'A silent assassin' - Lee Dixon on why Ryan Giggs was his toughest opponent
In a lengthy look back at his playing career with Arsenal, Lee Dixon explained to Off The Ball why Ryan Giggs was the toughest opponent he ever came up against.
Over the course of around a decade, Lee Dixon and Ryan Giggs ran into one another on countless occasions as Arsenal and Manchester United battled for supremacy in English football.
It is little wonder then that the English right-back and the Welsh left-winger consider the other to be their toughest opponent.
"I know him a little bit now through doing punditry work together," explained Lee Dixon in an interview with Off The Ball. "Interesting enough, he always says I was his hardest opponent, which doesn't make much sense when you think about it."
Almost 20 years since they last met on a football pitch, however, Dixon remembers only too well what it was about Ryan Giggs that focused the mind so clearly.
"The trouble with Giggsy was that he was very quick," recalled Dixon of the Manchester United legend, "probably quicker with the ball than without.
"But with his close control and dribbling, he could actually change the ball between his feet and you never really got a target. It was always moving."
Unlike certain players Dixon had come against, Giggs didn't rely upon one carefully devised trick to get the better of you.
"Sometimes, if you're playing against someone who has a trick, you work that out and get a tackle in," he explained, "but with him, he just moved the ball and it was very difficult.
"He was exceptionally hungry, driven and playing for Manchester United, he had that steel about him too. You couldn't kick him off the ball, and I tried that a lot, but he was tough as nails and never complained.
"One of the things about him that was really unnerving though and made him so hard to play against, he was silent as a mouse on the pitch.
"He wouldn't ever shout for the ball, which means I always had to be looking around."
The "silent assassin" as Dixon dubbed him, during their time working together as football pundits, the former England international finally got around to asking Giggs why he refused to shout for the ball like most players.
"I was always in a good position and they knew just to give it to me," is how Lee Dixon recalled Ryan Giggs explaining it to him.
You can listen back to Lee Dixon's full interview with Off The Ball here.