Monday 19 March 2018

Robson: Ryan Giggs could be Manchester United's Pep Guardiola

Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United legend Bryan Robson believes Ryan Giggs could emerge as a Pep Guardiola figure at Old Trafford, after he backed the Welshman to succeed Louis van Gaal as the club’s manager.

Van Gaal has been under huge pressure for several months after a run of poor results in domestic and European competitions, with former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho widely tipped to succeed him as United boss this summer.

Yet there have been noises coming out of Old Trafford in recent days suggesting United great Giggs is still a contender to step up from his role as Van Gaal’s assistant to take over as United boss.

That move may not be popular with many of the club’s supporters, but the comments of club ambassador Robson at an event to mark United's latest sponsorship deal with Gulf Oil International suggest there is a move from Old Trafford chiefs to pave the way for Giggs’ coronation.

“Van Gaal was always going to be a three-year contract with Ryan working under him so that they could see whether he was ready to step in,” states Robson.

“Ryan was a great player for this club, he loves playing football the United way, he’s done all his badges and for me he’s in the right place at the right time.

“People say it’s too big a challenge, too big a jump, but I don’t agree. Look at Pep Guardiola, he came through the ranks at Barcelona as a player and then as a young coach and then they trusted him and he stepped up. He was tremendously successful.

“It’s the same with Ryan. He knows what this club is all about and the fans would be totally behind the club if they made that decision and totally behind Ryan.”

Robson also applied some pressure to Van Gaal, as he suggested the Dutchman needs to win a trophy this season to placate his critics at United.

“I think he needs to win something, or at least get United into Europe, that’s the least we have to look at,” added Robson “Otherwise it’s a huge blow to the club’s prestige.

“With Arsenal going out of the FA Cup, if I were manager of this club I would look at that now and think this is really do-able, we can win this trophy and we have to get the lads to believe that.

“Winning the FA cup would be a huge boost to some of the squad who have never won a trophy with United, it would give them great self-belief which has been lacking a little this season. We won it in 1990, won the Cup Winners’ Cup the next year and the title two years after that.”

Robson's comments add to the suspicion that United's hierarchy are seriously considering turning to Giggs and not Jose Mourinho to succeed Van Gaal, with former manager Alex Ferguson linked to a possible role as adviser to the Welshman if he were to take the top job at Old Trafford.

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport