As each season passes, Manchester United fans fall deeper into a sense of panic, as Sir Alex Ferguson’s career clock ticks ever closer to retirement. The worries of who can replace him, and how will the squad cope without his leadership echo throughout the United faithful, but they could have the right man waiting in the wings as we speak, Ryan Giggs.
An ever present during the Scot’s stewardship, Giggs has been linked with the role in recent weeks, as the champions look to plan for life after Fergie. Paul Scholes has spoken out in favour of the Welshman, suggesting that he could be the ideal candidate for the job. The 37-year-old told FourFourTwo:
“People have talked about Mourinho,
“It can change quickly – it’s all about who is successful at the time. Whether they are British or foreign, you just want the best man for the job.
“I could see Ryan Giggs becoming manager.”
It’s rumoured that SAF himself see’s Giggs as in ideal long-term replacement for when he calls time on his illustrious career at Old Trafford. This could play into the 38-year-old’s hands, as the current manager is believed to have a key role in choosing the man to take up the reigns.
There’s no doubt that the role of Manchester United boss is one of the very toughest that any manager could face, let alone with no real experience as head coach at any level. But, having already been approached twice by the Welsh FA, its clear that Giggs has the qualities needed to step up.
With the passing of the baton, the Red Devils’ hierarchy are fully aware that the tradition of the club must be continued, and there must be some continuity to keep the squad performing at the level they currently enjoy. This was displayed at Barcelona with Josep Guardiola stepping up to replace Frank Rijkaard, admittedly from a successful spell in charge of Barcelona’s B team, and establishing the philosophy that had always been the Barca way. Giggs could do this at United, as with almost 900 first team displays under his belt, its clear he knows the club inside out. This is the reason that he has received backing from Welsh assistant Osian Roberts, who believes that nobody is as qualified as the midfielder:
“It is not as if he is starting from scratch. He is someone, like Josep Guardiola at Barcelona, who has been at the club for a very long time with an impeccable playing career. He knows everything about the place from the young talent coming through to every colour scheme there’s ever been in the corridor at Carrington. He knows the fabric of the club, how it ticks from day to day.
“Most importantly, he will have started taking a lot of notice about what Sir Alex, Mike Phelan and Rene Meulensteen, the first-team coach, do and how they deal with situations.
“He’ll have a good grip on how he’d like to do things because he’s been the one playing in European finals and not being able to get near the ball against Barcelona. He’s probably had the best ever apprenticeship in football. He’s been studying a 20-year degree in football.”
It’s clear that United have a successful trend in turning ex-pro’s into top class managers with the likes of Steve Bruce, Mark Hughes and most recently Ole Gunnar Solskjaer all going on to achieve relative success at various clubs. So with Giggs graduating from the same finishing school, he could well have all the attributes in place.
He faces competition however from Jose Mourinho, who has had one eye on the United role since his Chelsea departure. The self proclaimed ‘Special One’ is rumoured to be reaching the end of his tether at Real Madrid and would almost certainly throw his hat into the ring for the role at the Manchester club.
Giggs may not have the experience, but with the know how and the right support from within the ranks, he could be the new Sir Alex. He just needs his opportunity.
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