Phelan hails Giggs as 'best ever'

Ryan Giggs is too modest to say whether he is in the form of his life, so Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan did it for him.

Giggs turned in another sensational performance at Pride Park yesterday as United eased past Derby to book an FA Cup quarter-final trip to either Swansea or Fulham next month.

For a player who has achieved just about every possible milestone in a Red Devils career which now extends to 788 games, the last-eight draw sets up the possibility of Giggs meeting a Welsh club, in his homeland, in a competitive game for the first time in his career.

Other even more noteworthy events should occur later in the season as the world champions chase an incredible quintuple, while Giggs' present form has put him right in the frame to win the major individual player of the year awards.

"There is an argument to say Ryan is playing better than he has ever done," said Phelan.

"He looks after himself, is totally professional and seems to have found a rich vein of form.

"He goes on to another level every year. We can only be happy with that."

Giggs had a hand in all four United goals yesterday, plus the one Cristiano Ronaldo had controversially disallowed.

And, although he is likely to be rested for Wednesday's Barclays Premier League encounter with Fulham, he seems sure to have a major part to play in United's quest for silverware.

"I am certainly enjoying my football more than ever," he said.

"It is for other people to judge whether I am playing as well as I have ever done.

"But I am playing quite regularly and the team are playing well, which is what we want."

Last Thursday, Giggs signed a one-year contract extension which emphasises Sir Alex Ferguson's belief that a player with 10 Premier League titles, two European Cups and four FA Cups - a fifth would equal the competition record, last achieved in the 19th century - still has the hunger to strive for more.

The former Wales skipper recognises his role in the team has changed, from flying wing wizard to midfield schemer. But, with younger legs around him taking some of the pressure away, Giggs is capable of making a devastating contribution, as Derby found to their cost.

"I am not going to sprint in behind defenders like I used to but I use my experience to get on the ball and try to create from there," he said.

"You know without even looking sometimes that a colleague will be there because the movement is so good.

"I was really pleased to sign for another year and look forward to being a part of this team."

With Wayne Rooney set for a place on the substitutes' bench at best, with Ferguson tempted to leave the England striker out until Saturday's clash with Blackburn, Carlos Tevez and Dimitar Berbatov are set to return to a more familiar starting line-up on Wednesday.

Edwin van der Sar will look to extend his incredible clean sheet streak to 14 games against his former club, which would put United well on the way towards opening a five-point gap over second-placed Liverpool.

A trophy quintuple of Premier League, FA Cup, Carling Cup and Champions League - with the Club World Cup already in the bag - is still possible but rather than make any predictions, Giggs is just happy to confirm United are merely playing well.

"We don't think of ourselves as invincible but we are in good form and on a great run," he said.

"Every player that comes in needs to take their chance. You are finding that lads coming in are fresh and we are playing some good stuff."

News
people
Sport
Newcastle players celebrate, Mario Balotelli scores, Alan Pardew and Brendan Rodgers
footballNewcastle vs Liverpool , Arsenal vs Burnley, Chelsea vs QPR and Everton vs Swansea
News
i100Amazing Amazon review bomb
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
food + drinkFrom Mediterranean Tomato Tart to Raw Caramel Peanut Pie
News
Moss and Grimshaw arrive at the party
peopleKate Moss, Claudia Schiffer and Nick Grimshaw at Jonathan Ross's Halloween party
Arts and Entertainment
Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
TVThe pair have presented their view of 21st-century foibles in shows such as Peep Show and Fresh Meat
News
i100
Extras
Boys to men: there’s nothing wrong with traditional ‘manly’ things, until masculinity is used to exclude people
indybest13 best grooming essentials
Travel
travelPurrrfect jet comes to Europe
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch attends the London premiere of his new film The Imitation Game
people He's not as smart as his characters
Life and Style
healthMovember isn't about a moustache trend, it saves lives
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities