There’s the eternal hunt for finding the next Alex Ferguson, his successor at Manchester United. The latest name thrown into the impossible list is Ryan Giggs, who’ll be captaining the Great Britain football team in the 2012 Olympic Games tournament, now considering a career in coaching after retirement.
If it was up to Ferguson, it wouldn’t be surprising to see one of Fergie’s Fledglings take up his impossible to compare to mantle. After all, there’s no such thing as a manager who’s 26 years at the reign of a club, keeping it at the top of the English and European game for about 20 years, overseeing the club turning into a financial and global empire under his reign.
It won’t be just a change in the background when Ferguson retires, something some thought would happen over 10 years ago. When the man who has 12 league titles, 5 FA Cups, 4 League Cups and two Champions League titles and has kept United as the biggest name in English football for the past two decades no matter the players at his disposal and the exit of stars. More than a legend, more than anything someone can describe with one word or one hour of consecutive praises. Irreplaceable seems redundant.
Seeing a different manager would be too weird, not just for Manchester United fans. Jose Mourinho, constantly tipped as a man waiting to see Ferguson step down and make his return to the English game as the Sir’s heir, after already placing himself as one of the greatest head coaches of our times, if not the best of them.
David Moyes, partially because of the magic he works with low budgets for Everton since 2002, finishing in the top 6 four times, which sometimes is a bigger achievement that it might seem on paper. The Scottish connection helps as well. Martin O’Neill, for various reasons, still out of the rotation of the bigger clubs in the English game, has also been one of the more prominent names mentioned regarding the next man in the United dugout.
Ryan Giggs? Why not? He’s been there for every title and every success. Pretty much every moment attributed to Alex Ferguson can be just as much connected with Giggs, maybe the most decorated footballer in history. When the 38 year old, still playing a pivotal role for the only club he’s ever played for, talks about considering management, it’s impossible to avoid the connection.
Coaching is something I’m looking at more and more. In the middle of last season, I completed my UEFA A Licence, which was good. It’s a different side of things, completely different to being a player. I want to gather as much knowledge as I can and prepare myself as best as I can, if I do want to go into management or coaching. The Olympics is a great platform, it’s different being involved in tournament football to league football. I ask as many questions as I can at United and I’ve been the same here with Great Britain.
Out of all the possible replacements the Glazers might find for Alex Ferguson when that day comes, unless he outlasts another set of owners, it’ll be the least weird to see a former player, with Giggs probably a more suitable face and name than anyone else, taking up Ferguson’s mantle.