According to reports, Manchester United will name Holland manager Louis van Gaal as the replacement to David Moyes on Monday. The major issue preventing any announcement seems to be in the details about his contract, but once this obstacle has been overcome, Van Gaal has apparently asked to keep current interim manager and Manchester United great Ryan Giggs on as his assistant, though he has yet to decide his future with the club. The remaining members of the “Class of 92,” however, may be looking elsewhere for work in the upcoming season.
Long rumoured to be the next managerial signing, van Gaal will replace David Moyes, who was unable to last even one full season with the defending English champs. Moyes, hand picked by previous manager Ferguson, helmed United to their worst ever season in the English Premier League and was fired with four games remaining after losing to former club Everton and amidst a fan revolt that saw supporters hire a plane to circle Old Trafford denouncing Ferguson’s “Chosen One.” After a season in which United failed to qualify for either of the European leagues, van Gaal will be under immense pressure to steer the Red Devils to a top four finish.
Manchester United talisman Ryan Giggs had served as the caretaker for the final four games of the season, and reports have indicated that van Gaal will keep him on as his assistant. Following a meeting in Holland last week, Giggs, who had previously refused to speculate as to his specific role with the club next year, left for holiday after being offered the number two role, but has apparently asked for the weekend to decide his future. Some have speculated that he may leave the club to pursue managerial work elsewhere, though other rumours have him staying on as a player/coach for the Dutch boss. Certainly, United fans would like to see Giggs, the most decorated United player in history, stay on and given his love and loyalty to the club, that seems a likely scenario.
United will likely see some changes, however. Ed Woodward, chief executive at United, has suggested that despite recent financial losses, he will be investing money in the club, giving van Gaal the cash he needs to mould the team as he sees fit. So far, the Dutchman appears to have been busy, with suggestions that United are close to signing young defender Luke Shaw, while pursuing Germans Toni Kroos and Mats Hummels, French defender Bacary Sagna, and one story has suggested that he would like to pursue Bayern Munich striker Arjen Robben as well. With the embarrassment of riches at the forward position already, it is not surprising that current United striker Hernandez may be seeking an exit, with Italian giants Inter Milan apparently interested in the Mexican national.
Should club great Ryan Giggs decide to stay on for the future as assistant to current Holland boss van Gaal, Manchester United fans will undoubtedly have high hopes for the upcoming campaign. Given the financial needs of the club in a season without European games and the pressure on Woodward to prove himself as well, van Gaal will have the arduous task of ensuring that Manchester United get back not only to English supremacy, but can once again become competitive in the European Championship as well.
Commentary by Bryan A. Jones