Radical Backroom Changes Could See Van Gaal Mirror Moyes at Manchester United

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Radical Backroom Changes Could See Van Gaal Mirror Moyes at Manchester United
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

We've been here before.

A year ago there was plenty of talk about Manchester United's backroom staff. 

Would there be a place for Mike Phelan, Rene Meulensteen and Eric Steele under Sir Alex Ferguson's successor, David Moyes?

Would Steve Round, Jimmy Lumsden and Chris Woods follow Moyes to Old Trafford from Everton?

We all know what happened. Phelan, Meulensteen and Steele departed, and it was instantly used as a stick with which to beat the new manager. It is still seen by many supporters as Moyes' first mistake.

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There is the same uncertainty this time. 

United haven't even appointed their new manager yet and there's already speculation about who will, or won't, get a place on the staff. Ryan Giggs and his Class of '92 coaches, especially.

But without sounding too much like a 15-year-old describing their relationship status on Facebook, it's complicated.

Complicated because Giggs is the caretaker manager. Complicated because he's incredibly popular with the fans. Complicated because with every win between now and the end of the season, the clamour for him to get the job permanently will increase.

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

It puts Louis van Gaal, if he gets the job, in a difficult position. 

At the very least, United fans, and the board, want Giggs to stay on in some capacity. But Van Gaal will want to surround himself with coaches he knows and trusts as he starts a new job.

Giggs told reporters on Friday he still doesn't know what will happen at the end of the season.

The way I’m thinking is I’m enjoying it and my concentration is on tomorrow and then the remaining two games. 

I’ve got a decision to make to decide whether or not I want to continue playing or not so there is no point thinking do I want to be an assistant or a manager somewhere else. 

There are so many things to think about. I’m just concentrating on what I’m doing at the moment because it’s taking up a lot of my time.

Nothing has changed. It’s until the end of the season and we’ll chat when that’s over. My main concentration is on Sunderland tomorrow and the remaining two games.

I've got a lot to think about, whether to carry on playing. My concentration is just on now. We'll see what happens at the end of the season.

Incoming mangers often want to keep some continuity. Manuel Pellegrini brought his own coaches to Manchester City from Malaga but also found a place for Brian Kidd.

But there's a difference between accommodating Kidd, seemingly happy in the background, and finding a place for Giggs, who has visions of being a boss himself.

Giggs would also face a difficult transition to go from player-coach to manager and back to player-coach.

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

It would be a loss to United if 23 years of Old Trafford experience was allowed to walk out of the door this summer. No one knows the club or the dressing room better.

But forcing coaches, even club legends, on a new manager is a dangerous tactic. And there is never a guarantee an arranged relationship will work out.

It will be up to the board, the new manager and Giggs to decide whether the pros outweigh the cons.

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