It seems that United’s hierarchy simply can not bring themselves to make a swift decision, regardless of it being needed to seal a transfer or to secure David Moyes’ successor. Yesterday it looked as if it was only matter of days before Louis Van Gaal was unveiled as the new Manchester United manager, but different reports today suggest the Dutchman might no longer be the frontrunner to replace Moyes.
The main issue, it seems, is that Van Gaal is determined to bring a five-man coaching staff with him at Old Trafford, including former Ajax, AC Milan and Barcelona striker Patrick Kluivert and former Ajax captain Danny Blind, which would see Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, Phil Neville excluded from the coaching set-up.
Ryan Giggs could remain involved as part of Van Gaal’s staff given that the Dutchman has reportedly expressed interest in retaining Giggs’ services as coach and because Ed Woodward has insisted United must ensure a “thread of continuity”, with the club eager for Giggsy to be part of the coaching staff next season.
United could find themselves in a dangerous position if the stalemate over Van Gaal extends for another couple of days, given the Dutchman is set to focus exclusively on the World Cup from next Wednesday and while Giggs’ managerial debut was extremely positive and his decision to include members of the Class of ’92 as part of the coaching staff gave a much needed buzz to both players and fans alike, Van Gaal remains a better and more experienced option than Giggsy.
Furthermore, Woodward didn’t seem to bothered about ensuring continuity 12 months ago, when he allowed David Moyes to bring the likes of Steve Round and Jimmy Lumsden to Old Trafford – even though, admittedly, Giggs and Neville were also part of the staff – and were United to pass up the opportunity to secure Van Gaal’s services simply based on the number of former players he would or wouldn’t include in his staff, they could find themselves in real trouble.
If there’s anything this season has shown is that United need a manager who is both experienced at the top of level and understand what the club’s philosophy entails and while Giggs perfectly understands the latter, he lacks the former, as United seemed to have realised last week, when they claimed he’d not be considered for the job.
Giggsy might indeed become a fantastic manager in a couple of years, but he’d benefit from assisting a world class manager a lot more than he would from being thrown at the deep end of the pool, tasked with bringing United back to the top but at the moment he’d represent a massive gamble, one the club can’t afford to take.
And yet, the Telegraph goes as far as saying that should Real Madrid be knocked out tonight, United might focus their attention on Carlo Ancelotti, who is thought to be more accommodating as far as his plans for the coaching staff are concerned. That, however, is a risky move, for Ancelotti has himself stated that he’s happy at Madrid and unless Real decided to fire him, United would have to pay a huge compensation to get the Italian out of his contract.
It’s too early to say, but this saga could turn quite messy, let’s just hope we don’t end up with the managerial equivalent of Marouane Fellaini.