Friday 20 September 2019

John Giles: I'm sick to my back teeth of the Class of '92 and the overwhelming sense of entitlement

Paul Scholes, Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham and Gary Neville attend the world premier of the film
Paul Scholes, Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham and Gary Neville attend the world premier of the film "The Class of 92" in London in December, 2013

John Giles

I'M sick to my back teeth of the Class of '92 and the overwhelming sense of entitlement which seems to govern everything they have done since the days when Alex Ferguson and a lot of other good players helped them win all before them at Old Trafford.

The thought came into my head when I was reading what Ryan Giggs had to say about a range of subjects when he met the media for a Wales squad announcement in midweek.

He had plenty to say about Pep Guardiola's Manchester City in the Premier League and offered a judgement that they could not be considered great until they had a medal collection like his.

He also told the world that Gareth Bale is happy at Real Madrid, which is really none of his business.

Guardiola has 18 months under his belt in Manchester and in that short time, he has produced a team which is exceptional and will host last year's champions Chelsea at the Etihad on Sunday with 19 points separating the two teams.

He already has a trophy under his belt and if Guardiola stays for ten seasons, then perhaps a comparison could be made with Ferguson's great teams but until then, any comment is a waste of breath.

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Giggs is the Wales manager and in my opinion, blessed to have the job. He has no experience; in fact, no management CV at all. He is entitled to an opinion, but he is a novice and it is a rare thing when speaking out loud about another coach's team is a good idea.

He may turn out to be good at it, but I never saw Giggs as a natural manager and there is no doubt that he traded heavily on his record as a player to be even considered for the position.

Remember how put out Giggs and his pals the Neville brothers and Paul Scholes were when he wasn't anointed as Louis van Gaal's successor at Manchester United?

Gary Neville got to live the dream, walking out of the Sky studios and taking the job at Valencia with no experience and as it very soon emerged, no clue about managing a football club.

Long before that, he was indulged and allowed to remain on as a Sky pundit despite his role as England No. 2.

This is the same Gary Neville who lacerated Arsene Wenger for being "arrogant and naïve".

A few weeks ago, his brother Phil, with a few coaching badges and a short spell working as a coach under David Moyes at Everton and then at Old Trafford, was appointed the England women's team manager.

Again, he might turn out to be a great choice but like his brother, he has no miles on the clock as the manager of anything other than himself.

I should qualify my opening statement by pointing out that at least one member of the Class of '92 didn't need any help in developing a life away from Old Trafford.

David Beckham now owns his own football club, smart enough to realise that he is no manager and not minded to push himself into a job he is not suited too.

Paul Scholes sits carping on the sidelines after he failed to get a job as a coach at Old Trafford and seems a bit lost for something to do.

All of this simply underlines the one thing that Gary Neville, in particular, has failed spectacularly to understand. It's hard being a manager.

From all of the players who worked under Ferguson and played with the Class of '92, not one has emerged as a very successful manager at the top level.

This is a point which Thierry Henry should take note of too.

He is being touted as Arsenal's answer to Guardiola if he succeeds Arsene Wenger, but all I can see is a poor pundit who has stabbed his old boss in the back for a job he is poorly qualified to do.

Being Henry, the great striker, is not enough even if he is arrogant enough to believe it is.

Read John Giles every week in the Herald

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