Ryan Giggs has revealed that it feels strange for Manchester United to be celebrating finishing in the top four of the Premier League this season, and wants the club to be competing for major trophies next term.
The Welshman has served as Louis van Gaal’s assistant this year and helped his club reclaim a spot in the Champions League, but of course he’s used to regularly being expected to win the Premier League title, not just fight for European qualification.
Nevertheless Giggs made it clear whilst speaking at the United end of season awards that he enjoyed the fact that the team had achieved their goals, although he did admit that what came with it was a peculiar feelings.
"I've enjoyed it on a personal level but it feels a bit strange when you've been at this club for such a long time during such a successful period to be celebrating a Champions League spot," Giggs said, according to Goal.
"If we're honest, that's what we set out to achieve at the beginning of the season and going from seventh to getting in a Champions League place is great. But next year we want to be competing for trophies."
In truth United fans are sure to largely echo Giggs’ views that next season needs to mark an improvement on Van Gaal’s maiden campaign in England, even though the added pressure of the Champions League is sure to take its toll by the end of the term.
The Dutchman has a huge budget to play with this summer and will no doubt look to strengthen significantly to cope with the extra levels of expectation.
Memphis Depay has already passed a medical with the club and so will move from PSV when the transfer window opens, whilst a host of other targets find themselves under the media spotlight.
Primarily it’s Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale who has been repeatedly linked with Old Trafford, whilst former starlet Paul Pogba is also on Van Gaal’s radar if reports are to be believed and the likes of Mats Hummels, Jasper Cillessen and Asmir Begovic have also been mentioned in connection with transfers come the end of the season.
Van Gaal's task
Perhaps though Van Gaal’s most important job will be to attempt to manage the expectations rather than try and live up to them. The 63-year-old is experienced as they come and will know that placing his squad under immense pressure isn’t likely to bear fruits, particularly with some many players who are still acclimatising to the English league.
Manchester United fans, do you think Giggs is right when he says it’s strange to celebrate the fourth-placed finish? Let us know what you think in the comments box below.