On Tuesday, April 22, 2014, Ryan Joseph Giggs(OBE), the most decorated player in the history of Manchester United football club was elevated to the enviable position of a temporary manager following the axing of the beleaguered David Moyes—the hardworking Scot who was appointed as the successor of the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson. Poor David Moyes. He should have known that replicating the success of arguably the most successful manager ever was always going to be a wrinkle on the forehead. Needless to echo that his tumultuous 10-month stint saw the champions relinquish their EPL crown in the most uncharacteristic fashion—accruing just 27 wins out of 51 games, 9 draws, 15 loses and failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 19 years. The Chosen One, nay, The Wrong One must have thought that he would have enough chance to assert his authority (we kept hearing that his job was secured and that Manchester United doesn’t fire on impulse) on the team and spear head the rebuilding in the summer, but those whose words are law in Manchester couldn’t watch and see the empire crumble, especially from the New york side of things .
However, the nub of the matter here is that while it’s unfortunate for David Moyes, a man with a good demeanor as you would suspect, the searchlight now beams on Ryan Wilson (as he was once known), the once young lad who busted through the ranks many years ago in United’s Carrington and gave a glimpse that he was going to become a legend. But even the greatest adherent of the dexterous winger would not have predicted that he was going to go indefatigably all the way to achieving some insuperable feats in the colors of one of the greatest clubs in the game. By his achievements and sheer professionalism, Giggsy has become the proverbial metaphor for long service, dedication, loyalty and hard work in a world where such attributes are now anachronistic. Not only has the Welsh man, who turned 40 sometime back, still remains a registered player for Manchester United, his consistency has been something worthy of adulation and he still showed that he could still deliver the goods at the highest stage when called upon in the Champions league comeback of Manchester United against Olympiakos in the second round— running around the turf like an athlete on steroids while supplying sublime passes at will while lads barely over half his age were falling short.
Although David Moyes had appointed Giggs as a coach player, his new appointment, no matter how temporary it would be, just consolidated a legendary status that is always burgeoning. Giggsy has been a delight to watch over the years and the football world have enjoyed some great moments from his magical runs through the flank. His prowess and speed blended with a razor sharp cutting edge down the flanks contributed to United success in the late 90s and he and the likes of David Beckham, Paul Scholes, the Neville brothers and Nicky Butt where a testament to the merit of youth academy and contributed to the finest era of Sir Alex Ferguson. Giggs since then has gone ahead to become the most capped and decorated player of the club in its 136 years existence, notching up 962 caps, 13 league titles, 4 FA Cups, 3 League cups, 2 Champions League trophies, to mention but the most important ones. No matter what happens after the remaining four games of the season, United will surely get a new manager and Giggs will be a part in the future at Old Trafford. While on that seat, he may not exude the intimidating mien of Sir Alex, but it will still be a worthy sight to behold as he will be calling the shots as the boss! It’s refreshing to know that the good old virtues of hard work, dedication and loyalty still pay in our world. It’s a lesson we need to learn, going forward.
O.P. Philips is a freelance writer/entrepreneur. He is the author of The “OBAMA” in You! His new book, “The Soccer Side of Life” will be released soon.
Follow him on Twitter@opphilips