I got home just in time for the Manchester United/Newcastle match. It's become an annual thing for my dad and me. He's a Manchester United fan from birth you could say. My Great Grand dad was in the army and was stationed in England for a time. He also had family that lived in the area, which was another reason for becoming a fan of United. He became a fan and as loyal to United as anybody. He passed his love for United along to his children and they passed it along to theirs. So when I came along there was really no choice. I was going to be a United fan.
One of my earliest memories is watching a match on Saturday mornings. If United was playing, there was no chance of watching cartoons until the match was over. And the one thing that has always stood out to me is for as long as I can remember; there have been a few constants in the team. Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, Maybe it’s that they are arguably a couple of the greats to play the game. Maybe it’s because they love United as much as any fan and have never thought about leaving. I don’t know why but it seems that players that show they want to play at United and are willing to play not for themselves but for the club, will usually play most of their career there. At this point in their careers, there are better (or as good as), younger players who could play week after week without having to be rested. But Scholes and Giggs are United standards. They are total United. And they are irreplaceable. Even at their ages, they still have the quality to play for the biggest club in the world. They still have the drive to play. I know that one day they will be gone but for now, it’s a privilege to be able to see them play.
Today Scholes showed why he is still such an important fixture in the United midfield in the 3/0 defeat of Newcastle. His passing was incredible and his movement was great. He controlled the game from the start. He even made a couple of tackles (bad ones of course), but that is who he is. Of all the professional players, he is to me the least vain person. He plays for his teammates, his club, his fans, and his family. Sure he plays because he loves it but I think that for him to have lasted as long as he has, you have to have something more than personal achievements to play for.
The goal scored by Giggs will be a highlight reel shot that was set up by Scholes. He was a substitute15+ minutes into the second half of the match. But he was instantly involved and creative as only he can be. At 36, he is as graceful as a dancer. The ball seems like it’s glued to his foot. And he doesn’t have the quickness he once had, but he still can take on defenders and can dribble with the best in the world.
My dad has always liked these 2 players and has constantly told me about things he saw them do before I was born or before I can remember seeing them play. But his favorite player is always going to be Roy Keene.
For me, I have 4 favorite players. The only one that isn’t a United player is Kaka. Kaka is so graceful and creative. Watching him play is like hearing a great song for the first time or like seeing an incredibility beautiful woman walking by.
Scholes is more like me. He’s just working class. He does what he does best and doesn’t try to do the things that he doesn’t do that well. You will never see him doing a bunch of step overs, or back heels. He’s straightforward and honest.
Giggs, like Kaka, is so graceful with the ball. His movement off the ball is great. He’s always available for a pass and willing to set up team mates for a score even if he has a chance to score. He’s honest and hard working, and a great example of what a member of Manchester United should be like.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the other of my favorite players. The Baby-Faced Assassin. He was the scorer off the bench for most of his career. He had an incredible way of scoring big goals for United and also was very good at setting up teammates for scores in big situations. He never had the ego to bitch about playing time. He just played when he was told to play. He always played hard and with passion. It was just fun to watch him play.
But my main two most favorite players are Scholes and Giggs. And I wonder if there will ever be two 14 year old kids that sign with a club, play for the next 20+ years, be apart of so many championships (Scholes with 9 PL titles so far and Giggs with 11 PL titles so far), and retire while never playing professionally for another club. To me, that is something that will probably never happen again. But I am glad that I have been able to see these two legends play and truly play great. Some day I hope I will be able to say to my kids, that I saw them play.