Ryan Giggs reveals reason for joining Manchester United over City
Manchester United supporters have an unlikely source to thank for Ryan Giggs growing into a club legend over the last three decades.
The assistant manager is this month celebrating 25 years since he made his club debut and is fondly looking back on his time at Old Trafford.
Giggs revealed the real reason behind his love of United as a child - and in turn why Sir Alex Ferguson’s move to gazump Manchester City when the winger was 14 came through so easily.
‘I became a fan because my gran was a fan,’ Giggs told Inside United. ‘She was a fan of George Best and the team from that era. Even though I grew up in Cardiff she drilled into me that I was going to be a Manchester United fan.’
Giggs would move with his parents to the north west, turning out for Deans Youth Club in Swinton before City, and latterly United, came calling.
For the 42-year-old only one viable option represented itself and he was proven dead right – an all-time appearance record, beating Sir Bobby Charlton, 13 Premier League titles, two Champions League trophies, four FA Cups and the rest.
Now No 2, he wants to emulate that glittering career in the dugout. Giggs has snubbed the opportunity to manage alone elsewhere and has long-term designs on the top job at his boyhood club.
‘As luck happened I moved here when I was seven so I was even closer to the club, but it was my grandmother who started it all off,’ he added.
‘I wanted to be the best as a player and want to be the best as a coach. That means working hard but also enjoying it and enjoying the challenge.
‘The biggest thing you learn going from player to coach is not to think like a player anymore. As a player you’re pretty selfish – you want to do well and you know what you’re capable of doing.
‘Now you need to get the best out of 25, maybe 30 different individuals. You need to find what makes them tick and how you’re going to get the best out of them.’
That is a work in progress yet Giggs enjoys an advantage around Carrington. His background, coming through the Class of 92, stands him in good stead to hammer home the message to first-team stars and those coming through too.
He sees a touch of himself in the raft of youngsters to have broken through this season under Louis van Gaal, Marcus Rashford in particular catching the eye after a blistering start to his professional career.
United are fortunate that they have a character of Giggs’ experience as a soundboard to the kids. If there is one man to answer questions about that leap, it’s him.
‘It’s not easy to get into the Manchester United team but harder than that is staying in it and keeping that hunger and that desire to want to do it for two, five, 10 years,’ he said.
‘You know we’re a club that gives youth a chance and that goes back to Sir Matt Busby’s days. The fans demand it, they want to see players coming through the system, one of their own, and they give you a little bit of leeway in that respect.
‘If you have a misplaced pass or you miss a chance they’re a lot more forgiving because you’re one of them. Just like them, you’re a supporter. So it is very special when a young player comes through and establishes themselves.’