Louis van Gaal appointment: Ryan Giggs unaware of Manchester United intentions

The club will find the current caretaker a role under the Dutchman
  • @ianherbs

Manchester United face a difficult balancing act in their hunt for a new manager– wanting to bring in an experienced successor to David Moyes while not alienating Ryan Giggs.

Giggs appears to be unaware of the club’s intentions, despite 62-year-old Louis van Gaal’s expectations that he will be in position at Old Trafford within days, to undertake crucial transfer market work before beginning preparations for the World Cup. His Dutch national squad assembles next Wednesday.

United want to give their new manager freedom to make his own backroom appointments, yet the awareness that Giggs must not be alienated by his role in the new set-up is more acute than ever, after the strength of the response to his installation as interim manager.

Giggs’ transformation of the mood within Carrington has contributed to an impact which has been more striking than some perhaps expected, when he was put in temporary charge ten days ago. More details are emerging of the buttoned–up nature of the Moyes regime, in the aftermath of his departure, with sources now suggesting that the Glaswegian’s determination to demonstrate ways in which senior player could improve specific technical aspects of their game went down particularly badly. Giggs clearly places more stress on the ambition of United’s football, with an acceptance that the players do possess the technical component to play with boldness.


The 40-year-old’s immediate restorative effect on the confidence of the players gives Van Gaal an unenviable challenge if, as expected, he does take over. However, his ambitious footballing style and commitment to young players are in keeping with the philosophy Giggs picked up from Sir Alex Ferguson. United know that the role they find for the Welshman must be one he can reconcile himself to, as he will not otherwise be willing to stay at Old Trafford.

The cohesion of the new management team will be critical, as one of the main points Van Gaal’s former players make about him is that he is generally a slow starter at his clubs. It takes time for him to get his ideas across fully and his teams playing how he wants them. Hans-Jorg Butt, the goalkeeper he controversially dropped at Bayern, is one of many who has told the Evening Standard that Van Gaal’s start at Bayern was particularly ponderous in 2009 - but once it clicked it the effect was impressive and the club won the Bundesliga title in his first season.