It was almost scripted, foreseen in the stars or even divine intervention in ways that maybe only Manchester United fans can understand, but this afternoons 4-0 win at Old Trafford in the managerial debut of Ryan Giggs may just have been what this club truly needed.
Two braces apiece from Wayne Rooney and second-half substitute Juan Mata put the result firmly in the hands of the Red Devils on a day where a scoreline of that magnitude could not have been more of a welcomed sight. But far beyond their eventual commanding performance, events that unfolded at the Theatre of Dreams go far beyond the three point haul.
United only took a 1-0 lead into the dressing room at the half thanks to a converted Wayne Rooney spot-kick, but it would be the first challenge Giggs would face at the helm of the biggest job in the country that he would pass with flying colors – his half time team talk. United would open the second-half with purpose and their efforts were rewarded three minutes after the break with a wonderfully struck curled effort by Rooney. His brace was complete but that would not be the last from United.
In an effort to distance himself from David Moyes and his legacy (or lack thereof), Juan Mata could only make the bench for the match, but perhaps it was more than trying to separate the past and the now, perhaps it was the little tactician inside that thought it prudent to introduce Mata at the moment that Giggs felt it best. The little Spaniard was introduced into the match on 60minutes and would only need three until he found his first of two goals on the afternoon. He brought something different to the match, something that Norwich would have to adjust to after already having to cope all afternoon with the current state of affairs and just when Norwich thought United would coast, 10minutes later Mata would complete his own brace and put the result far beyond question.
Three points? Check. Strong home performance? Check. Inspirational half-time dressing room influence? Check. And finally, positive substitutions at key moments in the match? Check. Full marks to Giggs on the day without debate, but where does United go from here?
Some will say that United’s record against lower sides this season was strong and thus, today’s result was never going to go against them. That much may be true, but it’s the way that United went about getting the result which must be taken notice of. The players seemed to have that belief in not only themselves but their manager that they have lacked for the large majority of the season. They played the type of Football that is required by the United faithful and the presence of one of the clubs all-time greats on the touchline at the helm of the mightiest ship in the BPL fleet just seemed to all come together.
Rumors that United are close to bringing in Dutch legend Louis van Gaal as the full-time replacement for Moyes does not necessarily mean the end of Giggs and management. It would make perfect sense to sign the Dutchman for two or three years while Giggs stays on the coaching staff with the view of making him manager once van Gaal’s contract comes to it’s completion. No one knows this club better than the Welsh Wizard and who better to learn from than van Gaal who has a plethora of knowledge to bestow upon the living-legend.
Whether Ryan Giggs will never manage after this season or if his time in the sunshine on the Old Trafford touchline is only a few years away, one thing is absolutely certain – he will forever be ingrained in the hearts of every United supporter in the present and in the future and if there is anyone more fitting to be at the helm of another period of greatness, it is Cardiff’s greatest son and Manchester’s most loyal servant.