Thursday, 15 May 2014

Giggs Will Learn From The Best In Van Gaal

It is perhaps fortunate for Manchester United as a club that Ryan Giggs did not sweep all before him in his four games in charge. Three home games against relegation strugglers, in addition to an away trip to an admittedly fine Southampton side with nothing to play for, are not the criteria by which to judge a potential United boss, in the same way that David Moyes' winless away record against the top four should have been used to judge his own suitability.

After the 4-0 win against Norwich in his debut game, the calls for Giggs to be given the top job were growing. The big bad Scotch grump had been chased out of town and now was the time for a real (Welsh) Manc to show the true spirit and winning mentality of Old Trafford's Theatre Of Dreams. The subsequent home slip-up to Sunderland was as close to a blessing in disguise as a defeat can possibly be. It confirmed, to those who needed reminding, that Man United remained a football club, like any other, who simply needed a proven manager with a track record of winning that the supporters could get behind; not the flimsy fairytale of an unproven legend.

The aformentioned proven manager looks like being Louis van Gaal. Unlike David Moyes, a man who threw a fit of insecurity in completely re-shaping the club's backroom staff (as if he needed to prove to everyone that the Everton 'way' could really be replicated at the very top level), the Dutchman is attempting to harness what remains of the Fergie legacy by holding discussions with Giggs regarding the assistant manager's job. It is Darwin's Theory Of Evolution, not Revolution, and van Gaal will treat what Sir Alex left behind with care.

His appointment of Giggs will also be a shrewd political manouvere, as it will neutralise any threat (small as it is) that the Welshman will pose for the managerial position in the future. Not only that, but to be assistant manager at a club like Man United is a more prestigous position than most top jobs elsewhere. Just ask Carlos Queiroz, who walked straight into the Real Madrid job via Sir Alex's right hand. Giggs' time spent learning from such a decorated man as the former Barcelona coach van Gaal, will prove vital to his future managerial career, wherever that may be.

We can only breathe a sigh of relief that United didn't go down the Sherwood route, as no matter how amusing last season's fall from grace was, it is a shame to see a good legacy be ripped up. Careful rebuilding is required, and after Holland's Euro campaign, van Gaal will get to work on his toughest job yet.

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