Ryan Giggs has stressed his belief that it’s important to have a group of players who know what the club’s about at Manchester United.
Giggs left Man United after 29 years at the club as a player, interim manager and assistant when Jose Mourinho was appointed boss in 2016 but remains an avid watcher and fan of his boyhood club.
While attending Tencent’s Super Penguin celebrity match in Shanghai on Saturday, Giggs told ESPN that he thinks there are still enough players currently at United who should understand the club’s traditions.
“Football’s changing, but you still have the likes of [Marcus] Rashford, [Jesse] Lingard, [Paul] Pogba – who was there when he was younger,” he said. “You’ve got Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young, Michael Carrick‘s just left, but a group of players who know what the club’s about.
“I think it’s always important to have that. It doesn’t guarantee you success – and if you don’t have that it doesn’t mean you’re not going to win – but it always helps if you do have that sort of team spirit.”
Now Wales manager, Giggs still firmly recognises the group of players who ‘get’ the club’s traditions, the despite the changes since his run as Louis van Gaal‘s assistant.
Mourinho guided United to second in the Premier League in the 2017-18 season, the highest finish since Giggs won his 13th Premier League in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final year as manager across 2012-13.
Many fans, including Giggs, will be hoping for an improved campaign from August onwards though, after United ended last season with no silverware and let Manchester City run away with the title by 19 points.
There are other long-term players who should understand the traditions at Old Trafford – David de Gea, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones to name a few – so they’ll once again be expected to step up and maintain the core group of long-term players over the next 12 months.