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Giggs' flexibility has improved with age: Mike Phelan

File Photo of Ryan Giggs. (Getty Images)

Ryan Giggs maybe one of the oldest players in the game, but he can put young lads to shame in terms of fitness and and technique. The Welshman recently signed a new contract that will keep him for another season at Old Trafford and there is no reason why he shouldn’t retire.

Giggs is probably playing better than he did a few years ago and is getting better with age. With 23 seasons to his name, he is armed with experience. At his age, players would have long retired or worn out but Giggs was the man-of-the-match in his 1000th game  against Real Madrid.

He may have lost his lighting quickness from but Giggs has still got the skill and agility to be a game-changer. His versatility is an added bonus as well. On Boxing Day 2008, as United chased victory at Stoke City, 35-year-old Giggs moved to the left side of defence for 25 minutes to accommodate Dimitar Berbatov’s introduction. United won and kept a clean sheet.

“His flexibility has improved with age,” said assistant manager Mike Phelan. “He can play in numerous positions now and adapt into those that require more maturity. When he was younger, he got away with a lot of things because he was young and he could make mistakes. He was seen as a wide player with great dribbling skills and pace and quality on the ball, whereas now he’s brought all those to the fore in different positions. Maturity gives you that.

“In his early career he was surrounded by quality, which allowed him to be young, effervescent and show his real qualities, which were his skills. That was accepted by the team, the fans and the club and the excitement he produced when he was young was because he was young, he was capable of making mistakes and he was allowed to make them in order to develop.”

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