More rumours of dissent from the Manchester United camp have emerged, though this time they're from within Louis van Gaal's own backroom team. Not surprisingly it's Ryan Giggs who's apparently unhappy with the Dutchman's handling of first-team affairs, and the Times' James Ducker (£) has reported that the United assistant manager is particularly unhappy with James Wilson being allowed to leave on loan to Brighton & Hove Albion.
Ducker describes Giggs as a "longstanding champion of Wilson," and as having "hoped that Wilson would have played more than he has up to this point." He also includes the rather interesting detail that the sale of Danny Welbeck to Arsenal last summer was made with the anticipation that Wilson would step up and benefit from much more first-team football. As it is, he's already played more minutes for Brighton than he has for United so far this season. While he appeared on the bench 20 times last season, he's only done so once for United since August.
Of course, it's not really surprising that Giggs and van Gaal seem uneasy bedfellows. Beneath the stereotypical stylistic disagreements one may expect between a (supposedly) swashbuckling Fergusonite and a continental possessionocrat, there's slightly more at play in this relationship. Giggs not only has a reputation as a Manchester United legend to uphold, but he also harbours ambitions of succeeding the Dutchman in the Old Trafford dugout. When van Gaal does make an unpopular decision, Giggs may be understandably eager for to let the media know that he's not on-side. It looks much better when he turns out right. Cynical, but certainly worth considering.
Whether Giggs is actually right about Wilson, we're not convinced. Van Gaal clearly didn't deem him ready for Premier League football, and though it's hard to envisage him being less effectual than Wayne Rooney -- especially after another impotent performance in last weekend's draw against Leicester City, in which United created almost nothing -- it's better to see him playing regular first-team football elsewhere than to have him sat in the stands. Just like Jesse Lingard, he may well come back from his time on the South Coast much better prepped for a proper go at making it in United's first team.