Giggs: Quality must become consistency
Manchester United assistant manager Ryan Giggs joined Mandy Henry in the MUTV Player of the Year Awards studio to look back on the season from a team and personal perspective…
You were sitting here as our manager last year, how does it feel to be assistant manager this time?
It’s a little bit more relaxed this year! [Laughs]. I was a bit more stressed this time last year. I’ve really enjoyed it this season – it’s been a new challenge working for Louis [van Gaal] instead of kicking a ball around! It’s been a great experience.
How does your current role compare to the few games you had in charge as boss last season? You said it was a massive jump from being a player to a manager so is this role about the right sort of level for you at the moment?
Yes it’s been brilliant for me. I’ve finished all my coaching badges now but it’s a completely different mind-set and skill-set for being a player to being a coach or an assistant manager. I’ve enjoyed the transition. The lads have been great with me and Louis and the rest of the staff who have been come in have been great as well. I’m learning every day and the experience of being out on the training pitch putting sessions on rather than being part of them has been invaluable.
What’s your partnership like with Louis – is there a good cop and a bad cop or do you take it in turns?!
No not at all. Obviously I knew all the lads, apart from those who came in this season so I can give Louis an insight into what makes the players tick and any other little details which can help him. Louis is the main man and the leader and wherever I can help I’ve tried to.
How enjoyable has the season itself been?
I’ve enjoyed it on a personal level but it feels a bit strange when you’ve been at this club for such a long time during such a successful period to be celebrating a Champions League spot. But, if we’re honest, that’s what we set out to achieve at the beginning of the season and going from seventh to getting in a Champions League place is great. But next year we want to kick on and be competing for trophies.
Just how hard is it going to be to catch Chelsea? They ran away with the title but some would say it’s because the other teams like ourselves, Manchester City and Arsenal didn’t push them hard enough…
Chelsea are the best team this year without a shadow of a doubt. The pleasing thing for us has been that in the big games we’ve proved that we’ve got the quality. We just perhaps not had the consistency, that’s been the difference. We’ve dropped silly points and to win the Premier League you can’t afford to do that. Every game is a battle whether it be home or away. We’ve proved that we’ve got the quality, but next season we need to get that consistency and be there or thereabouts at the turn of the year. You’ve seen in the past that this club is a juggernaut once you get that momentum and are winning games and when we do that we’re very hard to stop. So that’s what we want to achieve starting from the first game next season.
Who is your Player of the Year?
It was interesting to hear what Wayne [Rooney] said earlier about Ash [Young] and how he had such a tough season last season but has come back and performed so well in different roles this year. But if I had to pick one I think it would be David [De Gea] because he has won us so many games. I should really be on the winger’s side! [Smiles] But I’d probably just say David because he’s been so outstanding consistently throughout the season.
The manager has said the fans need to trust him in terms of players leaving and coming in and it seems likely to be an interesting few months given it’s the first time he’ll have a full summer to do what he wants to do…
Yes. Like I said before we know we’ve got quality because we’ve proved it against the big teams. Now it’s about finding how we get that consistency. When you look at players that will come in – you need them to strengthen the team and it’s also about that balance which the manager has talked about and getting that right. We’re in Europe again so that’s a different dynamic because you’re playing Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday-Wednesday so you have to rotate. We’re obviously going to have to strengthen and we will do.
The manager has said how much he’s enjoyed working with you but he also said when he gives up in a few years that he’s priming you for the role – it must be nice to know he has so much confidence in you?
Yes it is. I’ve given it my all this season like I did as a player. It is completely different - you have to think like a coach rather than a player. All I can do is do what I did as a player – I wanted to be the best player on a Saturday and each day now I want to put the best session on I can for the lads. I want them to enjoy it but I want them to get something out of it as well. This is the perfect transition for me – where that takes me who knows. But whatever I do, whether it be coach, assistant manager or manager I want to be the best, just like I was as a player.