you’ve produced for our club over the decades, you tore Newcastle apart, rolling back the years and dominating them in such a way that at one point I felt like I’d had a flashback to some time in the early to mid-nineties.
Since that game against Newcastle we’ve seen you produce the ball of the season in the FA Cup at Upton Park, talking of which I’ll never forget standing in that ground a few seasons ago, as the snow began to fall watching the most successful player in the history of British football chasing loose balls in the 93rd minute as United trailed 4-0 in the League Cup. You’ve been my man of the match against Fulham in the cup, Everton in the Premier League and maintained your record of scoring in every season since Coronation Street began.
The question is why did I ever doubt you? Why did I somehow convince myself that not only were you heading towards retirement but also you could no longer play on the wing? I was wrong on both counts and the fact I wasn’t alone doesn’t make it any less embarrassing.
All I can say is I’m sorry Ryan, I’m sorry I ever doubted you or questioned whether you should still be a part of this great side and please, please, please don’t let this season be your last.