Ryan Giggs leaving Manchester United after 29 years of service

After being affiliated with Manchester United since 1987, including a 27-year playing career and four year coaching career, Ryan Giggs announced that he is leaving United to seek management opportunities elsewhere after Jose Mourinho was hired to take over from Louis van Gaal.

Giggs released an open letter explaining his decision and sharing the love and respect he has for Manchester United and their fans. In it, he explained that he has “no immediate plans” to manage a team but that’s the inevitable goal.

Giggs also credited Sir Alex Ferguson and Louis van Gaal as mentors to him in terms of modeling his management style and after three years under the wings of David Moyes and Van Gaal as well as being an interim manager when Moyes was sacked, that Giggs feels he’s ready to take over a team.

The Manchester United legend has won just about every club level honor as a player. He’s a record 13-time English Premier League champion, two-time Champions League winner, four-time FA Cup and Capital One Cup winner and has 114 goals in 672 appearances. As an assistant manager, Giggs has been under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal as they have tried to transition Manchester United from the Sir Alex Ferguson era. After Moyes was sacked, Giggs was installed as an interim manager for the rest of the 2013-14, finishing with a 2-1-1 record. Van Gaal was hired and with Giggs, qualified for Champions League in 2015. After not qualifying this past season and not seeing an adequate return on investment compared to how much was spent on players, Van Gaal was sacked.

Even though Jose Mourinho was always the favorite to take over the team and he eventually was, an argument was made by some that Giggs should’ve been given a chance due to him being able to work with the young players as well as bring a sense of continuity in the transition. Also, even though he didn’t manage many games, he didn’t do that bad of a job when he was an interim manager.

But anyway, United made their choice and went with Mourinho and Giggs, knowing it would likely take a few years before getting a shot to manage the team (if nobody else gets hired), he can’t wait forever and feels this is the best move. Giggs can go into management and spend a few years with a team to gain experience on his own and then whenever the United job opens up, maybe Giggs will be open to come back with a bit more knowledge of the job. It could be a win-win for everyone.

[Sky Sports/Photo: Getty Images]

About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them. Follow me on Twitter @phillipbupp