Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has spoken of his praise for assistant manager Ryan Giggs, who retired as a player at the end of last season after filling in for sacked manager David Moyes for the remaining four matches of the 2013/14 season. Giggs, the most decorate United player will be missed on the pitch, but under the wing of the Dutchman, he will be given the tools necessary to become the club’s manager, which could be as soon as Van Gaal steps down in three seasons, something I am sure former manager and protégé Sir Alex Ferguson will be very proud of.
Giggs was handed the number two role almost immediately after the Dutchman became the new United manager. Giggs flew out to the Netherlands at the end of the season for a meeting with Van Gaal, which is where I am sure the decisions were made. The Dutchman speaking to the official Manchester United website about Giggs, said:
“First of all, we have my assistant manager Ryan Giggs and I’m very pleased with him. I talked with him before I signed. Your first impression is always important and that was very good, and now the impression is still improving because I know him better.
“Also, he’s working very hard, as are all my assistants. It’s important that they don’t have a job that’s 9-5. You have to work very hard when you’re my assistant – it’s not always a pleasant job. But he’s doing very well and I’m happy he’s on my staff.
“I’m used to keeping one member from the previous staff of the club because I want to know the culture and he can advise me. I want to know the players and he can advise me. I want to know the talent of the youth players and he can advise me.
“So I always pick up trainer-coaches from the last season; at Barcelona I did that with Jose Mourinho, at Bayern I did it with Hermann Gerland and now it’s Ryan Giggs. Therefore, I’m very pleased because he knows everybody, he knows the culture better than anyone working at Manchester United, I believe, so I’m very pleased he is in my staff.
“The staff are more important than the players. It’s unfortunate for the players that I say that but you have to implement a philosophy and therefore you need staff who can give me the confidence that they’re doing the things I require.”
Van Gaal is pleased at how the players have adapted to Giggs’ methods during training. He is a well-respected member of the team and the players will do anything for him. The Dutchman has introduced double training sessions, which will be a shock to the system for some of the players, but will be something that will benefit them during the season. In effect their fitness levels will be much better training twice a day, rather than just once. The Iron Tulip continued by saying:
“They are hard-working players. They are focused and that’s very important to me. I enjoy working with them and that’s much more important than you can imagine.
“When I see them doing the exercises that I and my staff require, they respond very well and they’re disciplined, and I like that because we need discipline on the pitch when we play a match.
“It might not be what they’re used to but double sessions are normal for me. I have the impression that, for some players, it’s very difficult.
“We have different players now because we have played with non-World Cup players for two weeks and now we have the World Cup players, from England for example. They have to adapt to the level of what is required now.”
Many Manchester United supporters, including myself, cannot wait for the team to kick a ball this pre-season. The signings of Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw have been welcomed and providing the club strengthens in the correct areas and clears out the players that will not be making a difference, things will be just fine going into the new season. The experience lost with Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra leaving this summer will be noticed, especially if the defence is left how it is right now. Ryan Giggs will also be missed on the pitch, but his presence will still be a boost to his team-mates.
I think some of the youth players will be given a much-needed chance in the first team this coming season, which continues the way the club has been run over the years. Manchester United produce many youth players, not just for the club, many of which are currently enjoying their careers all over the world, which is a good thing. It shows that the Academy within Manchester United is successful and worthwhile. I would like to see the likes of Michael Keane, Tyler Blackett, Reece James, Jesse Lingard, Will Keane, Tom Lawrence and James Wilson given some kind of role in the squad this season, or just a few of them for now would be refreshing.