Ryan Giggs has declared a firm interest in becoming the next Wales manager and I find his interest nauseous and will explain why.
The Football Association of Wales (FAW) intend to have a successor to Chris Coleman in place in time for the draw for the Nations League on 24th January 2018. Former Manchester United and Wales winger Giggs joins ex-international team-mates John Hartson and Craig Bellamy, and Coleman's assistant Osian Roberts in putting his name forward. The 44-year old Giggs told Sky Sports: “Of course I'm interested. I've not spoken to anyone at the moment but I'd definitely be interested. I've played for Wales and I've said that I want to go back into coaching. Obviously that is one of the top jobs. I played for United and I played for Wales."
His contribution to Manchester United is obvious. Originally an out-and-out lightning quick winger he learnt to adapt to an offensive role within the side, blending skill, movement and experience with some football intelligence. His final ball in the early days was poor but it improved year on year and he did have the ability to affect games and results. One had to pay homage to his remarkable levels of fitness that he maintained throughout his career but it was a pity his country never had the benefit of it. Clearly he was a player that looked after himself but paradoxically it was this approach that produced the biggest stain on his career.
Giggs' is the most decorated player in English football history for his club and achieved everything but has achieved absolutely nothing for his country. Not only has he not achieved anything he has treated his home country with a casual disregard not witnessed before! Never has the phrase absent without leave been more apt.
Former Wales caretaker manager Brian Flynn foolishly says: "I think Ryan is head and shoulders above the other contenders and I think he'd be absolutely ideal." It is impossible to know on what grounds he is ideal.
When it comes to managing and gaining trust and respect from his players there are some facts and issues that everyone who plays football for Wales is aware of and they are distasteful. In all his years of playing he showed a zero resolve to play for his country. Since 1990 he regularly missed international commitments through alleged injuries only to miraculously recover in time to play in the next club fixture. For example, he made his international debut in 1991 against Germany and then missed 18 consecutive friendly games before finally making his first friendly appearance for Wales against Finland in March 2000 by which time he had won 25 caps.
He missed 18 consecutive friendly games and that showed how badly he wanted to play for Wales...
In his long career he averaged less than three games per year playing just 64 games and whilst his country never played in a major tournament during that period he contributed to that fact, It was a disgrace that he missed so many games which were made even worse by misrepresentations that surrounded those injuries - in other words lies! On many of those occasions he was deemed completely unfit to play for Wales yet played for United just a few days later. At no time did he replicate his Manchester United form when playing for Wales and the reasons obvious.
His private life proves what many thought and that is he is a selfish and has character flaws that must impact on roles off the pitch. When asked if he would like to manage Wales he said: “If you have played for your country and then you go into management then yes, of course. But I am no fool. You cannot just walk into a job because you had a career in the game. You have to be deserving of managing your country because it’s a massive honour."
The winger went on to score 12 goals in 64 appearances, while Bale has struck 16 times in his 49 caps to date. Bale is only 25 and he will overall the poor record of Giggs and even beat the Rush record o 28 goals as Wales' all-time leading scorer. Is it fair to compare the exploits of each player?
Mark Hughes played alongside and managed Giggs for Wales, and he thinks Bale has done more for the national side, although Giggs was a "great player". Although Giggs scored in narrow qualifying wins against Belarus and Northern Ireland, five of his goals came against San Marino and Azerbaijan.
Despite his stellar, trophy-laden career with United, Giggs struggled to rid himself of a reputation for failing to produce his best for Wales when it mattered most.
Bale, by contrast, turns up regularly for friendlies and, when Wales have most needed him in vital competitive matches, the Real star has risen to the occasion.
If it was a massive honour how could he explain his absence? It is a complete contradiction and a lie! For example, he made his international debut in 1991 against Germany, Giggs missed 18 consecutive friendly games before finally making his first friendly appearance for Wales against Finland in March 2000, by which time he had already accrued 25 caps. The reason for his continued absence from non-competitive fixtures was largely a protective measure against unnecessary injuries; in his autobiography, Giggs states: "At that time, whenever I played two games in one week I always seemed to pick up an injury, so [Alex Ferguson] and I sat down and looked at it game by game. If the international was a friendly, the feeling was that I didn't have to play."
We cannot envisage him managing millionaire footballers and asking them for loyalty, honesty and commitment when he did not display those elements to his family or country. Our view is he betrayed his family and to an extent his country and if he did not betray his country he cared little for it.
Listening to him speak or reading his written word does not get the pulse racing either, so we are not sure any amount of coaching badges and United experience would make him a certainty for management.
His management experience has been limited to four games in interim charge of United in 2014, before spending two years as Louis van Gaal's assistant at Old Trafford, and apart from a vacant/vacuous look on the bench it is hard to quantify if he actually contributed/achieved anything? Most recently he was linked with Leicester and Everton, while he was interviewed for the manager's job at Swansea City last season but gave a poor and embarrassing interview. At no time did he mention what he could do for Swansea and Brian Jenkins was bemused
Since ending a 29-year association with the Premier League club in July 2016,
Giggs scored 12 times in 64 Wales appearances between 1991 and 2007, did this number reflect his ability or desire? The goals scored were against
- has declared his interest in a number of managerial posts and been rejected on each occasion and we know why that is.
Former Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion boss Tony Pulis has also been linked strongly with taking charge of Wales, with the FAW earlier this week ruling out an Englishman being appointed. FAW Chief-Executive Jonathan Ford told BBC Sport Wales: “We have always favoured Welsh people because arguably the passion is there. Somebody said this earlier - Welsh most definitely, foreign possibly, but definitely not English."