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Class of '92 Would Benefit Manchester United, but Louis van Gaal Has Final Say

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 26:  l-r Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Phil Neville of Manchester United watch over the players during warm up during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Norwich City at Old Trafford on April 26, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Rob DawsonManchester United CorrespondentMay 24, 2014

If football existed in a perfect world, it would be a lot different.

Clubs wouldn't need to spend millions on players because the academy would provide an endless supply of talent born just spitting distance from the stadium.

And the manager would always be a famous former player, a club legend, surrounded by coaches who, conveniently, were also former players and club legends.

There wouldn't be any diving, either. Or that brandishing of an imaginary card that players use in an attempt to get opponents booked or sent off.

But football isn't perfect. 

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MAY 11:  Manchester United interim manager Ryan Giggs reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Manchester United at St Mary's Stadium on May 11, 2014 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Gett
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Next season, there will be diving, play-acting and imaginary yellow cards. Managers will be sacked and youth team players will be ignored in favour of expensive, foreign signings.

The imperfection extends to Manchester United

Many fans would have liked to see Ryan Giggs, the record appearance holder and most decorated player, become manager when David Moyes was sacked. 

It's the romance of it that makes it appealing. But, in reality, Giggs wasn't qualified. Romance doesn't win you games.

Louis van Gaal, with experience at Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, is more suitable. It's why he got the job. Giggs might be ready one day. But not now.

And what about the rest of the Class of '92? 

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MAY 11:  (R-L) Manchester United interim manager Ryan Giggs looks on alongside assistants, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Phil Neville before the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Manchester United at St Mary's Sta
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Again, it would be ideal if there was a place for them all in the new management structure. Nicky Butt, Phil Neville and Paul Scholes have been at the club since they were kids. 

And there's a stirring desire among many fans to see them all given prominent roles around Van Gaal. But it doesn't always work like that.

There's danger in thrusting backroom staff on a new manager. 

Incoming managers always fight hard to bring their own coaches with them. In a new environment, they have a natural instinct to surround themselves with people they know and trust. 

Van Gaal has brought in goalkeeping coach Frans Hoek and opposition scout Marcel Bout. From the Premier League to League Two, it's the same.

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MAY 17: Holland manager Louis van Gaal during the International Friendly match between The Netherlands and Ecuador at The Amsterdam Arena on May 17, 2014 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Van Gaal already has to build a working relationship with Giggs from scratch when he finally arrives at Carrington. To attempt to do the same with Scholes, Neville and Butt would be a lot to take on in what is a crucial first summer.

Of course, United will want to keep their combined experience inside the walls at Old Trafford. That's natural, too. And if their expertise can be put to good use in the academy then all the better.

But it's Van Gaal who has been charged with bringing success back to Old Trafford. And it's important he's given every advantage in his bid to do that. 

If that means bringing in his own coaches at the expense of Scholes, Butt and Neville, then—unfortunately for the romantics—so be it.

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