The romantics in the game would like to think that Alex Ferguson’s departure from management has seen the Glaswegian pass the torch onto the Class of ’92, with Ryan Giggs the latest name to take up a coaching role with a view to the future.
Should we be so dismissive of the idea and reality that great players do not always transfer their skills into great managers? That’s the cynics view, but maybe one worth holding onto.
What is important, however, is that United are setting themselves up to follow the model of those on the continent, with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Ajax’s foundations the envy of most clubs around Europe. David Beckham has already led the charge ahead of his former classmates, becoming an ambassador for the game and arguably the most recognisable face in football. The former United midfielder has a PR and management team that are so finely tuned that he can do no wrong. How United could benefit from someone like that.
It’s far too early to label Ryan Giggs or Gary Neville as future coaching legends. The dugout may not be as kind to them as the pitch was, and while they have plenty in their lockers to go on and have a good career in management, the immediate future is likely in United reforming the band and strengthening the club’s foundation during one of the most pivotal periods in its history.
Of course, it’s not to dismiss the former players who have taken up a position behind the scenes at United now. But that Class of 92 are instantly recognisable in the game, with the culmination coming with glory across three fronts in 1999. Figures like that will only do positive things, reaffirming tradition and teaching the values of the club. Newcomers to both United and England won’t feel a sense of bewilderment, and for however strong United’s pull on players around the world is now, it’s something that will be strengthened with names like Giggs and Gary and Phil Neville on board.
In fairness to the each of the names, they could use this as a springboard to future successes away from United. Here comes the idea of romance once again, but how fitting would it be if a name like Giggs rounded off a career in the game with a final stint as Manchester United manager, having learned and perfected his trade elsewhere? There is unlikely to be many roadblocks in the way, and a starting point at United will only offer these names the very best chance of success.
For British football, it’s a longevity that ensures the game in this country remains in safe hands. Clubs like Manchester United will play a prominent role in shaping the future of the game, with so much emphasis now on the education of young players.
Regardless of the size of Manchester United in football already, this is clearly the next steps in creating a club who are England’s very own Ajax or Bayern. Whatever success may come in the future, it won’t simply be because the club had the good foresight to make these appointments, but rather because of the work done by Ferguson during his time with club. It’s the building blocks which are being added to now, and the end result will be in retaining the winning mentality whenever a managerial change occurs. Is that currently present now with the addition of Moyes? Some sections of support remain apprehensive.
A nod to David Moyes for seeing the positives of these appointments, both for his own tenure in charge and long after he’s moved on. Discipline and renewed focus after the departure of Ferguson will be key elements. It offers the club the very best chance of success and ensures the status of England’s leading club will only further be enhanced. If this was the plan all along then there really isn’t too much to be worried about with the departures of the previous backroom staff
Are United setting themselves and their former players up future success?
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