Sharpe: Giggs will be ideal man to follow Van Gaal
Lee Sharpe admits he never thought Ryan Giggs would make it as a manager when the two teenagers were regularly getting the hair-dryer from Sir Alex Ferguson.
But the former United winger now believes the Welshman is perfect to take over from Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford when the time comes.
Van Gaal was appointed as David Moyes’ successor on Monday, with Giggs named as the Dutchman’s assistant.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward billed it was a ‘fantastic opportunity’ for Giggs to ‘learn his trade alongside a world-class manager’.
And Sharpe is convinced the 40-year-old, who also announced his decision to end his playing career, is being groomed for the top job.
According to Sharpe, Giggs has come a long way from the days when the pair’s nights out in Manchester were ended by a furious Ferguson.
Or when they both bought ‘ridiculous’ Jeeps on the eve of pre-season training.
Asked whether Giggs’ leadership qualities were obvious when they were breaking into the United team together, Sharpe said: “Not when we are 18 or 19, running around town getting into mischief.”
But Sharpe insists times have changed. And that Giggs has shown himself to be a genuine contender to be a future United manager.
“For me, it’s an ideal scenario,” said Sharpe, speaking at charity event for The Christie. “The new manager comes in, does three, four maybe five years depending on how it goes. I think after that, Giggsy will be the man to take the job on.
“Giggsy has matured over the years, he speaks well, he knows the game inside out and he’s played at the highest level.
“He understands players. He’s not one to rant and rave. He’ll talk to people and help them improve their game.”
But if Giggs is the right man to take over in the future, then Van Gaal, according to Sharpe, is the perfect choice to clean up the mess left by David Moyes – a manager, the former England midfielder believes was never qualified to take over from Ferguson.
“I do feel sorry for David Moyes,” added Sharpe.
“He was hung out to dry a little bit. But I don’t think the club made the right appointment in the first place.
“I don’t think he was qualified. Now, I think they have picked a manager who is qualified. He’s gone to big clubs in the past. He’s been successful straight away.
“I don’t think he’ll suffer fools. He won’t let people just get away with things.”
Much like Ferguson, says Sharpe, who was also was keen to keep his players in line.
Especially when it came to those Jeeps.
Sharpe remembered: “Me and Giggsy were due to start pre-season training on the Monday.
“On the Sunday, Giggsy turns to me and says ‘lets go car shopping. You give your club car to your mum and dad and I’ll give my club car to my mum’.
“So we go into Manchester on a Sunday afternoon and walk straight into a Suzuki Vitara Jeep garage.
“I buy what I think is an understated grey Jeep. Giggsy, meanwhile, is buying this white thing that looks like something a hairdresser would buy. It was ridiculous.
“So Monday morning comes and I’ve got the roof down on my new car, stereo blasting, in shorts and T-shirt on my way into training.
“I turn into the training ground and the first person I see is Fergie. He’s screaming ‘What are your driving? What are you wearing? Who do you think you are?’
“And I’m thinking, ‘Come on Giggsy, turn that corner in your white hairdresser’s Jeep then we’ll see what happens’.
“Next thing, Giggsy’s in the car park. He’s in his company car, a Ford Escort Popular Plus. Fergie looks at him then looks at me. ‘Look!,’ he screams. ‘He doesn’t do stupid things like you’.
“He’d done me again.”