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Is Ryan Giggs ready to take over permanently as Manchester United boss?

Apr 22, 2014, 8:05 AM EDT

David Moyes, right, was fired on Tuesday and replaced by current Untied player Ryan Giggs, left, on an interim basis. AP

Ryan Giggs is a Manchester United legend.

Plain and simple.

Yet the 40-year-old who has played in United’s first team since the age of 17 now has an entirely difference challenge facing him at Old Trafford: now he’s in charge of the locker room.

Following the firing of David Moyes as United manager on Tuesday, the Red Devils announced Giggs will take charge on an interim basis for the rest of the 2013-14 campaign as the player/coach steps up to lead his side in their time of need.

Giggs was appointed as one of Moyes’ coaches when the Scotsman took over just nine months and 22 days ago from Sir Alex Ferguson, and the former Welsh international now has the opportunity to prove he can manage one of, if not the, biggest clubs in the world.

Is Giggs just a stop gap or a genuine contender to become the new main man at Old Trafford?

(MORE: Manchester United fire David Moyes as manager)

After the announcement that he will take over for the remaining four games of the 2013-14 campaign — home games against Norwich City, Sunderland and Hull City before traveling to Southampton on the final day of the season — bookmakers slashed the odds on Giggs becoming the new manager of United. Other contenders include Louis van Gaal, Jurgen Klopp and Diego Simeone as the Glazer family now have a huge decision to make on Moyes’ successor.

Giggs is now the 7-1 second favorite, behind current Dutch national team boss van Gaal, as the bookies clearly see Giggs’ relatively quick appointment in the hotseat on a caretaker basis as a sign of how highly he’s respected within the clubs hierarchy.

(VIDEO: Where David Moyes went wrong at United)

As for fans, they seemed mixed on his appointment as many interviewed outside Old Trafford on Tuesday suggested Giggs “didn’t have enough managerial experience.” That is true, but does anyone other than Sir Alex Ferguson know the club better than Giggs?

I think not.

He’s the most decorated player in the clubs history after winning 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups and two Champions League winner’s medals for United. In his 24 seasons as a professional player Giggs has racked up 962 appearances for United, scoring 168 goals, plus he’s the epitome of a one-club man and everything that oozes success from United’s prestigious pores.

Among many other records he has scored in all 21 PL seasons, has made 21 appearances this season and holds the PL record for most games played (631). That being said, surely people needn’t worry about a lack of experience from Giggs? He has proved himself to be a diligent and studious coach behind the scenes, as footage of him hurriedly taking notes and traveling all around the world last summer prove he’s taking his coaching badges seriously. Giggs is currently completing his UEFA Pro license and has already obtained his UEFA A and B licenses as he is the only current PL player to have the Pro license under his belt.

(MORE: Ryan Giggs appointed interim boss of Man United)

It is safe to say Giggs is preparing himself for life after playing soccer and with his playing contract running out at Old Trafford this summer, will Giggsy be signing a new deal as United’s new manager?

His inexperience will likely mean the Glazer family will look to van Gaal or other coaches with a track record of winning trophies at the elite level of soccer in Europe. Yet if Giggs can instantly turn his vast wealth of elite experience as a player into being a top coach, which he has already been working on this season and for most of the 2012-13 campaign, then why can’t he succeed?

Importantly, he will have the full support and respect of the playing staff and the fans. That is something that Moyes never had.

  1. classicalfje - Apr 22, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    No, he won’t take over permanently, nor is he ready to. He has no experience, and the Board of Directors won’t hire someone with no experience to lead Man United out of their slump. Also, the owners won’t be trusting Giggs with the purse this summer window. Playing experience doesn’t always equate to great coaching, and has been statistically proven that there is little difference between former players, and managers who haven’t had a substantial playing career. Also, Giggs was being mentored by Moyes, and now is being mentored. Yes, I’m sure Ferguson is helping behind the scenes now, but he isn’t the one sitting down on the sideline anymore. Man United fans can forget Klopas coming over either. He wouldn’t want to come to a failing team, and also, he is doing excellent wher he is, and the Dortmund fans love him.

  2. serfelixculpa - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    “[E]verything that oozes success from United’s prestigious pours.”

    I think you probably meant prestigious pores. I concur with “oozes” being used as a metaphor for United’s success, however.

    • Joe Prince-Wright - Apr 22, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      Thanks for the heads up on this. One fancy metaphor too many, come back to bite me!

      Do you think United were correct to fire Moyes?

      • serfelixculpa - May 1, 2014 at 11:23 AM

        I think Moyes is a decent coach who got caught up in a situation where too much was utterly beyond his control. His style of play was not suited to Man Utd, nor was his personality. I think he can be a fine coach for another club (as he was for Everton), but in the end he probably had to go.

        Since I am not a United supporter, however, let me retract all that and say they should have given him at least five more years to mold the team in his image. ;-)

  3. Vnice - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    Second rate writing again.

    “surely people needn’t worry about a lack of experience from Giggs?” This isn’t even properly phrased as a question, not to mention the fact that you completely discount the opinions of a LOT of ManU’s supporters. He *does* have a lack of experience, so of course people would worry about that.

    Plus, you referred to him as Giggs and Giggsy in the same sentence. *sigh*

    • dfstell - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:06 PM

      You know….in some ways he could be good. It all comes down to a basic question: Will the players play for him? Will other players that they buy in the summer play for him?

      I listened to one podcast where they suggested (with tongue planted in cheek) that to turn around United’s season, Moyes should gather then into a circle and shove Giggs into the middle and say, “That is Ryan Giggs. This is his last season. Now get your heads out of your butts and play football.”

      I’m pretty sure that the current players would play for him. I don’t know about players coming in from the outside. They would probably care less, but that’s when we’d find out how much of a leader he is.

  4. Vnice - Apr 22, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    Giggs is not going to be the permanent manager. He needs more experience, at the very least in an assistant role, before taking the reigns of any huge club.

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