Before the Tuesday night defeat to Real Madrid, Manchester United were on course for a historic treble. The season so far has brought memories of great teams of United past, sentiments, which were further provoked by Sir Alex’s repeated claims that the current crop of players is one of his best ever.
Are there any players in the current United side who have exerted an influence similar to that of Eric Cantona on the Man Utd side which dominated the 90s, or the Keane effect of United’s treble winning side, or can we even look at a player whose impact can be likened to that of Cristiano Ronaldo during his 42 goal season haul in the 2007/08 season?
Has Robin Van Persie’s 23 goals won him the title of United’s MVP? Or has the emergence of Jonny Evans, and fellow defensive youngsters, as a key first team player for both the present and future put him in the frame for being voted Man United’s player of the season? Is Rooney still the main man of United? Is Ryan Giggs proving to be as evergreen and as effective as ever? Can Carrick make his case for MVP?
What follows is an assessment of the five most important players this season for United, and who is ultimately the MVP…
5. Ryan Giggs
It’s hard to believe that the Welsh wizard is cruising into his 40th year of professional football, as his form in recent weeks has really thrown all the record books out the window. How has this 39 year old kept up against, and often outplayed, current EPL players?
His fitness is to be admired and respected, his influence on the United squad is never to be underestimated and his level of play on the field remains at an all-time high. I think it’s safe to say that we will be seeing Giggsy sporting the red of Manchester United for a few years yet. But is this season worthy of being seen as an MVP one for the Welshman?
His performance against Madrid on Tuesday night was one that defied footballing logic. Up until Nani’s, in my opinion, unfair dismissal around the hour mark Giggs’ work down the right hand side with Rafael minimized the Ronaldo effect. He never stopped running, and even after we went down to ten men he was leading the charge and not taking any defeat lying down. In a game blighted by controversy I fear that this magnificent footballing performance may go under the radar and be forgotten, but if any positives were to be taken out of that game then it’s the performance of United’s legendary number ‘11’.
MVP Score: 8.8/10
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This article was first posted on March 7, 2013