Alex Ferguson backs Ryan Giggs for top job at Old Trafford
Former manager says his protegé is the ‘one man they (Manchester United) should really go to’
Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs is the right man to lead Manchester United, says former boss Alex Fergsuon. Photograph: Peter Powell / EPA
Alex Ferguson believes Ryan Giggs should become the next permanent Manchester United manager despite the club viewing the 40-year-old as lacking the requisite experience to become David Moyes’s long-term successor.
Giggs was given the role on an interim basis on Tuesday after the sacking of Moyes. While the Welshman was happy to accept the job for only the last four matches of the season, Giggs is open to being the long-term number one.
Despite Ferguson’s backing of Moyes proving a dire miscalculation after the Scot lasted only 10 months of a six-year contract, the 71-year-old has no doubts that Giggs can succeed in the post.
“I think that he (Giggs) is the one man they should go to, really,” Ferguson said at a fundraising dinner in Manchester this week. “He’s got 20-odd years of experience at Manchester United. I signed him as a kid at 13 years of age. He’s gone through the gamut of emotions at the club – he’s experienced all the highs and lows. He knows exactly what’s needed to be a Manchester United player and I was so pleased he brought Paul Scholes back in, and Nicky Butt of course – two great professionals.
“They understand the club, they are hard workers, they are straight as a die. So you have got the right combinations there, there’s no doubt about that.”
Giggs stated at his media briefing before Saturday’s visit of Norwich City to Old Trafford that he and Ferguson have ongoing contact. “He was the first person I picked the phone up to,” the 40-year-old said.
Ferguson, before retiring last May, had talked of establishing a structure at United similar to Bayern Munich, where key roles are occupied by former successful players.
He has underlined that he believes this can still be achieved. “One of the things we have been criticised about over the years is succession planning,” he said. “It’s a very difficult industry to say you can have succession planning. But in the case of what we were doing in the last few years, with bringing Nicky Butt into the fold, Ryan into the fold, Paul Scholes into the fold, and Gary Neville was offered a position but he decided to go into television. He could easily come back.
“The model is Bayern Munich where they had (Karl-Heinz) Rummenigge, (Gerd) Müller, (Uli) Hoeness, (Franz) Beckenbauer and (Sepp) Maier all in the camp. They were all there with their knowledge of the great Bayern Munich teams. And that was our model, and it wasn’t really until David Gill came in we started doing that. And what’s what we see today.”
Ferguson added: “Paul Scholes is one of these guys who has few words but the few words are so succinct, accurate and to the point. He is brilliant at it. Many times I would bring in the older guard to discuss certain things that we maybe wanted their opinion on. Scholesy had three or four words – bang, bang, bang. He was such a revelation for me for a young man to be so positive, a decision maker.
“I think Ryan will get the benefit of that now. That was the first thing Ryan did; he phoned up Scholesy – he was on holiday and called him back.”