This is a day that we don’t really want to see, but still inevitable anyway. Ryan Giggs, a long time servant and one-club man for Manchester United, has announced that he is leaving the club of his home since 1987. The legend is leaving the club that has made him a legend of history.
I still vividly remember that goal in 1999. It was in Villa Park. Arsenal forced United to play a replay of the 1998/1999 FA Cup semifinal. Playing 89 minutes and the two clubs were 1–1, stalemate. A 90th minute Arsenal penalty was saved brilliantly by the Great Dane Peter Schmeichel. Not to mention that United were playing with ten men.
Then a player ran from within his own area, dodging the ball, running with crazy pace, skipping 4- no, 5- no, 6! players before shooting and, goal!
That player, tearing Arsenal apart on the way to a famous Treble, was Ryan Giggs.
The arrival of José Mourinho is very much welcomed by the United faithful. It seems that Mou is indeed made for the hot seat of Old Trafford. And Mou being Mou, an authoritarian figure not different than the incomparable Sir Alex Ferguson, he will definitely bring his own men, those guys he can trust closely.
Taken at face value, ditching Giggs for Rúi Faria may not be in the best impression to the Stretford End. Giggs is the living legend, the club’s field historian, the one that is still in active coaching and understands the historical baggage Man United is known for.
However, again, Mou has the right to do so, and Giggs, said to be rejecting a lesser role, desires to take coaching experiences.
“However, the time feels right and, although I have no immediate plans to step into management, it is where I want to be,” Giggs stated in his official statement.
Looking at Giggs, you can be forgiven to think that Giggs was shaped to be a boss in the making. His hardworking attitude is relentless. Scoring in Premier League for 21 consecutive seasons should be proof — unprecedented. And you can feel his charisma also.
The only right thing for now, indeed, is for Giggs to leave the club, and learn the traits of becoming a football manager. I do hope that he will not be like his compatriot Gary in Valencia, though.
And sometime in the future — maybe 5, 10, 15 years, who knows, the same Giggsy will return to Old Trafford, being appointed the club’s new manager. There, he will follow the footsteps of Sir Alex and Matt, and who knows, with United DNA still in him, he will carry the club to unprecedented heights?
It is saddening not to see him next year among the bench, even though I have never been this excited for the Premier League since Sir Alex left in 2013. He may go now, but he remains a United boy, now and then.
We will be waiting for him to return, in the same way as he leaves today.
“It’s time for a new chapter and a new challenge. I’m excited about the future — I’ve had the best apprenticeship into management anyone could ever ask for.”
Ryan Giggs, tearing you apart since 1991, and will always tear you apart, again, and again, and again.
Thank you for always being a faithful man of Old Trafford, and for your service, dedication, and faithfulness.
You will be sorely missed.
“My final thank you is to the fans. I cannot begin to tell you how much I will miss walking out at Old Trafford in front of you. It’s extremely difficult to say goodbye after 29 years. I have loved every minute both as a player and assistant manager. The support you have always shown me has been phenomenal; thank you.