Tuesday 12 December 2017

John Giles: Ryan Giggs learned nothing new as a coach at Man United - he needs to go out and get his hands dirty

Read John Giles every week in The Herald

John Giles

John Giles

It had to catch up with Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins eventually.

It’s not easy to find a good manager but he thought it was a breeze.

He got lucky with Roberto Martinez, fell on his feet when he hired Brendan Rodgers and again when he appointed Michael Laudrup and saw his club rise to the top of the Premier League.

Read more: Jose Mourinho confirms that only one Man United player is allowed leave on loan in January

Jenkins certainly looked like he had the Midas touch but that was a fluke and he showed it when he sacked Laudrup. It’s been a downward spiral ever since.

It’s a huge gamble no matter who Jenkins gives the job to and made all the more difficult because Americans own the club.

For me, the appointment of Bob Bradley, utterly unproven at any serious level in club football, was a decision made by the club owners which added even more unqualified people to the mix.

Now, he is desperately trying to find a Welshman, ideally Chris Coleman or next best Ryan Giggs, to fill the gap in trust between himself and the fans who believe he sold out to the new American owners, cashed in and no longer has their best interests at heart.

To be honest, it doesn’t really matter in this case who owns the club because Swansea’s decision-making process is now based on desperation.

They need the fire brigade to come and rescue them and if they can’t get Coleman, now a manager with bigger ambitions than Swansea, they would be better off choosing Harry Redknapp.

Swansea need a saviour and while Coleman or Giggs would satisfy the popular vote, a more pragmatic appointment would be Redknapp, who knows how to perform miracles in dire situations like this. He might actually save them.

There’s no doubt it would be a great opportunity for Giggs, who had to leave the nest when Jose Mourinho landed at Old Trafford. If he truly wants to be a manager, he needs to actually go and do it.

He was the one Alex Ferguson nominated as the best equipped of the Class of ’92 to make a go of management but when it came to the crunch, he backed David Moyes as his choice to step in when he retired.

Giggs hung around hoping for his chance and even got to stand on the touchline as Manchester United boss for a brief spell.

But the moment Louis van Gaal was appointed, Giggs should have cut his ties and headed out into the real world away from the Old Trafford bubble and set about learning his trade.

He obviously thought that his best option was to shadow Van Gaal and then step into the job when the Dutchman had set things to rights.

It didn’t take long to see that Van Gaal’s way was not the right way for Manchester United and Giggs may have believed that he was well-placed to take over, but I don’t think he was ever in the running.

With the Galacticos of world management landing all around Ed Woodward and the Glazer family, they needed a big, big name and chose Mourinho.

It was revealing that reports from Giggs’ media connections suggested he was upset and that doesn’t fill me full of hope for his future.

He had no right to expect anything from Manchester United beyond perhaps a leg up on the coaching side in a highly professional environment.

But the reality is that he was learning nothing new as a coach at Old Trafford. He was a privileged footballer at the most successful club in England all his life, so he needs to find out what it’s like to get your hands dirty.

Steve Bruce did it. Mark Hughes did it and they  have to work night and day to preserve their reputations as managers after many years fighting to establish themselves

The fashion for appointing young managers without experience is probably rooted in Pep Guardiola’s success at Barcelona, but he grew up in the Nou Camp and, like Liverpool managers after Bill Shankly, managed a remarkable group of players as a continuation of what went before.

Giggs is now out on his own and starting from scratch. As of this moment, I have no idea whether he would be any good as a manager and I suspect he doesn’t know himself. There’s only one way to find out.

Perhaps he should consider Alan Pardew as a cautionary tale or even look at Swansea’s own record when it comes to hiring and firing if he is offered the chance to dive in at the deep end as a Premier League manager.

There will be no easy ride at the Liberty Stadium. Whoever gets the job will have to hit the ground running and get results fast.

The regime at the club is unstable and nothing less than saving them from relegation will guarantee the man who gets the job that he will still be employed come May. That’s pretty much the same words which could be used to sum up Sam Allardyce’s return to Premier League management after a bizarre side-trip with England.

Alan Pardew performed heroics for Palace and got the boot. Allardyce must save them too or he could find his comeback short-lived.

I enjoyed the time Allardyce was neither seen nor heard and I can’t say I’m overjoyed to see him back.

The fiasco surrounding his England appointment and subsequent and rapid sacking just about summed him up.

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