It’s NONSENSE that Robbie Savage thinks interviews don’t matter…

Welcome back, friends.

I had to take a break from your regularly scheduled Football Manager content in order to respond to Robbie Savage.  My wife and I were just on an errand, so I was reading some of the Mirror, as my lady is our driver in the family.  Honestly, I was spluttering the entire voyage, and even the wife could understand why, and she’s not a fan of football.

Robbie Savage wrote that he believes Ryan Giggs being “snubbed” by Swansea is bad for British managers, and that if he lost out because of an interview that it is NONSENSE.  Normally, Savage’s articles don’t really get to me, but he truly struck a nerve here and I felt compelled to address it.  The piece in question can be read here:

Swansea’s Ryan Giggs snub is bad for young managers and it’s NONSENSE if he missed out due to interview – Mirror Football

“It makes me despair if Ryan Giggs missed out on becoming Swansea City’s new manager because his job interview was allegedly not up to scratch.  Giggs lost out to former United States coach Bob Bradley in the race to succeed Francesco Guidolin at the Liberty Stadium.

That’s Swansea’s call, and good luck to Bradley, but what kind of message does that send young British managers trying to make their way in the game?” -Robbie Savage

A very strong one.  You are about to become the public face and boss of a multi-million pound enterprise.  It sends the message that you should be 100% prepared and give a top-notch interview.  What kind of message does it send if you can give a garbage interview and have a top job handed to you?

As you said, it’s Swansea’s call, and obviously Giggs was not impressive enough.  Do you really think Swansea would turn down the Welsh legend if he seemed up to the job?  I know this may not make sense to Savage as a former player, but job interviews are considered ridiculously important to us normal folk.  I would not expect to walk into any multi-million pound enterprise, give a crap interview, and expect to be given a top job.

“I was not present at Giggs’ interview, so I don’t know the reasons why he missed the boat.

But if he didn’t tick enough boxes because there was no power-point presentation, or he hadn’t completed some human resources online module, football is going mad.” -Robbie Savage

So you weren’t present, and you are speculating over garbage reasons why you think his interview wouldn’t be up to snuff?  How about if his interview included talking about his footballing philosophy or how he would try to right the ship at Swansea, and what he was selling, Swansea’s board wasn’t buying?  You’ll recall, just a few weeks ago, that Giggs came out and said he was happy outside of the game and enjoying his media work.  He clearly said he would like to return to the game as a coach, but that was for later, not now.

Yes, you can say that this was just him being respectful as Guidolin was still in his job, but he also might not have been truly interested in the Swans job — which might make him give a lackluster interview?  But, because he’s British, Savage just assumes that he was robbed of the job because of PowerPoints and human resource modules.

“Surely Giggs’ experience at Old Trafford and his knowledge of the terrain at Premier League level – where he operated all his career – is worth a punt?

Surely his two years as Louis van Gaal’s assistant, another season as player-coach under David Moyes and his month as caretaker when Moyes was sacked in 2014, counts for something?” -Robbie Savage

Obviously, Ryan Giggs is the most-decorated Premier League player ever.  That’s not in question… but there’s also no guarantee that what he learned as a player will translate into management.  The real laugh of this quote is that Savage feels Ryan’s time as an assistant and caretaker during United’s worst spell in decades is somehow a great qualifier for future employment.

Please, tell me one player that improved or gained anything as a player from being under Ryan’s tutelage as the #2?  Did anyone at United appear to be enjoying their football over the past three campaigns?  Most of the young players that were in the fold during the time since Sir Alex Ferguson left the managerial post REGRESSED under the tutelage of Van Gaal and Moyes.  The common link between both of those regimes is Ryan Giggs.

The last two seasons with LVG, did you see Louis actively giving Giggs more responsibility to help make him a better future manager?  If you saw it, Mr. Savage, then you are probably the only one.

It sounds very harsh, and honestly, I think Ryan Giggs WILL be a fine manager down the road, but there certainly isn’t anything about his tenure on the backroom staff at Old Trafford that would make me scream out “HE MUST LEAD OUR CLUB NOW!”

“When Swansea players are sat in the dressing room under new management next Saturday, hoping to get something against Arsenal, would they be more inspired by Giggs – who played 50 games against the Gunners alone in his career – or Premier League virgin Bradley?

I know who would make me run through more brick walls.” -Robbie Savage

Again, Savage tries to trade on Ryan’s past glories as a player.  Did you see players running through walls at Manchester United the past few seasons?   Other than his stellar playing career, there is NOTHING on record to show Giggs as a good motivator.  On the other hand, we’ve seen Bradley lead the United States in a World Cup, and actually won an international trophy in the Gold Cup.  Let us not also forget that Bradley led a second-place finish in the Confederations Cup in 2009, ending Spain’s 35-match unbeaten streak in the process.  Let’s not act as if Bradley is some managerial virgin, on these qualifications alone he is not only more qualified than Giggs to get a Premier League job at this point in time, he’s RIDICULOUSLY more qualified.

“It’s ridiculous if managers are being appointed on how well they perform at interview instead of their knowledge of the terrain, their football philosophy and their contacts in the game.

Look, Giggs has no divine right to stroll into a big Premier League club and expect the manager’s job at the drop of a hat.” -Robbie Savage

Really?  Because that’s exactly how you’re making it sound.  All the talk is his interview was poor, especially compared to Bradley.  You’ve already stated you have no idea why they disliked his interview — yet it could be for footballing philosophy, and to act like Bradley doesn’t have contacts in the sport is absolutely ludicrous.  You don’t know, you’re just mad because the British man didn’t get the job, even if there’s nothing to suggest he deserves a top job at this point.

“Some people say Giggs should prove himself by earning a crust at a lower division club before he takes on one of the big jobs in English football, but I’m not having that.

Why would the most decorated player in Premier League history want to prove himself on a wet Tuesday night at Yeovil as manager of Grimsby or Mansfield? What experience does he have of League Two football?” -Robbie Savage

You’ve just further solidified my above point, Mr. Savage.  You don’t want him to prove himself as a manager, you don’t want him to have to interview well — you apparently DO think Ryan Giggs has some divine right to a Premier League job.

Why is it that just because he was a quality player does he not have to prove himself as a manager?  The skill-sets needed are EXTREMELY different, after all.

The most decorated player in Premier League history should want to prove himself at a smaller club because it would (I know this might be hard for you to swallow, but) PROVE HE HAS WHAT IT TAKES TO MANAGE!?!?

“If, say, Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes, Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard decide to venture into management, please don’t tell me they need to polish up their power-point presentation skills or prove themselves at Notts County or Plymouth first.

I’m not saying they should necessarily be catapulted straight into the hot-seat at Old Trafford, Anfield or Stamford Bridge on a whim, but there are some big clubs in the Championship where they could cut their teeth.” -Robbie Savage

This is your biggest problem… you think that because these lads are all British, none of them have to prove themselves as gaffers…and you think because of their stellar playing careers, they all have rights to BIG CLUBS.  You say it yourself, there’s some BIG CLUBS in the Championship where they could cut their teeth.  Heaven forbid they should actually prove themselves at a SMALL club first, and prove they have the skills to get to the big club.  You say they have no divine right, but you basically just gave them one.  They were great players, so they automatically get big clubs, albeit in the Championship.

You’re literally spewing nonsense, Robbie Savage, and I sure hope this piece finds your desk so you can get the fan’s perspective on this issue.  If Ryan Giggs truly wants to be a top-flight manager, he should be willing to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to get to the level he wants to be at.  He (and the other legends of the game you’ve named) should understand that its about what you can bring to a club today, and not trading on past glories and your name.

Maybe if more British men want to be top-flight managers, they should attack the job (starting with the interview) with the same passion that Bob Bradley did.  He made himself stand out and won the job with his interview.  Managerial jobs aren’t gifts to great former players.

Whatever happened to “the best man for the job”, Robbie Savage?   There’s nothing since Ryan Giggs hung up his boots to suggest that he is.





    • Thank you very much for taking the time to read the piece, and for your comment!

      I generally enjoy reading Mirror in the car… I’ve read a lot of decent stuff there, but there’s a lot of stuff that just makes you go “Did they literally just throw this together? Was this even edited?”

      For the record, I think Ryan Giggs will probably be a fine manager. But if he is, then why not take a job a little lower than the Prem and make a reputation AS A MANAGER. His idol/mentor/boss Sir Alex Ferguson surely did.

      I think people sometimes forget that Sir Alex Ferguson had three other jobs before getting to Manchester United! (East Stirlingshire, St. Mirren, and Aberdeen.)


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