Sir Alex Ferguson has expressed incredulity that Ryan Giggs should be the brunt of so much criticism this season.
Now 39, the Manchester United midfielder has had his appearances restricted this term and struggled to make the impact he has managed in previous years, causing some to question if the veteran Welshman should extend his stellar career into his 41st year.
"How can you criticise a player that has given you 20 years?" said Ferguson.
"Let's be honest. He may have an off day here and there because I don't play him all the time.
"But at his age I can't afford to risk him."