Coaching role for Ryan Giggs
David Moyes will face the media for the first time as Manchester United manager on Friday with his status reinforced by the addition of two very familiar faces to his coaching team.
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11. Ryan Giggs
Whilst it had been widely anticipated Phil Neville would return to Old Trafford to begin his club coaching career under the guidance of a man he has worked so closely with at Everton since 2005, confirmation Ryan Giggs will be combining his responsibilities as a player with a position on Moyes' backroom team was a surprise.
Having signed a new contract in March, the 39-year-old seemed completely focussed on adding even more silverware to his impressive collection.
However, with Mike Phelan, Rene Meulensteen and Eric Steele all leaving in the wake of Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement, Moyes has moved to silence any doubts over the inside knowledge about United's inner workings within his coaching team.
Between Giggs and Neville, Moyes has ushered 1327 club appearances into the fold. The pair could lay out a combined collection of 19 Premier League winners' medals, seven FA Cup and three Champions Leagues.
"Ryan's success and ability to adapt his game over a number of years gives him an unrivalled perspective on the modern game," said Moyes.
"His career is an example to any aspiring young player."
The practicalities of Giggs' role have not been outlined, although evidently the veteran Welshman, the only man to have scored in all 21 seasons of the Premier League's history, will be expected to make a significant contribution on the field.
However, with Neville also coming on board, in addition to Nicky Butt, who has remained on the coaching staff after being hired by Ferguson last season, there are now three key members of that famed 'Class of 92' working behind the scenes.
"I gave my all when I played for Everton but it is no secret that this club is in my heart," said Neville.
"When David called to give me this opportunity, I couldn't resist."
And before today's announcement, Neville will doubtless have spoken to Giggs to underline Moyes' quality.
"I've really enjoyed working with David and his staff as a player and I think that, together with Ryan, we can make a real contribution to Manchester United," said Neville.
Whilst Neville does have some coaching experience, and was part of Stuart Pearce's set-up at this summer's European Under-21 Championships, Giggs is still to take his first steps despite amassing further qualifications in Turkey last month.
"It's no secret that I have been taking my qualifications and I see this as the first step in my future career," he said.
"I'm really looking forward to working alongside David and the team and hope I will be able to bring my experience to bear, having been both a player and part of the Manchester United family for so long."
Although Moyes has been given a six-year contract, the unspoken hope would clearly be for Giggs' career to be steered towards eventually getting the manager's job himself.
Yet so many of Ferguson's proteges have made encouraging starts down that career path, only to fail in their efforts to reach the top that little can be taken for granted, even if Giggs starts in a privileged position compared to all bar Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in being allowed to take his first steps at United.
The appointment provides a positive backdrop to Moyes' first public appearance as United boss at a press conference tomorrow when he will be accompanied by skipper Nemanja Vidic.
A potential replacement for Vidic, Benfica's Ezequiel Garay, has been touted as Moyes' first significant signing.
However, of more interest are moves for Leighton Baines and Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who is believed to have agreed a deal to join United in principle but has so far failed to complete his move from the Nou Camp as he negotiates the details of his contract.
Overshadowing even this, though, is the future of Wayne Rooney.
A much-anticipated meeting between Rooney and Moyes yesterday did not materialise, although the pair did speak.
There would have been more chance for meaningful communication today as Moyes conducted his first full training session, although it is difficult to imagine there is any chance the striker would get his hoped-for climbdown from the club over Ferguson's claim in May that he had asked to leave.
Rooney has returned in good shape though.
And with Neville and Giggs now settling into their new roles, the atmosphere at the newly named Aon Training Complex is said to be positive as the clock ticks down towards departure on Wednesday for United's five-game summer tour of the Far East and Australia.