Ryan Giggs looks remarkably like an heir to the throne these days. In the background to van Gaal, offering a few words of advice, watching and observing, the Welsh Wizard will surely be crowned as the next manager of that enormous club before too many years pass.
It will be an emotional moment for Giggs, the players (who will know his wonderful history with the club), and the fans (who will remember his immense achievements and his longevity as one of the best players in the Premier League). Amidst all the quite reasonable euphoria, emotion and romance though, I believe he will have some key decisions to make.
Arguably one of the most important decisions he will take is choosing his assistant manager. Many will believe that since it’s likely to be one of his first (if not his first) managerial jobs, he should go for someone with plenty of experience, someone who knows how to coach and manage at the highest level. However, I feel that possibly one of the best choices he could make is a man who has no managerial experience thus far, and at the moment is best known for his sharp, incisive analysis on Sky Sports – Gary Neville.
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While this may seem like a purely emotional choice, based on the romance and special connection that the Class of ’92 have with the club, I believe there is plenty of hard logic that supports my opinion. For a start, Neville is currently dealing and interacting with some of the best players in the country as England’s assistant manager.
This experience will no doubt be of excellent use to him, as he is heavily involved in training sessions and deals hands on with the players when they’re with England.
This can only be a good thing when dealing with the superstars of the Old Trafford dressing room.
Another plus point for the Bury-born defender is of course his experience at the club. Neville was involved at United for around 20 years, during which time he learned from the best in Sir Alex Ferguson, as well as working with plenty of current managers (Robson, Bruce, Ince, Keane etc). A character of such determination and will to learn as Neville will have accrued plenty of wisdom and insight into the game during this time, standing him in very good stead for any future coaching experience.
More than that, his time at the Theatre of Dreams means he will now know what what the fans expect out of their players and manager.
Finally, I believe even his current posting, as a commentator and analyst with Sky Sports, could be extremely useful to him if he goes into coaching. He is in prime position to observe the best players and teams in the Premiership, as well as seeing how they set up and how they play. He is also in place to talk to many of the most influential managers and coaches in the game, picking their brains and assessing their methods.
To spend so much time thinking and analysing the game and how it’s played, as he does on a weekly basis, can only benefit him when it comes to any future coaching endeavours.
So there you have it. A club legend, whose knowledge and appetite for discussing and analysing the game are second to none, and a man currently enjoying one of the most high-profile coaching positions in the land – Gary Neville would be the perfect fit for Ryan Giggs if (maybe when) the latter takes over at Old Trafford.