Last updated : 12 January 2003 By Editor

From his column in The Mirror:

WHAT a perverse world football is. Lee Bowyer, a player some might say deserves to be jeered off a football pitch, is hailed as a saviour at West Ham and Ryan Giggs, one of the best players ever to pull on a Manchester United shirt, becomes the victim of the boo-boys.

Let's deal with Ryan first. I'd be the first to admit he is not playing that well at the moment but there is absolutely no way he should be subjected to the kind of abuse we have seen coming from so-called United fans.

Ryan Giggs has given Manchester United 11 years of top-quality football and provided the fans with some unforgettable moments of genius.

I always say form is temporary, class is permanent, and players don't come much classier than Giggs. He is only 28 so if you think we have seen the best of him you must be crackers.

Whether Lee Bowyer deserves to be treated as some kind of social outcast is a question only the player can answer.

I have said on countless occasions that in this day and age a player is judged on and off the pitch. I said last month that Lee needed to get out of Leeds because he needed to dump the baggage that has dogged his career and start again somewhere else.

Glenn Roeder has given him that chance and now it is up to him to prove he has learned from his mistakes. No matter what you think about this lad he is a fantastic footballer with a lot of good attitudes. He has an undeniable flaw but now there is a glorious opportunity to rebuild his reputation.

I don't expect for one moment that he is going to change the aggressive attitude he has on the field because that is one of the reasons he is such a good player but he would be a wise man to keep that volatile temper in check.