Ryan Giggs lines himself up as Jose Mourinho's main rival to United job with cagey interview
Ryan Giggs has given what appears to be another carefully managed interview, as he warned that the next Manchester United manager needs to continue to promote the development of young stars from the club's academy.
Marcus Rashford is the latest homegrown star making his mark in the United team, with injuries to senior players forcing manager Louis van Gaal to hand chances to youngsters in what has been a troubled season for United.
Giggs' role as assistant manager at United has seen him come under fire for being part of the Van Gaal set-up, but it is clear that he is keen to promote his vision for the club's future in a bid to push his claims to be the club's next manager.
After declining media requests since he took took up a role under Van Gaal in the summer of 2014, Giggs has been more vocal in the last couple of weeks, amid speculation that he is being line-up to succeed Louis van Gaal this summer.
Jose Mourinho appears to be Giggs’ primary challenger to the United job, yet his candidacy is undermined by his track record of failing to promote young players in his previous jobs, so it was telling that Giggs highlighted this subject in a chat with the club’s official magazine.
“I think it will always be part of the club’s philosophy. It’s part of the history, it’s what sets us apart from other teams,” stated Giggs as he was asked about the promotion of young players through the United academy.
“Yes we can bring world-class players in from around the world but we want one of our own to be performing on that Old Trafford pitch, whether it’s a centre-forward, a winger, a defender… we need players to come through the ranks. That’s a massive part of the United history.”
Giggs was the shining light of a golden era at United that saw David Beckham, Paul Scholes, the Neville brothers and a host of other star names emerge from the club’s youth team set-up, with his claims that the Old Trafford club should continue the legacy of moulding home grown stars that dates back to Matt Busby’s era as manager in the 1950s and 60s.
“We’re a club that gives youth a chance and that again goes back to Sir Matt’s days,” he continued.
“The fans demand it, they want to see players come through the system, one of their own, and they give you a little bit of leeway in that respect.
“If you have a misplaced pass or you miss a chance they’re a lot more forgiving because you’re one of them. Just like them you’re a supporter.
“So it is very special when a young player comes through and establishes themselves in the first team.
“Sir Matt was obviously the person who started that success and that generation where you blood young players from the local area or other parts of the UK and that tradition has carried on right to this day.
“The fans want to see one of their own, together with world-class players from around the world.”
United director Bobby Charlton has been mentioned as a possible opponent to Mourinho’s bid to take over at United and Giggs went on to offer these comments on one of the club’s iconic former players.
“I was fortunate to be part of an Under-14s tournament in Switzerland and Sir Matt and Sir Bobby both travelled with us,” added Giggs.
“I remember getting to the airport and both of them being totally surrounded by fans. You could feel the love that people had for them, not just in Manchester but throughout the world. Everywhere we travel Bobby is recognised instantly and loved. More often than not the queue for Sir Bobby’s autograph is bigger than the queue for the current players.
“Sir Bobby epitomises everything that’s great about the club, from coming into the team as a young player, going through the tragedy of the Munich air disaster and coming back and winning so much. And still to this day he is such a massive influence on the club and is someone who is recognised throughout the world.”
This interview was another hint that United may be positioning Giggs to succeed Van Gaal, yet widespread reports continue to suggest Mourinho has already agreed to take over at Old Trafford this summer.