Ryan Giggs takes the easy option at Manchester United 0

Louis Van Gaal has finally been appointed Manchester United manager, and it has been confirmed that Ryan Giggs will serve as one of his assistants.

Really, that’s an arrangement that works for nobody.

Van Gaal’s agreement to having Giggs as his deputy was presumably a concession he made during his contract talks and it’s hard to believe that he wouldn’t have been more comfortable surrounding himself with staff with whom he had previously worked.

So be it.  Giggs knows Manchester United, is a symbol of the club’s decadently successfully era, and will be something of a comfort blanket for those still missing Sir Alex Ferguson.

But what good does it actually do him?  What value is there in him remaining as a number two when he so clearly has ambitions to be a manager in his own right?  Arguing that Van Gaal is someone from whom he can learn is a limited viewpoint, because hands-on experience is an infinitely more valuable educational tool - if Giggs does covet the manager’s job at Old Trafford in three or four years, he would be far better equipped for the role by the spending that time actually running another club.

Go and make mistakes, go and try out tactical philosophies in a more forgiving environment…if Ryan Giggs is naturally suited to management and has the calibre Manchester United require, then his association with the club will guarantee him an opportunity in the future.

Being Van Gaal’s assistant has some value, but the greater perception is that Giggs is treading water and biding his time until he can trade off his playing career and walk into a job for which he has limited qualifications.  That’s very ‘British ex-player’ of him.

It’s also risky, because by that time the domestic game might have grown out of the archaic assumption that former players always make good managers.  The safer bet for Giggs would have been to go and prove that he has merit beyond the pitch.

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