Ryan Giggs retired from professional football Monday penning a letter to Manchester United fans thanking them for their support. Giggs’ retirement coincided with the appointment of Louis Van Gaal as manager and Giggs taking on a new role as assistant manager. Van Gaal is not a long-term solution. The Dutchman has never lasted more than three seasons in his previous management experiences outside his home nation.
Little doubt exists that Van Gaal will return United to competitiveness at the top of the Premier League, at least temporarily. The manager is a born winner, a disciplinarian with quirks but someone who knows how to manage big personalities and big clubs.
But the sense I get is that Van Gaal is just a seat warmer. Someone who will return United to its expected level of results while molding and shaping the next great long-term British manager — Ryan Giggs.
Giggs will take the reins at Old Trafford in the next few seasons I have no doubt. After working under Van Gaal, as Jose Mourinho once did, he will be a more seasoned and complete manager, ready for the task of keeping United among the global football elite.
Here’s Ryan Giggs’ letter to Manchester United fans after announcing his retirement as a professional footballer:
“Today is a fantastic day for Manchester United. Louis van Gaal is appointed manager of Manchester United and let me begin by telling you how delighted I am to be working with someone of his calibre. His credentials are second to none and I’m positive the club will thrive under his leadership over the coming years.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to announce my retirement from professional football and embark upon a new and exciting chapter in my life, as assistant manager of Manchester United. I am immensely proud, honoured and fortunate to have represented the biggest club in the world 963 times and Wales 64 times. My dream was always to play for Manchester United, and although it saddens me to know I won’t be pulling on a United jersey again as a player, I have been lucky enough to have fulfilled that dream playing with some of the best players in the world, working under an incredible manager in Sir Alex Ferguson, and most of all, playing for the greatest fans in world football. I have always felt and appreciated your support.
“I want to also give a huge thanks to the backroom staff and support teams we have and have had at Manchester United over the years. I would not have achieved the success I have without your continuing dedication and commitment to creating the best environment to enable the players to thrive. I would not have won 34 trophies in my career without you. I would also like to say a special thanks to my friends and family for all your love and support.
“For me, today is a new chapter filled with many emotions – immense pride, sadness, but most of all, excitement towards the future. United fans I hope will share and echo my belief that the club, the management and owners, are doing everything they can to return this great club to where it belongs, and I hope to be there every step of the way. To the greatest fans in world football, thank you, I have loved every minute of playing for you and representing the biggest and best club in the world.
“See you next season.