Reds seek reason to include ’1992 Committee’ in van Gaal’s new United

Louis van Gaal

The “1992 Committee” – as fanzine Red Issue recently dubbed Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville – scored something of a victory when David Moyes was dismissed as Manchester United manager last Tuesday. It is not that the quartet had actively sought the Scot’s removal, although there has not been word of protest as Moyes left Old Trafford, but that Giggs so smartly maneuvered his group into position to take over.  Indeed, such has been the fever greeting the Welshman’s appointment as interim manager this week that there is a new question – a key one at that: what role does Giggs and his ‘Committee’ take in a new, possibly Dutch, regime?

After all, Giggs may have been in the job only a week, but there has been a sense of genuine gravitas each day of the Welshman’s short reign. Giggs has demonstrated far greater poise in seven days, in fact, than Moyes had any point during 10 months in charge. The interim manager’s positivity in front of the press last week was then reflect in a decisive team selection for United’s victory over Norwich City at Old Trafford, and sensible in-game changes to ram home the Reds’ advantage.

Yet, while Giggs has proven to be a leader, his managerial qualities remain an enigma. There is little substance to a bandwagon that is rapidly gaining momentum. While Giggs has history and personality, there is little else on which to prop appointment to one of the world’s top jobs.

Still, the ease with which Giggs has slipped into Sir Alex Ferguson’s shoes is underlined by the glowing references offered by senior voices in and around the club. Giggs, said Wayne Rooney, has “all the credentials” to take over full time. Anders Lindegaard went further, comparing his team-mate to Pep Guardiola. Gary Neville outright called for the Welshman to be offered the job.

It seems unlikely Giggs’ ample fanbase will be rewarded though, with United privately unwilling to countenance a risky appointment after the damaging Moyes experiment. Yet, there is little doubt Ed Woodward and the Glazers are desperate to keep the 40-year-old former winger in some capacity – perhaps even to breaking point as a deal with manager-in-waiting Louis van Gaal is thrashed out.

It provokes an observation: if United fail to offer Giggs the manager’s job outright, could the Welshman bring ‘a lot of heat at the bottom of the ticket’ in an assistant’s role? It is a thesis bastardised from Aaron Sorkin’s West Wing, but appropriate nonetheless given Giggs’ ample demonstration of political nous. So much that there is much weight to the belief that van Gaal may not want Giggs involved in a material way.

Indeed, the role of 1992′s cohort is perhaps central to ongoing negotiations with the Dutchman.  van Gaal is keen to bring Danny Blind, Patrick Kluivert and a substantial Dutch entourage to Old Trafford; United’s executives remain resolute that a link between management and the Reds’ rich history is maintained.

This is in part a lesson from Moyes’ disastrous era, when the Scot replaced much of United’s coaching team with a quartet of colleagues from Everton – a move that precipitated damaging splits within the club. It is also commercial reality, with the ’92 group marketable in a fashion van Gaal’s team is not.

Still, Giggs’ candidature holds little more than sentiment at this point. He may have spent 25 years under Ferguson’s tutelage, but there is no team-building experience, nor work undertaken in the transfer market, to say little of a tactical outlook of which few have any real knowledge. The argument that a summer of significant rebuilding should be pushed through by a novice is as open to a charge of naivety as Giggs is raw.

These are solid doubts amid the emotion that Giggs’ promotion fosters. Yet, those prominent voices are ready to look beyond the coldly rational to a less prosaic outcome.

“What we have seen in the first week has been more than convincing,” wrote Lindegaard this week.

“The similarities with Sir Alex Ferguson are striking. Some would question whether you can go from being a team-mate one day to a manager the next. Normally I would have reservations, but in the case of Giggs it is different.

“His latest speech, before the team went onto the pitch for the Norwich game, made my hairs stand on end in a way that I have only ever experienced from Sir Alex Ferguson: Do not disappoint the fans!”

Neville went further still, first calling for the installation of a “British” manager at Old Trafford, and then naming Giggs as his preferred choice. Experienced or not, the bandwagon is rolling strongly in the Welshman’s favour and Giggs would not hesitate in accepting an unlikely call.

“Let him have two or three more games to see whether he can bed in and be given that role,” said Neville.

“Ryan hasn’t got experience but he knows the club. There’s the idea that Van Gaal has massive experience, but doesn’t know the Premier League. The owners want an experienced hand, but I personally would like to see a British manager be appointed.

“There’s the idea of managers who have one or two good seasons like Jose Mourinho. It worked for Chelsea and then Andre Villas-Boas didn’t. Ryan’s got no experience but then is Van Gaal going to work? We don’t know.”

Despite van Gaal now being rated as the odds-on favourite to secure a three year deal the club is reportedly open to other candidates. The due diligence process is undoubtedly sensible whatever the dearth of available candidates this summer.

With Mourinho tied to Chelsea, Guardiola unlikely to leave Bayern Munich and Carlo Anchelotti now safe at Real Madrid, United’s options have narrowed. Atlético Madrid’s Champions League final coach Diego Simeone and Antonio Conte – three-time Serie A winner with Juventus – are high-quality, if unlikely alternatives.

The smart money remains on the Dutchman, although he might not be available until late July or early August when Holland head home from this summer’s World Cup in Brazil. Moreover, van Gaal’s intermediaries have made it clear that the 62-year-old is entirely focused on the national team from 7 May onwards. In this there is another problem for Woodward to solve: how United is to be highly active in the transfer market without a coach in place.

For the moment this is of little concern to Giggs, interim manager. But if negotiations with van Gaal break down the Welshman and his Committee will be ready to step in once again.

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  • http://twitter.com/NSpglover Nemesis

    Excellent – Giggs is the new Machiavelli. Using an Hegelian dialectic of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. Probs doesn’t realise

  • True United Fan

    Van Gaal should be big enough and confident enough to recognise our history.These guys are part of us.Every fan throughout the world knows and feels this. It will cause mayhem for this to be ignored. Personally, if Van Gaal does not reach agreement on this, then bring back Rene and Mick with the lads.I do not want Moyes Chapter 2.

    • MS Assefa

      So you are saying Van Gaal who has one everything is Moyes chapter 2 and Giggs and the class of 92 (Phil Neville is in there, go figure) who have never even coached let alone won anything as managers are the solution to that. Sometimes its xenophobic idiots like you who make me think they should give the job to Giggs so i could just see what you say by ths time next year when he fails miserably. Which British manager are oyou gonna recommend then, Roy Hodgson?

    • MS Assefa

      So you are saying Van Gaal who has one everything is Moyes chapter 2 and Giggs and the class of 92 (Phil Neville is in there, go figure) who have never even coached let alone won anything as managers are the solution to that. Sometimes its xenophobic idiots like you who make me think they should give the job to Giggs so i could just see what you say by ths time next year when he fails miserably. Which British manager are you gonna recommend then, Roy Hodgson?

  • Denton Davey

    ” if Van Gaal does not reach agreement on this, then bring back Rene and Mick with the lads.”

    I’d agree with your argument that Moyes 2.0 is not a good thing although I am leery of anointing Ryan Giggs based on the team’s good second-half against abysmal Norwich.

    What I’ve never understood why Phelan gets so little respect. Is it because he’s bald ? Is it because he wears shorts ?? Is it because his pressers are dour/boring ??? The guy was SAF’s #2 for the best five-year period in UTD’s history, surely he did more than arrange the cones on the training ground.

    • RobDiablo

      “the best five-year period in UTD’s history”

      Did you actually watch the football being played in those five years?

      United won only three league titles in the last five years of Sir Alex’s reign at Old Trafford, so the ’96-’97 to ’00-’01 seasons (four league titles and The Treble) easily eclipses your golden half-decade (plus the football was miles better).

      Those last five years include league titles 19 and 20, which were won by the worst and second worst sides ever to win the Premiership respectively. Are you seriously proposing that Phelan be given a role in rebuilding United?

      • Denton Davey

        ” Are you seriously proposing that Phelan be given a role in rebuilding United?”

        NOT “seriously proposing” but, rather, seriously wondering why Phelan gets absolutely no consideration.

        Phelan is bald and wears shorts. But why is he so routinely disregarded as a man with a serious CV – as opposed to Ryan Giggs who has absolutely no experience of management and whose idea of “returning to basics” involved a starting-eleven with Rio/Vidic/Valencia and then bringing in AshleyBloodyYoung as a substitute.

        Let’s not forget that Giggs’ team-sheet (and playing style) for the first half of the match against abysmal Norwich was really a warmed-over version of Moyes2.0 (or Fergy2011-2013). The team only won the match when Juan Mata and KagawaBunga took control of the attack by breaking away from the rigid (and out-dated) 4-4-2 that was the way that Giggs lined them up. If anything, the victory against Norwich was another variant on the victory against Newcastle when circumstances forced Moyes to depart from his comfort zone and play Kagawa/Mata/Januzaj as an inter-changing “3″ behind a non-Rooney striker.

        Great players very rarely make good managers. The down-side risk with anointing (or “choosing”) Giggs is probably much greater than going with a journeyman manager like Phelan.

  • stewart

    signing giggs as our manager will not be a MOYES NO:2!!!!!

    Giggs knows the club! knows the style of play! knows the players!
    AND most importantly the players WILL play for him!

    MOYES thought he had been at the club for 10years being successful that’s why he failed!
    HE ALSO had bad man management skills!

    sign GIGGS it will be the best thing the board will do for over 2 decades!

  • Subterranean Steve

    I see nothing wrong with a young manager such as Giggs coming in and then wisely chosing as his support staff, individuals who have the talent to fulfill roles which can help Giggs as he develops as a manager. That’s a world away from clueless Moyes turning up with his equally clueless cronies from Everton.

    So rather than Giggs being an assistant to a more experienced manager, he, Giggs becomes the manager and he ‘buys in’ the kind of expertise/support that can help overcome any shortcomings caused by his lack of actual managerial experience.

    Funny thing experience, Giggs might have little managerial experience but twenty three years in the first team at United makes him the most experienced elite club footballer on the planet. Got to be worth something.

  • Hallvard

    If Giggs could work a couple of years under an experienced manager as an assistant manager he would probably be ready for the top job. Appointing him now seems like to big a risk, and more based on emotions than rationale. On the other hand, if a new manager wouldn’t want to work with Giggs then he wouldn’t be the right man for the job.

    Gary Nevilles motive in all this seems solely to make his brother keep his job. First he desperately defends Moyes without any consistent arguments, Moyes gets the sack, his brother doesn’t and all of a sudden he keeps his mouth shut… until he starts fearing that a new manager can’t keep all of the 92s and then starts backing Giggs for the permanent job.

  • Bill2

    All this “it has to be a British manager” nonsense really is stuff from the dark ages. Best man for the job. Simple as that.

  • Julian

    Ideally we need a clean break from the Fergie era. We need someone like no nonsense Van Gaal to come in, take a totally objective view of things, sort it all out and put United firmly back on the map. If he’s here for say three years, with United stabilised and once again challenging for top honours, then LVG can hand over to a younger man. What we do not want now is for the club to insist that Giggs and co be accommodated in the new regime so that Fergie’s legacy, or for some such other dubious reason, can be continued. Fergie must let go too! LVG should decide whether or not Giggs can be accommodated. Actually Giggs would be better off starting his management career elsewhere, as number one, to see how he goes. Then after LVG has done his thing he could be considered along with other young guys such as De Boer or Klopp as LVG’s successor.

  • ana wakili

    why are you so selfish to chose giggs as united manager while he is in experience? united now need an experience coach to take them back to their level not one like giggs coz united is a big team for big manager not in experiwnce one.

  • http://twitter.com/BrianMac60 Brian McGuinness

    like that photo – but is LvG another chinless wonder?

  • geoff

    To say that all members of the class of 92 must be given a role in the team is so solipsistic. We must be sober when appointing the next manager lest we continue to fall deeper in the abyss we were with Moyes. Liverpool, Arsenal,Chelsea,City & even Spurs & everton are thinking on how to improve from next season.
    In carrington we are debating on whether the class of 92 should be given permanent managerial role in the club. Never mind we haven’t even decided whether we will have a new manager or continue with the class of 92. What is going on at the club? We are loosing direction & If the world cup starts before we appoint a new manager (suppose Van Gaal) the be assured next season we will fall even further down the table.

    Van Gaal is an experienced trainer who highly regards youth systems & has always kept 2 members of previous regimes wherever he has worked. Giggs,Scholes & Neville are totally fresh to their current new roles. Butt used to work with the youth players & i think he should stick there alongside scholesy who had a short stint with the reserves when he first retired. Giggsy should accept the role Van Gaal & the club will consider best for him cz am sure Van Gaal respects him as one of the club’s all time greats. I even propose he starts from the bottom so that he grasps everything by the time Van gaal departs(i assume 4yrs).

    This might be a blessing in disguise if the class of 92 start at less prominent roles away from the Cameras & public glare . It would give them a sense of independence & the season’s progresses they be included in decision making in small capacities.

    The idea of just giving them top roles on the basis of their legendary playing careers would be disastrous. Could you imagine seeing Giggs as our manager struggle the way Moyes did & finally getting sacked? Its unthinkable mates so lets hope he takes this journey step by step.

  • geoff

    An extract from another man united fans blog (live life unit.com)

    Can Ryan Giggs become the next United manager? Yes, he can but not now. The lack of experience is not the biggest issue but rather the lack of exposure to different managers and playing philosophies might be his biggest disadvantage. In his 25 years career, he only played under Fergie which might cause him to have a set of pre-determined template of how the game should be played, very much influenced by Fergie. It was evidence by both Scholes and Neville as it seemed that they were quite single-minded that the game should be played with pace and speed with fast wingers which was Fergie’s template on the game. There is no wrong or correct answer in this regard but as proven by Manchester City & Barcelona (under Pep Guardiola), there are different ways the game can be played and also be successful.

    Especially in this modern era where the game is evolving and becoming more sophisticated, United need someone who can bring in a more progressive idea to move the club forward very much like what Carlos Quieroz had done during his tenure with United. Louis Van Gaal has been strongly linked with United and no doubt, his footballing philosophy is what United need currently in order to move forward but the most worrying issue about him is that at times, he can be controversial due to his non-comprising and overconfidence attitude.

    He is the polar opposite of David Moyes; a decent person but without the required characteristics to succeed at the highest level. The question here is; do United need to choose someone from one end of the spectrum to another end? In an ideal world, no, it shouldn’t be as with case of Jose Mourinho who was being overlooked in succeeding Sir Alex as sometimes, the way he conducts himself might not reflect the values that United want to carry. But Van Gaal is the best option United have currently considering the unavailability of Ancelotti & Klopp.

    Don’t take me wrongly, Louis Van Gaal is a very good manager with good footballing philosophy and definitely someone who can bring in silverwares for United as proven by his track records but just brace yourself for some drama or controversial if he ever becomes the manager of United. Ultimately, the ideal scenario would be Ryan Giggs becomes the Assistant Manager and learns some trade from him. When the timing or situation is right, he will take over the managerial role for a longer haul

  • Damian Garside

    I read with interest the critiques of Giggs’ team selection for the match v Norwich. I too felt mit was a bit close to what we could have expected from Moyes (erring on the side of conservatism). The team-changes made in the second half though seemed to work very well. My teasing thought is, if Van Gaal — a manager who espouses attacking football — were to choose his team from the players we have right now, what do you think his choice would be (and what formation would they be playing and what new tactics that we perhaps haven’t seen yet from this team)?

  • geoff

    Why is everyone hysterical with the class of 92 ? They are legendary class of players who knows what it means to wear the united jersey & play for the fans. They were professionals who tried to be role models in their conduct. But for heaven’s sake who said this would translate them into coaching or managerial candidates? Do we even know if they really want to coach man united as a passion or they just think that this is just their natural next step to take?

    One thing for sure is that we must take a break from the fergy Era. We learned this from trying to “choose” a manager in fergy’s image. We wanted a “mini fergy”, a ferguson look-alike & we know how it ended with Moyes experiment. When sir alex was appointed he was not a looked at as the next sir Matt. He was a self-made Aberdeen manager who had proved himself by breaking the Celtic & rangers domination in Scotland & he even beat real Madrid in the European cup.

    Sir alex was allowed to continue with the great traditions of the club especially the youth-set up while at the same time he tried to improve & modify some aspects of it by signing in young players from abroad & grooming them into the first team players. He also had a love of signing in 1 or 2 established international players. He trusted to do all this because it improved the club as a global brand that people like me came to know & love way back in 1995. man united had its core in Britain but people from all over the world felt part of it because of the club’s global appeal.

    Now back to Giggs. First we can’;t compare him to Pep. Pep had experienced different coaches in Cruyff & Van Gaal (two of the most tactically astute coaches of our times alonside the likes of sacchi,Lippi, ect). pep also upon retiring traveled to have insight where he met the likes of Bielsa (another football purist coach). He learnt a lot & when he came back to barca he only wanted Barca B team to start with. he proved himself again by winning promotion from the segunda B to La liga 1st division only that one club could not field 2 teams in the same tournament.

    Giggs has only known sir alex as a manager. This will prove to be a handicap because he will be trying to do things the “sir alex’s way” which of course won’t happen perfectly. sir alex’s way was not even perfect way. He was a genius in the way he has won trophies with players like valencia, young,cleverley,fletcher & welbeck in his team. Give this team to many managers & they would finish no further than 7th like Moyes witnessed. So it would be very unwise into thinking that Giggs will just use the knowledge he got from sir alex to propel the club forward.

    It would be proper for Giggs to learn from Van Gaal from a mentor-ship capacity role while the same time learning from his coaches who are well equipped with progressive modern football ideas. Butt used to work with the youth’s & it would be better he’s joined in by scholes who had started with the reserves but stopped when called out of retirement.

    Knowing very well that Van Gaal has massive experience & football knowledge we should look to use his abilities to better our club. The sentimental voices calling for Giggsy to be named 1st team manager should stop. Objectivity should reign supreme at all times. I would never want to see what happened to Moyes to happen to Giggs. I would not want to see Giggs struggling with the basics of coaching.

    If Giggsy truly honest that he wants to be his own man & manage the club then he better be patient & “earn” his place. he should let the voices praising him for the job from sir alex & man united legends fade away. He should make people stop looking him like a “a club legend who was given the job on his legendary status”…..Just like when Pep wan’t seen by the fans 7 players like “,,,,,a legenday player coaching us… but “…as a coach who learned his trade & mixed it with his football experience & earned his position…”