May, 06, 2014

The Theatre of Dreams or Disasters?

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Name: Rikesh Dattani
Member of: Student Panellist
Joined: October, 2010
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For football fans born in the 90′s, one Premier League team stood out among its rivals; hated by thousands but adored by millions. This team, under the watchful eye of a spectacularly successful Scottish manager, went on to dominate English top-flight football over the following 2 decades, with one man being the catalyst and mastermind behind the drive. For fans born before the 90′s, this description could easily have applied to Kenny Dalglish, who had first played, and then overseen an incredible period of success for Liverpool over the years preceding this. While Dalglish’s achievements are admirable, the actions of another man would earn more than plaudits and would drastically change the landscape of English football. He could instil fear, inspiration, courage, and determination. It is, of course, Sir Alex Ferguson.

Photo by DaShiR

The irreplaceable one needed a successor, and while David Moyes’ 10 month reign of Manchester United showed his lack of experience, and self-belief, ultimately leading to his premature dismissal, another could have just what it takes. Could the theatre once more be host to united dreams under the watch of one Welsh wing wizard?

Manchester United have had an awful season by their own standards; 7th in the league (their lowest league position in the Premiership era), out of all cup competitions, and guaranteed their lowest points tally. David Moyes was brought in to lead the restructure of this great club; a man cast in the image of the perennial predecessor before him. Alas, it took less than a year to ultimately decide that Moyes wasn’t the right man for the job. Since then, there have been a host of names attributed with the vacancy, including Jurgen Klopp, Diego Simeone, Carlo Ancelotti, and bookies’ favourite Louis Van Gaal, but United may not need to look much further than the man who currently occupies the seat (albeit reportedly temporarily). Step forward, inaugural member of the infamous ‘Class of ’92’, Ryan Giggs.

Photo by ehab93

Photo by ehab93

Recently, and perhaps naively, described by Anders Lindegaard as a new Pep Guardiola, Ryan Giggs has the history, the drive, and the knowledge of Manchester United to make this fierce footballing lion roar proud yet again. Having played in 22 consecutive seasons, with the most Premier League appearances, assists, and accolades of all time, Giggs could be exactly what Moyes was not. Bold, daring and exciting. Before the 4-0 demolition of Norwich, Giggs vowed to put the smiles back on the faces of football’s most frustrated fans with an open, attacking performance, and after 90 minutes he was true to his word; imagine, then, what he could do with 90 games (or more!)?

Put aside that Giggs is the most decorated Manchester United player of all time; he would be a British manager (sticking to the historical Old Trafford traditions Gary Neville recently mentioned), and is more confident with United, the Premiership and the press than Van Gaal, or any other candidate aforementioned. While he may be inexperienced as a manager, his time with Ferguson will have no doubt taught him a few tricks of the trade, and the presence of his illustrious classmates as part of the backroom staff strengthens his resolve. While Klopp would arguably be the ideal choice for his experience, and brand of attacking football with flair and finesse, he has committed his short-term future to Borussia Dortmund. Could that be just what was needed for Giggs’ to be the selected as the new (and improved?) ‘Chosen One’?

Photo by controversialsports

Photo by controversialsports

With a host of talent at his disposal, with the likes of Rooney, Mata, Januzaj and Kagawa, the transformation, which fans feared after Ferguson’s exit could have lasted years, could very well arrive sooner than expected. With the departure of Young, Cleverley, Nani, Evra and Van Persie (who, despite his Goal-den Boot award last year was always going to be a short-term solution), funds can be raised for players like Shaw, Cavani, Lallana, Reus, Kroos and Hummels. While we may not get them all (this isn’t Career Mode on FIFA, of course), 2 or 3 would be a strong signal of intent, and with the talent set to return from loan moves, including Nick Powell, who has excelled at times in the middle for Wigan, Giggs could yet find himself with an abundance of riches, and could add to his overflowing cabinet of medals, and return the Dreams to the Theatre.

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4 Comments

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  1. Rikesh

    Thanks for your comments Ste!

    In response to your post, I agree that the absence of Sir Alex Ferguson will be felt for a long time, but this will be felt by the Premiership rather than Manchester United exclusively.

    Louis Van Gaal has a very particular management style, but whether you love him or loathe him, you can not deny his managerial credentials. Having averaged a win percentage of over 60% over his whole career is commendable, with club and individual honours within many of his tenures; also, it’s worth bearing in mind that Sir Alex wasn’t exactly loved by the media and had his fair share of issues with individual players, but he is the most successful manager to grace the Premier League, so I remain optimistic that the Dreams will return to the Theatre soon!

    Giggs’ ended the season with a team that had already been consistently disappointing, with no changes, and used the time to experiment and offer fringe players a chance to prove themselves. You can’t base his managerial credentials on 3 games that meant nothing with respect to our season, so with all due respect, quoting the 3 results is trivial in considering him as the best possible candidate for a managerial role; evidently, Van Gaal also has faith that he is a ‘Chosen One’ in essence, else he wouldn’t have appointed him as his assistant manager.

    I disagree entirely with your comments; Sir Alex was able to take arguably the most mediocre team within his time at Old Trafford to champion’s heights, but you shouldn’t forget that these are the same players, with the same ability, even if they didn’t prove it last season. Our financial situation isn’t great, but with the Manchester United brand and sponsorship deals bringing increased levels of revenue; just a few short weeks ago, United announced record third quarter revenues of £115.5m (a 26% increase), despite disappointments on the pitch.

    Needless to say, this season is shaping up as a real test for many clubs. The so-called ‘Big 4′ is now arguably a challenge between 6/7 clubs, and it’ll be interesting to see how it all pans out.

    As I said though, thanks for your comment Ste!

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  2. Ste Oppenheim

    No CL football to offer next season. Still dithering in the transfer market with no new signings made. The absence of SAF will be felt for a long time. Louis van Gaal is the new manager but he was sacked from his last club amid notable fallouts with both players and the media (something that he has earned an unwanted reputation for). Giggs as ‘the Chosen One’ is kind of funny too – if 1 win, 1 draw and 1 loss are the hallmarks of a Chosen One, well….
    I think United are about to enter a period of mid-table mediocrity. They owe hundreds of millions still and if they don’t make the CL – something that is looking ever more likely – when their creditors come calling, where will they run to?

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  3. Rikesh

    Katy,

    Thank you firstly for your kind words!

    Do you think the Sunderland result on Sunday was a sign that Giggs isn’t ready to manage on (possibly) the biggest stage in England? Or do you think, as you correctly mentioned, his experience and first hand knowledge is more important in restoring Manchester United’s status as the English champions? I completely agree though, here’s hoping that Ed Woodward and the Board of Directors have enough faith in the Welsh Wizard being the man to restore the Dreams to the Theatre!

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  4. Katy Molyneux

    This is a brilliant article. With Giggs being reportedly temporary it’s probably just another money making scheme from the FA. Why look any further? Manchester United have played better in the last few games than they have all season and surely Giggs is to thank for that. With his experience and first hand knowledge of what works and what doesn’t it seems ludicrous that he isn’t the next ‘chosen one’ we will just have to wait in hope.

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