Louis van Gaal gave a rousing speech at a charity tribute dinner for Ryan Giggs last week during which he claimed to be ‘convinced’ that the Manchester United legend has the credentials to eventually replace him as the club’s manager.
Van Gaal praise
Van Gaal spoke in glowing terms about Giggs for almost seven minutes, during which he hailed the connection he and the Welshman have been able to establish in their brief time together at Old Trafford.
Giggs had a short stint in charge of first-team duties following the departure of David Moyes last season and, although providing an indication that he would like the job on a full-time basis, was instead offered a place on Van Gaal’s coaching staff.
The 40-year-old has impressed Van Gaal over the past few months, with the former Netherlands head coach believing Giggs has been able to work ‘miracles’ on the training ground with Manchester United’s players.
It is widely expected that, should all go to plan, Giggs will succeed Van Gaal if the Dutchman remains at Manchester United for the duration of his three-year contract, and lent his backing to the credentials of his deputy.
“I have seen a lot of trainees and I am very happy with [Giggs] because he has showed already that he can communicate with the group in front of him,” Van Gaal explained.
“And I have seen that he can explain what - how do you say in English? - what is the issue of the training session. And he can say it in a different way, which is a miracle because not so many ex-players can do that.
“But not only that, Ryan, you are in my opinion a very nice guy and that's for me the most important thing. Of course I admired Ryan Giggs as a player, maybe much more that you do.
"I do know now I've 'enticed' [provoked] you. I learnt that word off Mr Ryan Giggs. But he is so modest, so normal, and you [Giggs] are a great star. No, no, no, you have to listen.
“Because he is the star of the evening and really deserves that and I am convinced that you are - how do you call it in English? - 'Ok, this Van Gaal is over, he [Giggs] is the man!'."
Van Gaal’s words have already been twisted somewhat, with it having been reported that he emphatically backed Giggs to be his successor. That is not entirely the truth, but it does appear he rates his latest managerial prodigy very highly.
It was a show of support from Van Gaal rather than a direct endorsement of Giggs although, even at this early stage of the Dutchman’s reign, it is hard to look beyond former winger as the next man to take the top job.