Ryan Giggs - Manchester United Manager, Opportunity of a Lifetime or Calamity Waiting to Happen?
So after all the hoo-ha surrounding David Moyes and whether the United Board would, or wouldn't go against the grain and sack an incumbent manager, today the club have finally confirmed the news that we all expected. Moyes is indeed to leave the club with immediate effect, leaving the highly respected Giggs in charge until a full time replacement could be appointed.
Such an appointment could be considered a sensible strategy, especially given that there are but a few games left until the end of the season. However as the club currently lie in a lowly seventh place in the Premier League, they may not yet qualify for Europe, even as participants of the Europa League. The only way to ensure they are indeed playing in Europe next season is to secure sixth place.
Can Giggs inspire his team-mates and make the Red Devils a force to be reckoned with once more and secure the additional source of income that surely must be of paramount importance to the club?
It's an interesting quandary and history shows that just because a player has achieved great things on the pitch, to emulate such greatness as a manager, doesn't always follow. Take for example the likes of Maradona, Tony Adams, Roy Keane, Marco van Basten and even Sir Geoff Hurst. Despite playing under some of the game's greatest managers, amongst the finest players, none managed to recreate that success from the dugout.
Making the massive jump from player to manager is hard enough when done at a different club, or indeed timeframe to that which leads to adulation as a player. To do so with the same guys that as of yesterday were team-mates is the hardest job of all. Friendships may well go out of the window; quickly!
If Giggs can stop the rot and even make a significant challenge for sixth spot, then he will have made a major statement of intent. Perhaps in some ways, he can't really lose. After all, snatching sixth from a resurgent Spurs may be a task too much for this team. On the other hand, for Manchester United, it may be too much for one man.
Were that to be the case and with no European revenue next season to help balance the books, things may well start to look quite bleak. A new 'full time' experienced manager is likely to want the promise of significant funds to replace the misfiring squad inherited by Moyes. Unfortunately UEFA's Financial Fair Play model may well have something to say about that.
If I were in Giggs' position, I too would of course jump at the chance. Fail and there's always a media career waiting for him. But for United, the risks are significant and may result in more problems than those that the decision to appoint Giggs, was intended to solve.
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