Mumbai, Sept 15 (PTI): Backing his former club to the hilt, Ryan Giggs said here that he expected a close fight for the coveted title between his old club, Manchester United, and Manchester City in this year’s English Premier League.
“This season will be decided between Manchester United and Manchester City because of the recruitment. It’s also (City manager) (Pep) Guardiola’s and (United manager) (Jose) Mourinho’s second season. They have the best squads. City have very good attacking players, probably best in the league, but United’s squad is the best,” the ManU legend told reporters on Friday. “They got the best squad in the league, in Europe and to handle injuries and suspensions.
The other clubs – Tottenham, now playing their home games at Wembley, I thought it would be a problem. Chelsea (is) not recruiting like City or United. “Liverpool also – I don’t think they’ve got the goalkeeper or defenders to win the Premier League. I could be wrong, it’s tough to predict,” said the 43-yer-old former Welshman, who had turned out for ManU for close to a quarter century until his total retirement in the game. Giggs is in the city to lead the Krystal Mumbai Warriors in the second season of the Premier Futsal, commencing here tonight.
The former Wales star also defended Englishman Wayne Rooney’s decision to quit international football and also welcomed his move to his former club, Everton. “It’s always difficult when you retire from international football. You have to look at everything because playing for your country is important. He wanted to move to a new club and give his all there. He hadn’t become an automatic choice for England.
When you play for 15-20 years with a big club and then you play in the Champions League, internationals, you literally don’t get any rest,” he said. “I retired at 33 from international football and then I played for another seven years. So for me, it was a massive thing because during that international break, you get a little rest and a little time to recuperate and recharge the batteries. It was huge for me and hopefully, it will be the same for Wayne,” he said. Giggs also termed ManU’s decision to appoint Mourinho as a difficult one but said the club went for someone who was proven. “It was a difficult decision after Louis Van Gaal left. Do they get a young coach and give him three or four years to build or do they get someone who has over the years guaranteed success and get them back to the top quickly. So they went for someone who is proven, who comes with a baggage also of not lasting long, is very outspoken, but gets the job done.
“I could see both sides of the argument. United used to having coaches like (Sir Alex) Fergusson who believes in young players and believes in United’s philosophy of attacking football or you have someone like Mourinho who is more pragmatic, but there are also downfalls with the way he works,” he added. Asked that United fans hoped that he would get the job of the Club’s manager, Giggs said, “Yes, I felt I was ready for the job. I know the club and the traditions, so there were phases, but I also didn’t have the experience in coaching before.” Does he see himself return to the Old Trafford as a manager, and Giggs quips “who knows.” “I don’t think so, but who knows. After Mourhino, depending on how long he lasts and if he is successful, so all these things will determine who the next appointment is,” he said.