Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs on new film Life of Ryan
The Manchester United legend also said he would 'never say never' to managing another club as he spoke to promote his new film Life Of Ryan
Ryan Giggs said managing could never compare to playing as he reflected back on his last season on the pitch at Old Trafford.
But the Manchester United legend told the M.E.N he would ‘never say never’ to managing another club as he spoke to promote his new film, Life of Ryan.
The access-all-areas documentary, produced by the team behind last year’s The Class of 92, was filmed at a tumultuous time for the club, which was struggling under beleaguered ex-boss David Moyes after Sir Alex Ferguson retired.
Giggs said: “It was a difficult period. [Sir Alex] was the only manager I’d ever known for Man United, that was strange, and for me personally going into a different role as player/coach, that was different as well, and things not going so well.
“We’ve gone three years without winning the Premier League a couple of times, that was nothing new, but obviously what was different was Sir Alex wasn’t there, so the intensity and the spotlight and the pressure was probably even more.”
Mixed in with the lows captured on camera are some glorious highs, including what Giggs describes as the highlight of his career, when he steered his team to a much-needed 4-0 victory against Norwich in his first game in charge after Moyes was unceremoniously sacked.
Reliving the moment he walked out of the tunnel, he said: “That was the proudest moment - walking out on to the pitch and the fans and the crowd giving me a great reception.
“Growing up as a child supporting United, and then obviously being lucky enough to play for so many years - I never actually thought I would be in charge of the team.
He added: “It was a challenge, it was totally out of my comfort zone, but one that I enjoyed. I put myself under a lot of pressure because I wanted to win four games out of four.
“Unfortunately we didn’t but I loved every minute of it and the players reacted really well and the fans reacted really well. In that respect it couldn’t have gone any better.
“It was a great experience and one that I couldn’t have foreseen happening so soon.”
Giggs insisted he had been happy to relinquish control to new manager Louis van Gaal and said he was learning a great deal as his right-hand man.
“It’s like an apprenticeship, it’s like starting out as a footballer - you’ve got to learn your trade and that’s what I’m doing,” he said.
He said he was also confident van Gaal could turn things around for United.
“Obviously the results haven’t been brilliant but we’re getting there,” he said.
“It was a big win for us at the weekend against a very good Arsenal team so we’ve just got to build on that and try and get some consistency.”
As for the prospect of managing another club, he added: “You never say never with anything in life and especially in football but at the moment I’m just concentrating on the short-term future and that’s at United.”
Giggs, now 40, said it had been the “right time” to hang up his boots and focus on coaching but added: “Playing is the best time, just going out and playing football for a living, you can’t beat that.
“Coaching and preparing a team through the week and seeing them play at the weekend is pretty close. The feeling is still the same - when you lose, you’re gutted and disappointed and you think it’s the end of the world, and when you win it’s a great feeling.
“But nothing will quite ever replace playing football and going out in front of 70-odd thousand and scoring goals, making goals and winning games.”
Life of Ryan, produced by Rhodri Burgess and Fulwell 73 Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures is out on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download now.