Ryan Giggs wants to be Man United manager, and you can hardly blame him. Despite their recent issues, it’s still one of the biggest jobs in world football. Giggs has been at United for the majority of his life, Old Trafford was his home, with Sir Alex being a father figure to him; and now that the father figure is out of the picture, Giggs wants his inheritance. When the King vacates of the throne, the prince will look to gain control.
On the other side of the coin, Man United seem to want Ryan Giggs to be their manager too. It’s the apparent reason that they are just watching from the sidelines as City and Guardiola bat eyelids at one another, and it’s also the apparent reason that Mourinho is still in the unemployment office, despite van Gaal seemingly begging to be sacked over Christmas. United and Woodward have a long term plan, and that’s getting Giggs into the managerial hot seat, and by God are they going to stick to it, even if the two most successful managers of the last decade are single and ready to mingle.
The idea of Giggs being the Man United manager is a romantic one, and one I can get behind, but only if I follow my heart. What United fan wouldn’t want an ex player, a club legend and iconic figure to lead the club back to glory? That’s what most fans would dream of and that’s why so many teams make romantic, managerial appointments of ex players, clubs legends and iconic figures. It’s just such a shame that so few of them are ever any good. The head says; for every Pep Guardiola success story there are ten Alan Shearer nightmares. Ask Liverpool fans how much good the “this guy understands the club” style appointments can do for a clubs progression.
While Giggs’ playing career was a glittering one, littered with trophies, his post-playing career has been more of a mixed bag (to be generous). Giggs was part of the coaching staff under David Moyes’ failed reign as manager, and he is now assistant manager to van Gaal’s not-yet-failed-but-badly-struggling tenure. He was even caretaker manager for 4 games at the end of Moyes’ season, and in those pressure-less, nothing to play for games, his record stands at 2 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw. It’s not terrible, but it’s not awe-inspiring either.
Giggs is a mild mannered individual, with a pretty meek demeanor whose previous work hints that his management style is of the basic “go out and express yourself”, “we’re Man United” Tim Sherwood-esque motivational speeches. He does however, have a ruthless streak in him, does our Giggsy, which was on display back in December when he slithered his way down to the touchline to play cheerleader for the last 20 minutes in the home defeat to Norwich. A move which a lot of people viewed as a man distancing himself from a struggling manager and regime. Being ruthless is a good trait for a successful manager, so at least that’s something to hang your hat on.
If given the job, maybe Giggs wont have to go it alone – maybe he’ll enlist the back up of the fabled Class of 92. Nicky Butt is already at the club as a youth team coach, and my money would be on Paul Scholes returning the coaching staff should Giggs get the job, that would leave Gary and Phil Neville (cause Beckham isn’t going to be getting involved). Gary Neville, the manager of Valencia, has already gone on record saying that he doesn’t view management as a long-term position for him – which would make you wonder why he took the job in the first place? Maybe he has one eye on being a Director of Football at United in the future? Gary Neville now has experience as a player, a coach with England, a pundit with Sky, a football club owner with Salford City and now manager with Valencia. This is pure speculation on my part, but I do wonder if he is trying to garner real world experience in all facets of a football club with a view to try and take on a Director of Football role somewhere down the line, ideally for him at Man United.
Imagine it, Ryan Giggs as manager, Scholes his assistant, Butt and Phil as first team coaches and Gary up in the DOF’s chair. Romance. The Class of 92 could be Man United’s saviors, or they could be another disastrous wrong turn in United’s attempts to find their way back on track. Either way, the Class of 92’s shadow looms large over United and any potential new manager, with members of the clique ready and willing to chip off in the media at the first sign of trouble. That’s probably not going to stop until they get Giggs in charge, so in a way, United might as well get it over with. Try it, and the experiment might be a resounding success, and if it fails, then it may be the last severance with the past, and the Ferguson era – which could be needed in order to fully embrace the future.