Ryan Giggs

Ryan Giggs’ first words as Manchester United boss, as legend impresses


During his first press conference as Manchester United manager, Ryan Giggs looked and sounded the part.

At ease asking questions from the media, Giggs stated his intent to bring the good times back to Old Trafford. He wants his players to play with a smile on their face, enjoy their soccer and bring the feel good factor back to the club by giving the fans something to cheer about.

Ahead of his first game in charge against Norwich City on Saturday (Watch live on NBC, 12:30 p.m. ET and online via Live Extra) Giggs had plenty to say as he called his appointment as interim boss ‘the proudest moment of his life.’

The way Giggs took questions and interjected some humor and banter to proceedings gave off an aura of confidence and it looks as though he’s definitely set for a career in management when he ends his playing days.

Here is a recap of everything Giggs had to say in his first press conference as Man United manager.

Proudest moment…

“I have got to say it is the proudest moment of my life,” Giggs told MUTV. “I have supported Manchester United all my life, I have been a part of the club since I was 13. I am proud, I am happy, a little nervous and, just like playing, can’t wait for the game on Saturday.”

On his first week in charge… 

“I have enjoyed the week. I am proud more than anything, probably the proudest moment of my career. One I am going to enjoy and bring back some smiles on the faces of the fans and look forward to the game. Just like as a player. I can’t wait for Saturday to come. I know the stadium will be bouncing. I am just concentrating on the four games remaining, that is my main focus. After that I have not really thought about it. I have come into the job and my immediate aim is to win Saturday. Best way to do that is make training as enjoyable as they can.”

On his future as a player…

“I have just given myself a five year contract. I am using my power while I can! I have not done much this week but yes I will still be involved as a player.”

Thanking David Moyes…

“I would like to go on record to thank David Moyes for giving my first chance in coaching. It is something I will always remember. He gave me the opportunity for my first coaching role.”

On his first game in charge and his future…

“My mindset is on Norwich first this weekend and then the remaining three games. After that, who knows what happens? The reaction in training has been good, so let us try to have a good end to a frustrating and disappointing season. My message is that I trust the players, I know what they are capable of and I want them to go out and show it on Saturday.”

“Overweight” Costa comes to Mourinho’s defense

Diego Costa, Chelsea FC
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Diego Costa says he and his Chelsea teammates are to blame for Chelsea’s horrid start to the 2015-16 Premier League season.

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Speaking Thursday, during a bit of downtime over the current international break (Costa was left out of Vicente del Bosque’s squad for Spain’s final two EURO 2016 qualifiers this week), Costa placed the majority of blame at the feet of the entire team, but went on to most harshly critique himself for coming into the season unfocused and “overweight.”

Costa, on his lack of fitness and form to begin the season — quotes from the Guardian:

“We know we’re not in the form we were supposed to be at the beginning of the season. We need to blame the players because we came back from holiday very confident, thinking we could go back into how it was last season, and then realized the team was already in a bad situation.

“I’m going to be very honest: maybe a few weeks ago, five or six weeks ago, I was not on top of my game. At least physically. We talk within the players and we know that, maybe at the beginning, we were not 100 percent as we were supposed to be when we got here. I got injured at the end of last season and then I went on holiday. Maybe I got out of my diet and, when I came back, I was not the way I was supposed to be. I was a little bit overweight. That affected my game. You can be selfish and blame it on the manager but I’m not going to do that. I’m responsible 100%, and so are the other guys.

Given that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said on Thursday he doesn’t quite know what’s wrong with the defending Premier League champions, hearing someone — anyone — speak up and explain the club’s worst start to a season in 37 years will surely be a welcome sound to any Blues supporter’s ears.

[ MORE: Liverpool appoint Klopp as manager | Allardyce to Sunderland? ]

Costa, who is eligible to return from suspension next weekend when Aston Villa visit Stamford Bridge, has scored just one goal in league play this season (six appearances) after scoring 20 in 26 games last season.

Sam Allardyce to open talks with Sunderland

Sam Allardyce, West Ham United FC
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Now that Liverpool have selected and named their new manager, it appears Sunderland are finally ready to move forward with their own managerial search. (That’s clearly a joke, because it implies Liverpool and Sunderland ever duke it out for the same managerial candidate.)

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Anyway, the Black Cats will have to hire someone to replace the recently-departed Dick Advocaat at some point. We all knew that, despite the fact he’s probably earned a shot at that level, Bob Bradley was never really going to be considered for the job. With that in mind, if you’re not going to endear yourself to the entire United States of America with this hire, you might as well go for the best unemployed manager who’ll actually consider your approach.

That’s what Sunderland chairman Ellis Short appears to have done, as it was reported Thursday that despite an initial reluctance from Sam Allardyce — let’s be honest, he actually was holding out hope for the Liverpool job — the 60-year-old most recently in charge of West Ham United was willing and ready to enter into negotiations with the northeastern club.

One of the major sticking points during Sunderland’s courting of Allardyce is expected to be his demand for autonomy in the transfer market as well as a sizable transfer budget to sign his own players during the January window.

[ MORE: Advocaat: Sunderland squad too thin, chairman to blame ]

Allardyce seems like the no. 1 guy you’d like to bring in to steady a capsized ship — cough Sunderland cough — in any situation. Not only does he have a successful track record in the Premier League, but he’s the kind of no-nonsense leader a club like Sunderland so desperately needs as they find themselves in yet another relegation battle just eight games into the new season.

Short hopes to have Allardyce signed, sealed and delivered when the Premier League returns to action next weekend. In that event, Allardyce’s first game in charge of Sunderland would be a trip to West Bromwich Albion. His first home fixture? Home to Tyne-Wear derby rivals Newcastle United, a club whose boisterous fanbase still holds a great deal of disdain for Big Sam. Sometimes the football gods really are looking out for us.