29/09/2009 09:49, Report by Paddy Crerand
Old masters full of vitality
The standard of fitness of United's players is far higher today than it ever has been, and that's why Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes are still playing at the top level. The way they look after themselves, with all the staff dedicated to fitness and healthy lifestyles is incredible. Players look after themselves certainly a lot better than they did in my day.
I think sometimes age becomes a mental thing for a lot of people. There's this idea that once you’re over 30 you’re on the road out. I think that’s a load of rubbish. Once you’re over the 30-mark you’re more intelligent, and often you're as strong as a horse because you’re doing everything you can to stay in good condition. But it’s the intelligence more than anything. I think Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville have got big roles to play at United for a while to come.
If you looked at Ryan Giggs against Manchester City – that was the same Ryan Giggs I saw play his first game for United against City! That’s exactly what he was like. And he was influential again at Stoke on Saturday. Paul Scholes was brilliant, too. You never lose your ability, and if you can stay fit you’re quids in. You’re made. It’s only a matter of looking after yourself, and you can’t get away with anything at Old Trafford now! You’ve got dieticians, fitness coaches, all sorts of things.
It's interesting to some players blossoming since Cristiano Ronaldo left. Wayne Rooney wasn’t centre-stage when Ronaldo was here and maybe didn’t the praise as he deserved. There are others that can step up and become key players. Can Nani become the player there is the possibility of him being? Will he get his final ball right? If he does he will be a fantastic player. And he has a great player to learn from in Giggs.