Giggs: Louis van Gaal can get help from the Class of 92 at Manchester United
Ryan Giggs has advised incoming Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal to retain the influence of the Class of 92 when he takes over.
Giggs, Nicky Butt, Phil Neville and Paul Scholes face uncertain futures at Old Trafford with Van Gaal’s appointment expected to be announced this week.
Though Giggs is in no rush to sort out his own situation — he would prefer to spend his summer holiday before deciding whether he wants to continue playing — he thinks United would be better off keeping at least some of their famous old boys around.
‘I would say there are definitely more plus points than there are minuses to keeping them,’ said Giggs. ‘With what the lads bring, and knowing the culture and history of the club and how it’s run, it can certainly be a plus. But ultimately it is down to the new manager. It’s a decision for him to consider.’
United’s board will let Van Gaal choose whether to keep the Class of 92 on board. Sir Alex Ferguson was keen on their involvement and appointed Butt as reserve-team manager before he retired.
His successor David Moyes brought ex-United favourite Phil Nevile back to the club as a coach and put Giggs on the staff as well, even though he continued to play.
When Giggs became interim manager, he asked Scholes to help, too, and the quartet of ex-United players will be in the dugout for Sunday's final game of the season at Southampton. But retaining them is a risk for Van Gaal.
As Moyes found out, they exert a powerful influence on the club and the Dutchman could come under pressure from fans if he loses games while Giggs is standing on the sidelines.
Giggs will consider becoming a manager elsewhere if he is not offered a playing contract and talks with Van Gaal about staying on the coaching staff do not go well.
‘I honestly don’t know what I’ll do next season. It’s something I haven’t experienced before and I’ll go away, chill out and make a decision,’ he said. ‘I’m lucky that I have a lot of options.
'If you really think about it, it could be a sad time but also an exciting time as well. Over the last couple of years I’ve had inquiries to go somewhere. But not in the past couple of weeks.
‘I’m open to so many things but I’ve got to seriously think about it, and that’s what I’ll do — whether to still play, whether to stay here, whether to go somewhere else, whether to chill out for a year and take a step back, as I’ve been in football since I left school.
‘Managing another club would be strange but I’ve got a little taste of management now and what I’ve been through in the last couple of weeks is a pretty good apprenticeship. I’m around next week and go away on Friday. It’s around that time when I’ll start thinking about it.
‘I could get pushed next week on telling them what I want to do but from my side I’m not in a rush.’
Van Gaal’s arrival will mark the end of an era at United after 28 years of Ferguson, his ‘Chosen One’ Moyes and Giggs. The Dutchman has no previous Premier League experience and Giggs said: ‘When it’s pre-season and there is a new manager, different methods and something you’re not used to, maybe it will be strange.’
Giggs’s reluctance to rush into a decision is taken on the advice of Ferguson, who thinks you act with a clearer mind after a post-season holiday rather than in May when you are exhausted from a long season.
Van Gaal may be presented this week so he can then concentrate on taking Holland to the World Cup. He will get funds to revamp the squad and has been linked with his former Bayern Munich stars Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos, as well as Southampton’s Luke Shaw and Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani.