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Dublin: 13 °C Saturday 30 August, 2014

The pros and cons of Manchester United appointing Ryan Giggs as manager

The Welsh international could yet be in the mix for the top job if he gets a response from the ailing squad.

Ryan Giggs will lead Manchester United for the remainder of the season.
Ryan Giggs will lead Manchester United for the remainder of the season.
Image: Martin Rickett

RYAN GIGGS WILL take charge of Manchester United, against Norwich City on Saturday, for the first of a three-game stint as interim manager. While the names of many major football coaches will be mentioned in connection with the United job, Giggs, as a United legend, will perhaps throw his hat in the ring.

Should the powers that be at Old Trafford consider Giggs as David Moyes’ replacement.

Patrick McCarry says ‘Yes’

Giggs made his Manchester United debut in 1991 but had already been involved at the club for three seasons. He is as indoctrinated in the Manchester United as Alex Ferguson but has no intentions of stepping away from the club yet. Giggs and Moyes were placed at a top table before the Champions League quarter final against Bayern Munich. Both men navigated the press briefing with smiles and cajoling but Giggs will not be sad to see the former Everton boss go.

The fact that Giggs stayed around so long says as much for his commitment to the club, playing abilities, unwillingness to step back into the shadows as it does the abhorrent state of the current Manchester United midfield. He will officially hang up his boots in the summer but the big question is will he stay on at the only club he has ever known?

The final three games of the season will be an interesting study. If United — with only a Europa League spot to play for — can finish the season with a semblance of spark and flair in their playing style, it may well stand for Giggs and his man management. The 40-year-old has built up his coaching badges over the past four years and last season received his UEFA Pro Licence. He has taken sessions with the club’s youth and reserve teams and was one of Alex Ferguson’s trusted lieutenants in his final years at the club.

Giggs, in his 24-year professional career, has shown the ability to adapt his game to changing formations, tactics and his own fitness. He went from a flying winger and a player with an innate ability to beat his man, to a more reliable winger that held his position out wide and delivered good crosses. In his later years at United he was used in the centre of midfield and was able to control the tempo of games. He has played with and against the world’s best players and under the greatest club manager in English history.

United need a big name with a reputation for daring football and playing the game in the right manner. With former teammates Paul Scholes or Gary Neville on the coaching staff, Giggs could be exactly the man the Glazers are looking for.

And, before anyone mentions prior coaching experience, I will mention Johan Cruyff. The Dutchman played 12 seasons with Ajax over two stints and stepped right into the top job upon retiring. Between Ajax and Barcelona, Cruyff went on to win four leagues, three cups, a European Cup and two Cup Winners’ Cup.

Steve O’Rourke says ‘No’

Britain Soccer Champions League

Source: Jon Super

Giggs, with a grand total of zero games management experience, is not the man to dig Manchester United out of the David Moyes/Ed Woodward shaped hole they currently find themselves in.

Instead, what Manchester United need now is a safe pair of hands, someone with experience at the highest levels of the game who knows what it takes to rebuild a team in his image.

And while most United fans would love to see the club return to the swashing-buckling style that defined much of the Alex Ferguson era — especially, it must be said, with Giggs at his pomp — he fails to fulfill the first two, and most important, aspects of the new vacancy’s job spec.

Barcelona, for example, didn’t entrust Pep Guardiola with the keys to the Camp Nou before sending him out for a year’s experience with Barcelona B (a year in which he achieved promotion) to show what he was made of.

Roy Keane, who for years was touted as the natural successor to Ferguson, tried and ultimately failed to cut his managerial teeth with Sunderland and Ipswich. Would Keane have wanted to coach United, like Giggs surely must? Of course, but that doesn’t entitle him to the job.

The best thing that can happen Manchester United is that Ryan Giggs leaves the club in the coming 18 months and finds success elsewhere before returning to take the Old Trafford reins after the next manager steadies the ship.

Indeed, I am in no doubt that, provided he achieves success in a job elsewhere, Ryan Giggs’ name will someday grace the manager’s door at Old Trafford in a permanent capacity. However, that time should not be August 2014.

Do you think Ryan Giggs should be considered for the United job?

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