Ryan Giggs might only be in the Manchester United dugout for the next four games but if the above statement is anything to go by, then the remainder of the season could prove to be a world away from the dour, turgid, reality we’ve experienced for the last 10 months.
Looking more relaxed in his first press conference for as club’s interim manager than Moyes did at anytime during his tenure at Old Trafford, Giggs’ mindset was a world away from that of his predecessor.
Where Moyes wanted United to “try”, Giggs wants his players to play and win the United way, putting a smile back on the fans’ faces and giving them something to shout about. “I want them to be brave, attack and enjoy themselves, for that’s what I expect from a Manchester United footballer.”
With that in mind, it’s hard not to get excited ahead of tomorrow. Granted, Norwich might not be the most glamorous of opponents – and perhaps it’s better that way – but the wait to see whether the sheer optimism that transpired from Giggsy’s press conference will be translated onto the pitch makes tomorrow’s match extremely important.
For the last 10 months, United have played with the handbrake on, their engine engulfed by defeatism and a lack of trust in their manager, and have relinquished their attacking swagger opting for a timid, ponderous approach.
Harsh as it might sound, David Moyes’ sacking alone was probably enough to galvanise a dressing room that throughout the season had forgotten everything the club stands for and it’s not preposterous to expect United to hit the ground running tomorrow, for modern footballers don’t even pretend to be putting an effort in for a manager they don’t respect or trust.
As Giggs highlighted during his press conference: “At Manchester United you win together and you lose together and this season we haven’t performed to the standard required. We all have to share responsibilities.”
If the thought of finally seeing United play without the shackles put in place by Moyes wasn’t enough, the prospect of seeing Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt sitting in the dugout alongside Giggs is simply mouthwatering. Giggsy said that being appointed interim manager was “the proudest moment of his life,” while Butt admitted that it was fantastic for the Class of ’92 to be “still involved at the football club”.
While United have got nothing to lose ahead of tomorrow, which in theory should make them even more carefree, Norwich are desperate for something, anything really, that could push them closer to safety. The Canaries have lost five of their last six games and are two clear of the bottom three, but only three clear of Sunderland who have a game in hand on them – as if the thought of Liverpool winning the league wasn’t bad enough, Sunderland might end up staying up – and will be desperate to get at least a point tomorrow.
Giggs confirmed that only Rafael and Van Persie are out, while everybody else has “trained really well”, meaning that we could see a similar line-up to those we saw during Moyes’ tenure. The attitude, though, is likely to be completely different.
“We must be bold, attacking minded and brave.” What a difference a week makes.
Probable starting XI: