Ryan Giggs believes Louis van Gaal has had a greater impact on his coaching career than Manchester United great Sir Alex Ferguson.
Giggs spent 23 years as a player under Ferguson winning 12 Premier League titles before taking the job as Van Gaal’s assistant between 2014 and 2016.
Now manager of Wales, Giggs credits the Dutchman with teaching him the ropes in the dugout.
“That’s why I talk about Louis regarding my coaching, because I’m actually two years in the meetings, [taking] responsibility, and I talk so fondly of him because that was really my first coaching role,” Giggs told the Manchester United podcast.
“Whereas when you’re playing, you don’t know the preparation. You don’t know what the manager’s seen on the videos. Players get seven or eight minutes of watching the opposition, but the coaching staff watch hours and hours. So that is completely different, it’s completely different, even though you’ve worked under a manager for so long.
“It was more sort of the man-management and the different things that Sir Alex would do that I’ve picked up on, whereas with Louis obviously I’ve seen first-hand different systems, why you play the different systems, the reasons for this and the reasons for that. It was a really good experience.”
Before Van Gaal took charge at Old Trafford, Giggs had four games in the United hotseat following the sacking of David Moyes in April 2014. He won two and drew one during his short stint but Giggs says it was enough to tempt him into management full time.
“Amazing experience, amazing, and one, really, that made my mind up that I wanted to become a manager,” said Giggs. “I would say up until then that I was still unsure. I just felt comfortable. I felt comfortable decision-making. I felt comfortable in that position. It was brilliant experience.
“I was still doing my pro licence, but actually being in the job, having to make the decisions, all the pressure that you put yourself under, you can’t prepare yourself for that.”