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BBC Live has story of Giggs convincing Moyes to cancel Alcantara deal

May 21, 2014, 12:38 PM EDT


Ian McGarry is a broadcaster for BBC 5 Live radio and brings a story of Ryan Giggs convincing Manchester United to abandon a seemingly-done deal for Thiago Alcantara last summer.

As with any story, it’s worth noting that it is simply a sourced-anecdote, but it’s also interesting as background for the struggles of Manchester United under David Moyes last season.

McGarry says that Moyes was in a room with several United decision makers including Phil Neville and Ryan Giggs, discussing a nearly-concluded deal for then-Barcelona playmaker Alcantara (who would later transfer to Bayern Munich).

The group was around the table when Moyes asked each member of the staff what they thought of the then 22-year-old Spaniard.


“When he got to Giggsy, who was last, (Giggs) said, ‘Not a Manchester United player.’ And Moyes said, ‘Sorry I don’t know what you mean by that.’

“(Giggs) looked at Phil Neville, Phil sort of nodded, and said, ‘Look, playing for this club is more than being a footballer. It’s about your attitude. It’s about your mindset. It’s about everything that you want, everything in your body, every cell, has to want to live, play and win for Manchester United. I don’t think he’s a Manchester United player. And they immediately called off the transfer.”

If it’s true, and anywhere near as simple as the anecdote plays out, then it’s among the most inane and trite things to have happened in the Premier League. If Alcantara happened to be the worst human being on Earth, he would’ve still helped Manchester United’s maiden voyage under Moyes. It’s silly for Giggs to make the move, but it’s even worse for Moyes and everyone else in the room to buy into it.

There has to be more to the story, right? Either way, I’d imagine Giggs is in for a rude awakening if he thinks Louis van Gaal is going to play that way.

  1. dws110 - May 21, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    You will never convince me that David Moyes wasn’t set up for failure right from the start. Consciously or not, he had his legs cut out from underneath him.

    • scrummymustard - May 21, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      yeah because he is a horrible manager who plays not to lose. Doesn’t have the tactical fortitude to manage a club as big as man U.

    • ax0elz - May 22, 2014 at 3:10 AM

      haha Moyes was basically given the same team that won the year before the BPL title with Sir. Alex so bullshit. As far as what Giggs said is not only inspiring but the truth, that is exactly what separates Man Utd form the rest. Also who ever wrote this article doesn’t seem very educated on football in general considering most of the Red Devils issues came from a defensive problem and not a lack of goal scorers. Rooney, RvP, Hernandez, Welbeck, Valencia, Mata, Nani, Young, Giggs, Vidic just to name a couple. Football is the essence of team sport, so don’t tell me that bringing a good player fixes everything, it about the team and the manager so if Giggs says he wasn’t Man Utd, then i believe him and so should you.

  2. aguevara - May 21, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    So where was this input during fellaini’s transfer?!?!

    • mazblast - May 21, 2014 at 1:17 PM

      I’m sure that in the revisionism that will be along soon, Giggs had maximum input on every player move that went right and no input whatsoever on the ones that, like Fellaini, went awry.

  3. mazblast - May 21, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    I agree with dws110. It seems to me (admittedly from very much afar) that the MU “old guard” never wanted Moyes to succeed and set him up for failure. Of course Moyes, with his conservative approach, played right into their hands; all they had to do was half-a** it long enough while pretending to play as hard and as well as they had before.

    If this is true, shame on the Man U high command for having active players in on such a high-level meeting. I don’t care how high and mighty you are, you don’t let labor have veto power over management decisions. Input before management meets to decide, yes, but this went way beyond that.

    How convenient for “Giggsy” that after Moyes got the sack, he took over and was then appointed the second-in-command to the new manager. I wouldn’t be surprised if that turned out to be his aim all along.

    • Ben Saufley - May 21, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      You’ve uncovered it: it’s all been a big conspiracy from inside the top ranks at Old Trafford to make Man United the laughing stock of the league for some nefarious reason

  4. raidersownyou - May 21, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    Fellaini was built for United though.

  5. phx13 - May 21, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    “Not a United player!” How ridiculous is that!? This is the same club that signed Cantona, who is one of the biggest douches in Premiership history.

  6. bellerophon30 - May 21, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    I love Giggs the player……..Giggs the man, not so much. This is the problem with calling an athlete a ‘hero’, simply based on what he does on the field/pitch/court.

  7. maccrae27 - May 21, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    Yeah because United clearly missed the boat on Thiago with these numbers…

    Give the conspiracy a rest, with stats like that how could you not agree with Giggs?

  8. interesting29 - May 21, 2014 at 6:08 PM

    I would also say, Giggs as a player is excellent, as a person, though, deserves to be dropped kick.

  9. Gurdit - May 22, 2014 at 4:51 AM

    I’m sorry, this is probably the most ridiculous story I’ve read in a long while. If Giggs’ words were being transcribed, it’s difficult to see how he could have said those words in a normal conversation.

  10. bboviedo - May 22, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    What kind of bulls**t story is this….could you please tell me what the purpose is? If this is the best you can do for your so called “sports journalism” career, it won’t be a very long one….

    • Nicholas Mendola - May 22, 2014 at 10:00 AM

      It’s a BBC anecdote. A story. It is what it is, and that’s what we said it is.

  11. beckyreed94 - May 22, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    Reblogged this on Welcome to my world, pull up a chair.

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