• Premier League

Van Persie: Giggs is Sir Alex-esque

ESPN staff
May 7, 2014
Ryan Giggs helped set up Robin van Persie for his goal against Hull © Getty Images

Robin van Persie says Ryan Giggs reminds him of Sir Alex Ferguson because of the "incredible" Manchester United team-talks he has given.

The striker missed interim manager Giggs' first game in charge, the 4-0 win over Norwich, with a knee injury but has been used as a substitute in the last two, scoring in Tuesday's 3-1 win over Hull.

"I witnessed two team meetings as I came in a bit late," Van Persie told MUTV. "The one from the last game against Sunderland and [the Hull] game, were incredible. They were Sir Alex-esque."

Giggs added to doubts over his United future following the win with the final fixture of his four-match interim spell set to come at Southampton on Sunday.

Louis van Gaal, Van Persie's Netherlands manager, is expected to take charge at United, with an announcement expected in the next week.

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But Van Persie's comments echo those of United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard, who said that Giggs had given a "spine-tingling" team-talk before the win over Norwich and that the "parallels with Sir Alex Ferguson are striking".

Lindegaard's comments came amid a swell of support for Giggs from the United dressing room, with Wayne Rooney saying he has "all the credentials" to get the manager's job on a permanent basis and Juan Mata calling him a "proper Manchester United boy" after both men scored twice against Norwich.

In what could well be his final appearance as a United player on Tuesday, Giggs brought himself off the bench against Sunderland to set up Van Persie's goal and, but for a save from Eldin Jakupovic, would have scored with an injury-time free kick.

"He's been brilliant and I think he came on without even warming up," Van Persie added. "Am I correct? He came on without a warm-up, put in some fantastic passes and almost scored. He's a legend and I think he shows that every day."

While United are waiting to discover if it will prove Giggs' Old Trafford swansong, they know it was Nemanja Vidic's farewell with the captain having agreed to join Inter Milan.

Van Persie paid tribute to the defender, saying: "Nemanja has been great. He's been playing here for eight-and-a-half years and the thing I always say about him is that he puts his head where people are scared to put their feet.

"That is Nemanja. He wants to die for the cause, in a good way. He is very brave, a great player and he's won everything at Manchester United. It was a special day for him too."

Midfielder Michael Carrick added: "He's a leader and one of the best defenders the club has had. It's sad that he's leaving because he'll be missed as he's a top player and an important part of the squad. Sometimes you've got to move on and we respect that."

Vidic addressed the Old Trafford crowd during the United players' lap of honour and Carrick said: "I'm sure he must have been touched by the reception he got. He's a man of few words so I was a bit surprised to see him get on the microphone at the end. You could see he was touched and there was definitely some emotion there. He's got one game left but that was his last one at this special place. He'll be missed."

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