It is widely believed even by his closest friends at Manchester United that Ryan Giggs, being well versed in keeping his emotions camouflaged in a mask of indifference, is difficult to read. However, that masked demeanor exhibited sense of frustration on Wednesday when Ashley Young scored a dramatic winner at Newcastle. The usual studious and calm Van Gaal jumped with joy, punched the air, and caught hold of Giggs to celebrate the goal.
As per Van Gaal, he has had a very good relationship with Giggs. Gaal had recommended possession football in recent weeks, and it yielded results. After a battling 1-1 draw with Chelsea, United emerged victorious 3-0 against Liverpool, and it showed that the tram had found its old touch. The team could manage to maintain its position within the top four. Liverpool which was 10 points adrift on the Boxing Day, moved to within two points of the United. However, Van Gaal still believed his approach to the game proper and working.
On the other hand, United supporters accustomed to the bold, cavalier, and attacking style of football from their favorite team, have been increasingly becoming disenchanted with the team as they thought luck would soon forsake the team. The team has to prepare for fixtures against such celebrated teams as Arsenal, Liverpool, and Tottenham within the ensuing fortnight. However, Giggs, Gaal’s assistant appointed by him only the last summer, has other ideas. He is aware of the concerns of fans. Last April, when Giggs was appointed a caretaker manager of the team after the sacking of Moyes, his first move was to restore the attacking style of football in place of a nervous, over-cautious, and possessive style of football. He declared the attack to be the philosophy of Manchester United during his first press conference,
Van Gaal also wants attacking football, but of a different kind suited to the pitch on which the football is being played. He has a different interpretation of attacking football than that of Giggs who deployed wingers to attack down the flanks. He challenges players to look ahead and take risks whereas Gaal believes in possession football. It is difficult for Giggs to accept the style of play imposed by Gaal as the former is used to attacking style of football with which he has achieved great successes.