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Relyin' on Ryan

Robbo Robson | 16:06 UK time, Monday, 27 April 2009

So if you were a professional footballer would you have voted for Giggsy as player of the season? Nah. Any right thinking person would've plumped for Gerrard or Vidic.

But the PFA award is always an odd one.

First of all the pros cast their votes in February, which is really a bit ridiculous considering the nub of the season hasn't arrived yet. If you ask petrol-heads who the best driver of the F1 season is, they'll tell you Jenson Button. Might not be by the end of the year though, eh? (Not that I could give a fig about all that vroom vroom capering... Give it five years and I think they can get shot of the drivers altogether and we'll just have Ross Brawn and Flavio Briatore with little remote control gizmos in their hands. Life-sized Scalextric, in other words.)

Ryan Giggs

The other thing about the PFA Award is that the opinion of critics and journos has nowt to do with it. Personally I think this is less a Player of the Year Award and more a lifetime achievement gong for Giggs. (Much like the BAFTA French and Saunders got though, personally, on the comedy stakes, even Giggsy pips them lasses). Paul Scholes would be in the running too were it not for the fact when you play against him you're occasionally the victim of a 'challenge' akin to being assaulted by a maniacal ginger squid.

At 35 a mazy left-winger should be developing a beer-belly in his posh bar in Ayia Napa not cruising around the midfield picking out passes and scoring vital goals (all right, make that goal, singular).

But allied to Ryan's enduring ability are the things he's not doing. He's not marrying girl band divas and mouthing obscenities at the boys in blue. He's not getting into little fracas in lounge bars at half-three in the morning. He's not phoning up knee-jerk shock-jocks to defend himself - although thumbs up to Lamps for that. Can't say I'm a great one for checking me facts meself but as far as Lampard's private arrangements are concerned that's his business and some opinionated no-mark shouldn't be using the contents of some column-filling claptrap to give his listeners something to blab on about.

Mind you, Ryan's not rising to the bait of some no-mark numpties on some East End terraces either - and while I have a lot of sympathy for Frank and Terry it's best to let your feet rather than your victorious fists do the talking when you're on a football field.

Also, you don't see Giggsy plummeting to the turf like a poster boy for the movie Platoon either.

In other words, Giggs just gets on with it and keeps his head down. And if his fellow pros think that's worth a great deal then that's a pretty good indication that the vast majority of footballers in this country respect a decent and top quality player.

And while we are on the subject of good behaviour I think it's only fair to commend Mr Redknapp for his pretty restrained post-match interview on Saturday. I was expecting an absolute tirade against the Well Wide Webb but 'Arry, whilst being very clear that the ref had a 'mare, didn't slag the bloke off personally. It was the worst decision since 'we wuz Rob-bed' Styles penalised JLloyd Samuel for having the audacity to challenge El Tumblero da Gello in the box in September. I'm not sure why Carrick thought it okay to appeal to the ref after Gomes saved well at his feet but nevertheless it wasn't a difficult decision... I mean How 'ard can it be?

Furthermore 'Arry was quick to point out that his team were blinking hopeless after that and surely that's more important. Yes the penalty kick changed the game but Spurs were still 2-1 up. Their defence crumbled like the last Weetabix in the packet and while the keeper was brilliant in the first half it was Heurelho Gormless revisited in the second.
And United keep doing this at the mo - home to Villa, away to Sunderland, home to Spurs... they keep looking like they've lost it and then they pull it out. It's like watching Norman Wisdom carrying a Ming vase down a slippery flight of stairs at the mo. Except it's far better entertainment.

And I don't think Liverpool fans should entirely give up hope. I mean look where United's next game is, eh? The Riverside! We'll be bussing in the discarded turf from Wembley in the hope that a squeaky-bummed Fergie'll play the best 14-year olds he can find.

Liverpool will win their last four games so after defeat at the Boro where else can United throw it away?

Well, I expect the upcoming controversial refereeing decision at Old Trafford this Wednesday will inspire Arsenal to some sort of revenge on 16 May. Arshavin's 6-goal salvo could put things right back into the melting pot, don't you think?

It's fantasy, surely, but we're beginning to put our faith in magic down at the Blue Bell.

The pall of gloom has lifted. There's nowt to lose now. It's very likely we'll go down so let's have a bloody good go and see what happens. In fact, we're almost looking forward to it, to be honest. Sunderland and Hull are still well wobbly.

And Tony Thompson found a kettle chip that looked like Gareth Southgate yesterday evening. 'It's a sign!' he cried. But on closer inspection we realised that quite a lot of kettle chips look like our Gareth, and there was definitely a Fergie (paprika flavoured, you see) and a Peter Beardsley in there too. Nevertheless, the chip in question will remain uneaten until the season is utterly over. Up the Boro.

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