Wales open up their UEFA Nations League campaign with a clash against old foes the Republic of Ireland.
And new coach Ryan Giggs will be looking to kick off his competitive tenure with a win over Martin O’Neill’s side.
Giggs has managed his native country on three occasions so far, winning one, losing one, and drawing the other. And they’re 10/11 to beat Ireland at the Cardiff City Stadium on Thursday night.
But what can we expect from the Manchester United legend in the Welsh hot seat?
Having played under Sir Alex Ferguson for over 20 years, you’d think a bit of that magic will have rubbed off on Giggs. At least in terms of the type of football he’ll employ as Wales manager.
Former coach Chris Coleman tended to be a little more on the safer side. The side still played decent football, but it was a counter-attacking based game.
Giggs could go with an increased offensive set-up in the old Man United style. Get on the front foot and play with a quick tempo, using plenty of width.
One of the staples of Giggs’ career was discipline. Whether it was training, diet or nutrition, he found a way to extend his playing career to over 20 years.
The 44-year-old only retired four years ago and was well ahead of the curve when it came to professional players utilising yoga and Pilates.
Expect the current Welsh squad to be well-drilled, too. Giggs has already spoken about mobile phone etiquette and how he’d like his squad to integrate, interact, and be as close as possible.
Former Wales coaches like Coleman, the late Gary Speed, and even Mark Hughes played in some big games. But they would never have been able to match Giggs’ CV.
In fact, only John Toshack would have lived up to that sort of billing. And while, in essence, that doesn’t count for a lot when it comes to coaching – it certainly helps when it comes to man-management.
Giggs will look to integrate a number of youthful charges into his squad. And who better to glean advice off than a manager who has won practically everything you can in domestic and European football.
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