As Manchester United begin their quest for a successful 2014-15 campaign, how vital is Sir Alex Ferguson’s 'Golden Generation' to this rebuilding process?
This week Ryan Giggs brought to an end his long and illustrious playing career, becoming assistant to newly appointed Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal. With the Red Devils having endured a turbulent and disappointing 2013-14 campaign, how will next season be affected by the Class of ’92, now being touted as potential saviours of the club?
Talent and success
Comprising of David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Giggs, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers (Gary and Phil), the Class of ’92 are named for the FA Youth Cup they won together while emerging through the ranks. They progressed to form the core of Ferguson’s ‘kids’ famously dismissed by pundit Alan Hansen. They have been there and won it all before, developing the winning mentality that United lacked in 2013-14.
Respect and authority
After acting as interim manager for the last four games of the season, Giggs looks set to enjoy a long tenure among the club management and is likely a long-term successor to Van Gaal. Having succeeded to such an extent in their playing careers, Giggs and the others could be vital to United’s revival, providing leadership and example to the current players. Their achievements will bring them instant respect and ease their development as coaches.
Loyalty and commitment
Giggs, Gary Neville and Scholes were all able to stay at United for their entire careers. Beckham, the least likely to return, played for Real Madrid, Los Angeles Galaxy and Paris Saint-Germain after leaving the Red Devils. The others looked elsewhere for first-team football, as United consistently proved one of the strongest sides in Europe. However, returning as coaches, their dedication to their mother club is an inspiration that should be installed into the current generation of players, such as the likes of Tom Cleverley, Danny Welbeck and James Wilson.