5 Reasons to Enjoy Ryan Giggs' Interim Tenure at Manchester United
With all the reporting on the search for a new boss at Old Trafford, it can be easy to get swept up in thinking about the future.
If Giggs' appointment becomes a long-term one, then legitimate concerns could be raised about his lack of experience and the size of the gamble the appointment would represent.
However, given he is probably only going to be in charge for three more games, here are five reasons to be extremely cheerful about the current state of things.
As Giggs emerged from the tunnel in the corner of Old Trafford, as he had done so very many times, an emotion swept around the ground:
Ryan Giggs says he felt "10 feet tall" when he stepped out at OT today. He added: "The players didn't let me down." pic.twitter.com/J15AtXMJuB— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 26, 2014
It must have made many in the stadium feel 10-feet tall, too—seeing one of our own, all grown up, running the show.
The sheer pride, the sheer romantic “Manchester Unitedness” of it all. This youth-team product, who had now risen not only to the top of the world game, but also to the pinnacle of the club. It is a truly remarkable, sentimental story, and one to be much enjoyed.
His Choice of Staff
On the subject of sentiment...what more sentimental appointment than Paul Scholes? Nicky Butt and Phil Neville were both involved during the Moyes era—Neville with the first team and Butt with the reserves.
Paul Scholes was not, save for helping Butt out on matchdays. Seeing him helping Wayne Rooney warm up before kick-off against Norwich, it felt ridiculous that he had not been involved before. Giggs and Scholes embody United. Seeing them reunited was a joy to behold.
The atmosphere generated by United fans at home and away this season has been remarkable. In spite of—or perhaps because of—the difficult times, the crowd has been noticeably more vocal at Old Trafford.
However, there was still a lift in the atmosphere on Saturday, and it is one that is likely to continue for the games against Sunderland and Hull.
These would have been relatively meaningless fixtures for fans accustomed to the final few games of the season being crucial. They now offer a chance to celebrate one of United's favourite sons.
There has been more positivity in the atmosphere around the club, too—an intangible sense of a weight perhaps having been lifted.
It's going to be my philosophy. It's going to be a Manchester United philosophy. Passion, speed, tempo, be brave, imagination. Work hard but most of all enjoy it. If you enjoy it, you can express yourself more.
This quote, per The Guardian, from his first press conference in charge of United, was a cause for celebration for United fans. It was an acknowledgement that, in spite of some of the more pragmatic realities of the latter part of the Sir Alex Ferguson era, attacking football is an important part of United's identity as a club.
It was a profound tonic after the nine months of self-justification and expectation management that defined David Moyes' comments to the press.
That it was matched during the performance against Norwich, particularly in the second half, was a further boon.
Positivity in the Press
I've just said to them 'I trust you and I know what you’re capable of and go out there and show it on Saturday and give the fans something to shout about. Entertain them, score goals, make tackles, play with speed, play with tempo.' And that’s what they've done in training and they’ll take that out into the game on Saturday.
That quote, given as part of Giggs' first interview for MUTV (h/t ManUtd.com), is a further example of the difference in tone.
It is assumed that United will perform. It is taken for granted that United will meet their own best expectations of themselves. They are the words of a man accustomed to success.
None of this is to say he should be given the long-term position. Of course, that would be a huge risk, and no-one really knows what kind of manager Giggs would turn out to be.
However, these reasons and more are why the end of a season that looked like it was going to peter out to nothing will instead be a period that United fans will hold dear for many years to come.
Having Giggs in charge is, for the moment, a joy. It should be treasured as such.