Manchester United’s most decorated player led the club to a 4-0 romp at home against Norwich on his debut and supporter Rasheed hopes he will take the role permanently in future
At Old Trafford, the walk from the tunnel to the team’s dugout is an overwhelming one. If you are the away team’s manager, the 58-60 yard walk will most often be accompanied by ringing boos and strong words of discouragement.
Last to emerge from the tunnel, Giggs strutted out in a suit to a roar of approval from Old Trafford. The excitement his presence alone created suppressed almost everything his predecessor achieved. Opting for a traditional 4-4-2, the 40-year-old recalled Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic in central defence, with Patrice Evra and Phil Jones flanking them.
Under David Moyes, United’s fullbacks seems to take lesser risks but it was nothing like that last night. Both Jones and Evra kept all reservations at bay and were almost accompanying Antonio Valencia and Shinji Kagawa on the wings. Even when he replaced Kagawa in the second half, Ashley Young ran with a purpose.
Giggs’s managerial debut saw United chalk up 61 per cent of possession with 25 shots on goal, 11 of those on target. At St James Park early this month, United won by the same scoreline but only had eight shots, with four on target. Whatever the game plan was, Giggs clearly set his team out to press from the front and attack from the get go.
In his post-match interview, Giggs mentioned that the hardest part was to decide who to play and who to bench as all of players were looking sharp. Did Moyes ever have this problem? Hard to think so. We will never know what it was like for the players under Moyes but under Giggs, spirits have lifted and more importantly,the confidence is back.
Players who did not shine under Moyes seemed to have rejuvenated. Danny Welbeck took more shots on goal, Valencia reminded us why he was the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year two years ago and even Javier Hernandez showed skills we didn’t see before.
Part of me wishes United had more games for Giggs to show what he can offer (or maybe what I meant to say is that I wished Moyes was sacked earlier). The quiet demeanor of the Welsh Wizard contrasts sharply with Sir Alex Ferguson’s gum-chewing-red-faced persona, but we all saw what he could do to lift spirits up from a rather forgettable season. Giggs commands more respect than Moyes from the players and with Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt by his side, you just now that he will be the right candidate in years to come.
Whoever the board decides to be in the hot seat next, I think we all hope Giggs will be given the number two role, with a vision of him taking over five or six years down the road.