Fresh Adventure For The Greatest Player in Manchester United’s History, But Ryan Giggs’ New Job is More Than Just a New York Times Headline
On Monday, The Football Association of Wales announced the appointment of Ryan Giggs as new manager of the Wales National football team on a contract that runs till 2022, and although the news was received with mixed reactions, we believe Giggsy’s new adventure is more interesting than you think it is
It’s utterly impossible to write about the illustrious career of the Welshman without getting to mention Sir Alex Ferguson, little wonder the two-time Champions League winner was certain of whose counsel to seek when he was asked to replace Chris Coleman
“It would be stupid not to. He’s one of the greatest managers of all time. “I spoke to him but I want to be my own manager. I’m my own person.”
Like every young manager, it’s understandable that Ryan Giggs wants to move out of the shadows of his mentor and forge his own path, but not everyone has that all-access back pass to the best managerial brain in British football.
Giggs does, and as he dips his feet in the ever troublesome managerial waters, this is definitely not the last time the Class of 92’ graduate will be seeking the wise counsel of the Old Sage
Very Modest Wages
As a footballer, Ryan Giggs would no doubt have negotiated a more lucrative deal if he was leaving the shores of Manchester for greener pastures, well, he never really had any reason to leave, he won it all at Old Trafford, retiring as the most decorated player in Premier League history.
But how does Giggsy’s wage (£500,000/annum) as Wales head coach, compare to those of some of the best managers in the game today?
According to Sky Sports, Marcello Lippi, Italy’s World Cup winning coach (Germany 2006) and current head coach of the Chinese National football team, earns (£18 million/annum) over 36 times more than the managerial newbie.
Pep Guardiola (£15 million/annum) earns over 30 times what Giggs earns, while Rafa Benitez is closest big name (£4million/annum) to the Welshman on the wages’ food chain.
Supporters’ Grudges, Old Wounds
In his days as a Professional football player, Ryan Giggs wasn’t so professional when it came to representing his Country in international friendlies From a possible 28 friendlies for Wales, Giggsy played just 10, failing to show up on 18 different occasions spanning a 9-year-period between 1991 and 2000.
Little wonder his appointment looked to have reopened old wounds as Welsh football fans let out their grievances over what they still perceive as lack of patriotism on Giggs’ part.
The 44-year-old was regularly criticised for withdrawing from Wales squads – particularly for friendly matches – during a career where he played 64 times for his country.
However, like every other manager, Giggs knows he needs the twelfth man behind him and wasted no time in addressing the issue during his first press conference as Wales Manager
“All I can do is work as hard as I can to produce a winning team. “As long as I am winning games those questions won’t come up.
“I recognise the question, but up to me to give it all which I will and I want the team and the players to give their all and make the country proud just like at the Euros.
“I played over 1,000 games and I didn’t get there without managing myself. Early on in my career I had problems with my hamstrings and missed loads of United games but the criticism I’m getting is something I just have to deal with by winning games” The Cardiff-born tactician explained
Father Not Proud
If you’re the man whose Sperm produced not just one of the most successful footballers in history, but the new manager of the Wales national football team, logic would suggest your joy already knows no bounds, right? Not Ryan Wilson.
‘I should be the proudest dad in the world, as happy as a lark by what he’s achieved – but I am ashamed of him. ‘I can’t even bring myself to use his name – I refer to him as the ex-footballer.’ Wilson said in reference to the 2011 scandal in which Giggs was accused of having an affair with his brother’s wife, Natasha
‘As the eldest he should have been watching his brother’s back – not stabbing him in it. ‘He cheated in the worst possible way and is not man enough to apologize for it.’
“He’s put himself first and all he cares about is his TV punditry and opening swanky hotels in Manchester. Now when I see him on TV I switch off, all the family do.
“I feel like going there and having it out with him – he’s not fit for for the job. It stinks. The Welsh team manager is someone who is respected and looked up to in society.
Apparently, it’s not just a section of Welsh football fans who hold a grudge towards the 2008 Champions league winner
Although Giggs’ first game in charge comes up on 22 March, in the 2018 China Cup against the Chinese National Football team managed by Marcello Lippi, the real test is ensuring Wales qualify for the Euro 2020 tournament.
The competition is scheduled to take place across 12 cities and with host cities not even guaranteed automatic qualification, the Manchester United legend is definitely not ignorant of the herculean task that lies ahead
“Unfortunately we didn’t qualify for the World Cup but who can forget the Euros? “I want to get us back there, with the group of players we have we should be there and it is my job to get us there” Giggs added
Hopefully, two years from now, the Euro 2016 Semi-finalists and their new manager can do their nation proud again
A Possible Reunion with an Old Friend
In Manchester United colors, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes had enviable careers, coming through the ranks and winning every available trophy before retirement.
Truth be told, each player individually have more Premier League and Champions League trophies than Chelsea and Manchester City put together, but that’s a conversation for another day.
The Class of 92’ graduates haven’t had to work together since hanging their boots a couple of years back, but with the new Wales manager still weighing options for assistants and members of his back-room staff, an image of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs in a Wales National team rondo shouldn’t come as a surprise.
He will Be Needing More Shrinks.
Following his appointment as Wales manager, Ryan Giggs made a stunning revelation to the Press;
“I actually saw a psychologist when I left United because of that very reason. I’d been from school, the same thing going into Manchester United. I was about to start a new chapter when some of the days I wouldn’t be doing anything. So I sought someone’s help regarding that and it was just about managing your week.
“I’ve enjoyed it. I’d never needed a psychologist when I was playing but it was little things – join a gym half an hour away so it breaks up your day and you’re not just going to a gym around the corner. Little things like that helped because I was going into the unknown with the structure of United. It was brilliant – rather than fear it I actually enjoyed it. But I missed football as well so I’m glad to be back.”
While the Dragons are still bitter with themselves for failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the increasing pressure to get back on track and book tickets ahead of Euro 2020 and Qatar 2022, is a clear reflection of the psychological torment that lies ahead.
Let’s not even get started on dressing room technicalities and dealing with the press.
Truth be told, we can’t really put a finger on how much success Giggsy is going to have in his new job, but one thing we can all agree on is the fact that he’ll be seeing more shrinks along the line, maybe just one, maybe more, but this job drives people crazy (Antonio Conte, Paulo Di Canio, Gennaro Gattuso) and the newest kid on the block definitely doesn’t want to go down that road.