Ryan Giggs Responds to Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Red Devils Class of 92 Comments

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistMarch 19, 2019

BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 19: Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Manchester look on during the warm-up ahead of during the Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round match between Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United at Ewood Park on February 19, 2017 in Blackburn, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

Ryan Giggs has said Manchester United's famed Class of 92 are allowed to state their views after criticism from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

According to Zinny Boswell of Sky Sports, the Wales manager responded on Tuesday after Ibrahimovic said the former Red Devils players have been too critical of Paul Pogba and the current United squad.

Ibrahimovic called the club legends "the circle of [Sir Alex] Ferguson," and said United must now distance themselves from the history of the iconic former manager.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01:  Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and David Beckham attend the World premiere of 'The Class of 92' at Odeon West End on December 1, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Image
Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

However, Giggs said his former colleagues and friends still support the club, and jokingly commented Ibrahimovic knows more about United than them:

"When you play over 2,000 games for Manchester United between us, we can have an opinion. Sometimes positive, sometimes negative, but I don't think that has any bearings on results. We are supporters of the club, together with other ex-players who are on TV or on radio. That's what football is about, having different opinions. But obviously he [Ibrahimovic] knows more about the club than us."

Giggs was part of the academy collective under Ferguson which saw a number of players rise through the ranks at United during 1992 and beyond, including David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville. Current United academy boss Nicky Butt and England women's manager Phil Neville were also part of the star-studded youth team.

Giggs and Scholes have worked as pundits for a number of years, and Gary Neville is one of Sky Sports' senior commentators.

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 06: Sir Alex Ferguson next to Manchester United chief-executive Ed Woodward ahead of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United at Parc des Princes on March 06, 2019 in Pa
Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Ibrahimovic told the Mirror's Andy Dunn the Red Devils must look to the future and not to the past.

"Everything that happens is judged by the era of Ferguson. They are saying if Ferguson was here, this would not happen, Ferguson would not do it like that. Ferguson would do it like this. Everything was Ferguson. If it was me, I would say I don’t have Ferguson any more. And I come here and I want to make my own history, I want to make my own story. So I do not want to hear what happened before. I want to do it in the present. You come in with a new mentality. Ferguson has his place in history at this club but now the club continues. It has to find its own identity and it is difficult."

The Swede added the Class of 92 did not respect Pogba for leaving United for Juventus in 2012 before returning to Old Trafford under former coach Jose Mourinho.

"With Pogba, he was with United when he was young, then he went out and he came back. And in the circle of Ferguson, they don't like that. Because they stayed all their life under Ferguson and they never moved from Ferguson. And they didn't even talk if Ferguson didn't tell them to open their mouth. So now if they are talking, I don't know whether Ferguson gave them permission or not."

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - MAY 24: Paul Pogba of Manchester United with the trophy during the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United  at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Getty Images)
Nils Petter Nilsson/Getty Images

The signings of Ibrahimovic and Pogba in 2016 were expected to usher a fresh period of title-challenging football for United, but Mourinho failed to find consistency during his two-year tenure.

United captured the EFL Cup and UEFA Europa League in the pair's first year at Old Trafford, but the team's declining league form saw Mourinho dismissed last December.

Pogba's performances have been erratic for the past 18 months, but the installation of interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has seen the Frenchman play his best football for the team, scoring 13 goals and providing 10 assists in the Premier League and UEFA Champions League this season.

United are back in the hunt for the top four in the league, but the club's long-term future will remain in doubt until the Glazer family appoint a permanent coach in the summer. 

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