Farewell To United Legend Ryan Giggs.
All good things have to come to an end and after being at the club since he was 14 Ryan Giggs has decided that it is the right time to call it a day at Manchester United, for now.
When Sir Alex Ferguson first cast his experienced eye over Giggs flying down the wing as a youngster, he likened the sight to a dog chasing a piece of silver paper blowing in the wind so effortlessly was the way the young Salford lad moved.
Almost 30 years later and the most decorated player in world football is leaving his only club for pastures new. His roll call of trophies is truly amazing 35 in total including 13 Premier Leagues, 4 FA Cups, 4 League Cups and 2 Champion Leagues. Add to that his total of 963 appearances for the club and you can see how difficult a decision it must have been for him to break his association with his beloved United.
In his time at the club, he had held the position as player, captain, player/manager and assistant manager. But did he stay too long in his last post under van Gaal? Should he, in fact, have been given the responsibility of manager before the Dutchman or even after?
The answer in my opinion to both those questions is no. He has to take heed of the lessons he learned under Fergie, Moyes and van Gaal and turn them to his advantage. Sometimes it's better to learn from mistakes, especially other people's.
After witnessing at close hand how the good, the bad and the ugly managed the club will certainly stand him in good stead for his future in management.
More: The rise of Rashford.
In van Gaal's case, most fans were optimistic when he was appointed especially with the signings and the changes he made. The main one being the appointment of Giggs as his assistant, which I believe was made with the intention of getting the United fans in his corner. Giggs said all the right things while working with van Gaal but you could tell he wasn't convinced about the so-called philosophy. How could he be?
When you look back at the last two seasons their body language towards each other looked uncomfortable. Sitting together on the bench week in week out they hardly communicated and Giggs looked far from happy and quite frankly appeared to be as bored as the fans.
Many people argue whether or not the position of manager at a club the size of United should always be awarded to experience rather than to a player for sentimental reasons.
More: Giggs leaves Man Utd.
Moyes came with nearly a decade of trophyless seasons behind him at Everton and in the end van Gaal's vast championship winning experience counted for nothing. Sure the Dutchman ended his reign with the FA Cup, but little else, so the debate will undoubtedly continue.
42-year-old Giggs is Man United through and through and if he doesn't know what style of play the club needs then nobody does. He has that winning mentality that he honed under Ferguson but now the board has once again gone for experience in the shape of Jose Mourinho. So he needs to cut his teeth at another club and stand on his own two feet, build up his backroom staff and prove his worth. Then in the future, he will return a better manager for it.
United have produced many players that have gone on to earn a decent reputation in management without exactly setting the world alight. The likes of Giggs' old teammates Robson, Bruce, Ince, Keane and Hughes have all enjoyed respectable careers at various clubs. However, none of them have what it takes to be considered for the hot seat at Old Trafford.
Maybe Giggs is different, maybe he has got that special ingredient to become a great United manager. Let's wait and see.
Hopefully, it's not goodbye only see you later Giggsy!
Thanks for reading.