No Obvious Choice for Footballer Of The Year? Then Give It To Ryan Giggs
By this time last season Christiano Ronaldo had become a shoe-in for Footballer of the Year and in most years a prime candidate emerges- but not so far in 2008/09 and it's causing a lot of press speculation.
Rather than cast around for a recipient who has had a good campaign but not an outstanding one, why not put right a staggering omission and vote for the player who has produced sustained excellence across the whole Premiership era.
It's difficult to believe that David Ginola was honoured in 1999 (the year when Giggs was part of Manchester United's historic treble) and Giggs has never won it. Ginola was also selected by the Player's for their award in 1999 which just shows it isn't just journalists who get it wrong.
The PFA have also failed to select the Welshman even though they have chosen performers like his club colleague Gary Pallister and Les Ferdinand of Newcastle- excellent players both but not in the Giggs class.
Why no award for the Premiership's most decorated individual? It must have something to do with his self-efffacing nature; Giggs has never looked for publicity, nor does he go about his business in a flamboyant way.
As a consequence, he has always harnassed his genius to the team ethic. His brilliance has been there to see but so have all the mundane habits that make a team function. And of course he isn't a prolific scorer and strikers tend to have all the advantages in this type of poll.
The consistency that Sir Alex Ferguson so admires meant that press and public took him for granted. Giggs has no one momentous season to be judged on because by and large, he's been superb throughout his career.
It's perhaps more surprising that his fellow professionals didn't decide to honour him at least once but media and players can put it right this term. The 400 or so journalists who vote for the Writer's Award could get heads together and write him in.
It probably won't happen but it would close a major gap in the history of the award- plus, there is a pragmatic reason for doing it as it would help relations with the prickly Ferguson.
The Scot's opinion of football writers is never that high but he was particurlary incredulous about the decision to vote for Ginola in United's Treble season. Normally he's full of Old Trafford bias but on this occasion he was surely right and a lot of fans around the country wouldn't begrudge Ryan Giggs his moment.