Ryan Giggs is undoubtedly one of the greatest Manchester United players of all time. With 963 appearances, 108 premier league goals and 34 trophies spanned over an illustrious 24 year playing career, Giggsy will live fond in the memories of Manchester United fans for decades to come. Being branded as one of only two players that made Italian world cup winner Alessandro Del Piero cry when watching football (the other being Maradona) it’s not hard to see the impact the Welsh wizard has had on world football.
Great players don’t always become great managers, this was apparent with all-time premier league top goal scorer Alan Shearer. Shearer who suffered a disastrous first season as head coach of Newcastle saw their 16-year stay in the top flight ended with defeat to Aston Villa. Which presses the question, is Giggs ready to take the leap from playing to managing?
At 42 years old, Giggs will be a very young and inexperienced manager, but being an active part in United’s title winning side in the 2012/13 season means that, unlike Shearer, Giggs knows what it takes to succeed in the modern day premier league, something that LVG and David Moyes both lacked the knowledge off. Giggs has been with the club for 25 years now which signifies that nobody knows the club better, and more importantly nobody knows what makes the club succeed better than he does, so ideally he seems the perfect candidate. Giggs has slowly been learning the ins and outs of the responsibilities of the manager role, firstly through his 4 game stint as first team coach and secondly being assistant coach to David Moyes and LVG. Although time under David Moyes and LVG may not be casting Giggs’ managerial potential in particularly good light, he will be gaining invaluable knowledge of what not to do as a first team manager.
Indications and clues that Giggs could even replace LVG are accumulating thick and fast. When LVG was questioned on the signing of ‘waste of money’ Anthony Martial, the Dutchman was quoted saying that United were “routinely quoted £10m more for a player but I have not bought Martial for me. I have bought him for the next manager of Manchester United.” Giggs was watching the Frenchman for 12 months prior to the transfer window closing, indicating that Giggs gave the instructions to LVG to give make the transfer possible.
A lot of fans are calling for LVG to be replaced by top managers such as Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, and Carlos Ancelotti. I don’t think we should be considering anyone but Giggs. To these 3 managers managing Man Utd would be just another club, but for Giggs it would be taking control of his club, the boyhood club he’s helped turned into world beaters. He more than anyone is going to be the most disappointed about the demise of the club’s standard of football and reputation, and I believe he’s the only person that has the passion and work ethic needed to successfully revive the club from the flatline of the Moyes/LVG era.
The players are growing increasingly fed up of the introduction of managers that don’t understand the way they work best, this is evident in the boring and lacklustre performances being displayed in the recent weeks. Giggs would not only have the respect of the players, but would have the complete and total backing of the fans and the board. Clubs like real Madrid and Barcelona have made the leap from plucking managers from clubs all over the world to realising that home grown is the way forward. With the board, fans and players becoming unsatisfied with externally sourcing managers I think Giggs’ appointment is a lot closer than most are anticipating.