What exactly does Ryan Giggs bring to the United bench?

Giggs watches van Gaal at work.

Ryan Joseph Giggs needs no big introduction. The most decorated British footballer of all time and one of the biggest names in English football for the past 25 years. He is currently the assistant manager at Manchester United under Louis van Gaal. But what exactly does he bring to United?

Manchester United as a club have changed considerably since the shock retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013. The institution that Ferguson built and Giggs played such an important part of has been eradicated over the last two years. The fear that teams had coming to Old Trafford previously, has been replaced by a knowing that the Red Devils are now there for the taking and very beatable, home or away.

Giggs moved to a player–coach role as part of the backroom clear out of, Ferguson’s old staff by Moyes, after his appointment as manager. A decision many saw as a mistake, removing a highly respected and successful coaching team, used to dealing with players of the calibre Manchester United employ and bringing in his own people, less experienced at United’s level.


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The appointment of David Moyes was supposed to be an attempt at a continuation of the kind of tenure Ferguson had. Giggs, in his new role was the new manager's spokesman and ally within the playing group. A positive link between the old and the new.

Van Gaal has now got Giggs as his assistant manager. Is there no better candidate for the role of Manchester United’s assistant manager than a man who has two years of coaching experience under his belt?

I’m sure that Giggs “knows” Manchester United, inside and out, and how the club wishes to be seen and operate. He will also have all of the necessary coaching badges and qualifications. Is that enough to old such an important role at United? A club of United’s stature in the game surely has to have world-class people in every role or at least expect to. The playing staff are expected to be the best in the world in the their position, why not the same of the coaching staff?

As far as his playing experience he is almost peerless, but will Giggs be able to offer the same kind of tactical advise that Carlos Queiroz brought to Old Trafford? Or the knowledge that Walter Smith had when asked to help out by Alex Ferguson? When you hear him speak, he doesn’t exactly get the blood flowing with his oration or gusto either.

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Some say that he is being primed to take over the big job in a few years, and the benefits of a successful Giggs as manager of Manchester United far outweigh any possible downfalls.

But with the recent lack of success at Old Trafford, Manchester City and Chelsea always being a threat and a league that keeps increasing in competitiveness, would United not be better served by going for someone with a proven track record of management, rather than someone who has been a fine servant to the club?

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