As Louis Van Gaal begins to poke his way around Manchester, he will have the best assistance that could be offered. According to published reports, Ryan Giggs will take a role as Van Gaal’s number two while the Dutch head coach fills out his prospective coaching staff at Old Trafford.
Giggs offers a degree of continuity and continues the “spirit of 99,” United’s treble winning side, around the club. As assistant manager, he can serve as an effective go-between with the players and the new regime. Many of these players have been mentored by Giggs while others simply will be comfortable with him as a former peer. This should make the Van Gaal transition smoother than it might be otherwise.
A question exists though if Giggs is ultimately the successor to Van Gaal whose tenure at United is by logic destined to be a short one. The 62 year-old manager has never survived in management outside his native Holland for more than three seasons at a time. Furthermore, it seems his appointment is about achieving a quick return to Champions League football, not necessarily building a long-term foundation for the club.
The long game and perspective on the future might have to come from Giggs. As the resident United lifer on the staff, he will need to give his input about younger players and keep the focus on returning the Red Devils to top of English football on a permanent basis.
The prospective appointment of Giggs is a very good move and also shows if it comes to fruition the confidence Van Gaal has in his own abilities to place Giggs in such a visible and responsible position.