Ryan Giggs is set to leave Old Trafford in the next few days to start his own solo managerial career – but where should he go and what skills could he bring to a club?
What clubs could really test Giggs’ credentials to be a future Manchester United manager and what could he offer them?
He is Manchester United and the Premier League’s most decorated player. He has more medals in his collection than most of the division's players put together.
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Ryan Giggs is the definition of a Premier League legend.
But the powers that be at Old Trafford don’t think the 40-year-old quite has the experience in management to help bring trophies back to Manchester United. And following the appointment of Jose Mourinho, the chances of Giggs learning his trade at United are looking even slimmer.
It is believed that Giggs will make his decision to leave in the next week.
So where can he go right now and what could he bring to a club as a manager?
WHERE COULD HE GO?
If he wanted to challenge himself early, a Premier League club like Southampton might suit Giggs, with lots of hungry players at his disposal who he can mould into his own team.
Their attacking play and defensive solidarity under Ronald Koeman could be transferred into Giggs’ game plan. Players like James Ward-Prowse, Dusan Tadic and Shane Long can thrive under Giggs’ guidance.
Southampton currently play with no inhibitions, as United once did, so it would seem an ideal fit, should Giggs want the pressure of a top flight position as his first full-time appointment.
Giggs has been heavily linked with the role of the Nottingham Forrest manager in the last few days and this could be an ideal fit for the Welshman.
Nottingham Forest are a club who seem set to get into promotion places each season but by mid-season, after a run of games, they fall up short. It’s been eighteen years since they were last in the Premier League and with Giggs at the helm, you’d expect them to be pushing for automatic promotion, if not the playoffs.
And with the transfer embargo placed on them in 2014 for breaching fair play rules due to be lifted, Giggs’ appointment might see the Welshman bring in some new talent to push them for a promotion back to the Premier League.
LOWER LEAGUE OPTIONS
If Giggs is serious about becoming a top manager and returning to Old Trafford to take the reins, the Championship is likely to be the lowest division where he could really earn himself some credibility.
Whilst maintaining respect for League One and below, Giggs really has to throw himself in the deep end and try to compete from the beginning at the highest level possible. Only then will he be able to experience the pressure and expectation that comes with managing a club and how to cope with those pressures.
WHAT CAN HE BRING TO A CLUB?
Giggs has played under one of the most successful managers in English football history, and with that, he has learned how to win. He has seen tactical plans from the top level and been involved in training sessions designed to create winners.
Whilst under Louis van Gaal, he has been learning but more importantly, he has been following orders. As his own manager, he will be able to correct the wrongs he has seen under Van Gaal and hopefully avoid the same mistakes his Dutch boss made in his two years at Old Trafford.
Also having Giggs as a manager could act as motivation in itself. Imagine learning from a man who has 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, two Champions Leagues medals and scored one of the greatest goals ever in the last F.A. Cup semi-final replay.
When his players are feeling the pressure or losing games at half-time, Giggs can tap into his experience of the White Hart Lane come-back, the 4-3 win against Manchester City in which he supplied the through ball for Michael Owen and of course, the 1999 Champions League Final. What better motivation would you need?
Finally, his experience in the last two seasons, dealing with the top flight pressure of an under-performing Manchester United could sit well with a lower placed Premier League side or even one of the lower league sides. These types of teams are no strangers to pressure so Giggs would be an ideal fit with the right type of club – one that is challenging for a top half finish or promotion.
Wherever Giggs does end up, the club will have gained a wealth of knowledge and a man who wants to win. It’ll be interesting to see how this one develops.