Giggs, Scholes and Beckham met Ferguson's standards because of Harrison – 'Class of '92' graduate Casper

By Sports Desk February 15, 2019

Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, David Beckham and others were able to meet Alex Ferguson's standards at Manchester United because of iconic youth coach Eric Harrison, according to their fellow 'Class of '92' graduate Chris Casper.

Harrison passed away on Wednesday at the age of 81 and the world of football was swift to pay tribute to the man who helped forge one of the greatest dynasties the sport has seen in Britain.

As well as Giggs, Scholes and Beckham, Gary Neville, Phil Neville and Nicky Butt all came through United's academy in the early 1990s, going on to play a huge role in one of the most fruitful periods in the club's history.

Giggs – the most decorated British player ever – went on to overtake Bobby Charlton as United's record appearance maker, while Scholes is third in that list and Gary Neville captained them for six years.

All six players were nurtured by the guiding hand of Harrison, and Casper – who started alongside Giggs, Gary Neville and Butt in the 1991-92 FA Youth Cup final – thinks the coach's similarity to Ferguson was vital.

"They were very similar, with the values and standards," Casper told Omnisport. "I think the work ethic they demonstrated every day, the standard they set, the expectations the manager [Ferguson] set – it came from Eric, really.

"Eric was the first person to work with you when you got into the training ground as a 16-year-old, sometimes even before that when you were 14 or 15.

"He set the tone really, but there was nothing different about the way Eric was and the way the manager was. It was just that progression. They were similar in many ways.

"It was obviously driven by the manager, he picked you for the first team, but it was started by Eric. He gave you the confidence to believe in yourself.

"He was our mentor, teacher, leader. He helped shape us not just as footballers, but people as well.

"I think a lot of it is values, the way you behave, portray yourself, the way you act, also having clear messages - Eric wasn't one for mincing his words, and you really appreciated that from him."

Many of the revered 'Class of '92' have since followed Harrison into coaching, with Giggs managing Wales, Phil Neville in charge of the England women's team and Butt heading up United's academy.

Scholes is the latest to take up a full-time position after being appointed the manager of League Two's Oldham Athletic on Monday, and Casper – now sporting director of Salford City, the club part-owned by Giggs, Scholes, Beckham, Butt and the Nevilles – thinks they will all aspire to manage United one day.

"He [Scholes] had such a long career, you always hoped he'd go into that side of things and use his experience and knowledge," Casper added.

"I don't think Paul will change [his personality] in the dressing room. I think he'll set the standard, a very high standard.

"It's good that Paul, Ryan, Nicky and Phil are getting the opportunities to put something back into the game, helping people, using their experience and shaping their football clubs, squads and teams.

"Man United is the biggest, or one of the biggest, jobs in world football. I'd imagine they'd all have aspirations to manage the club one day.

"It'd be good to have that continuity and have that experience of what it actually takes to be at Man United and be part of something that'd be great moving forward.

"They're all getting experience, hopefully they'll get the opportunity to manage it [make the jump up to United's level]."

Related items

  • MLS Review: Rooney helps DC United to win, Red Bulls overcome Union MLS Review: Rooney helps DC United to win, Red Bulls overcome Union

    Wayne Rooney helped DC United to a strong win as New York Red Bulls made it back-to-back victories in MLS on Sunday.

    Assured of a place in the play-offs, DC climbed into fourth in the Eastern Conference thanks to a 2-0 win over Seattle Sounders.

    Lucas Rodriguez's low strike gave DC the lead at home before Rooney helped them to their second early in the second half.

    The former Manchester United star's powerful set-piece from the left was tapped in by Frederic Brillant for the hosts.

    The Sounders are second in the Western Conference, but yet to clinch a play-off spot.

    The Red Bulls are set for the play-offs and recorded a 2-0 win over Philadelphia Union.

    Tom Barlow's tap-in and Daniel Royer's late sealer wrapped up the victory for Chris Armas' men.

    The fifth-placed Red Bulls are five points behind Philadelphia in the east.

    Elsewhere, New York City are four points clear atop the east after a 1-1 draw with Dallas, while Portland Timbers and Minnesota United drew 0-0.

  • Neymar can win the Ballon d'Or – Herrera Neymar can win the Ballon d'Or – Herrera

    Ander Herrera backed Neymar to win the Ballon d'Or one day after the forward's impressive start to the season for Paris Saint-Germain continued.

    Neymar scored his second late winner in as many games this campaign, leading PSG to a 1-0 victory over Lyon in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

    The forward was heavily linked with a return to Barcelona during the transfer window, but ended up staying in Paris and has starred on his return.

    Herrera, who arrived at PSG in July, believes the Brazil international is a future Ballon d'Or winner.

    "I'm delighted to play with Neymar. I will not talk about his transfer window," the midfielder said, via L'Equipe.

    "Now, Neymar is with us. He is a fantastic player who can be Ballon d'Or, this season, in a year, in two years.

    "We are very happy. I hope he can play like that all season."

    PSG's win saw them move seven points clear of ninth-placed Lyon, although their lead at the top is just three points to Angers and Nice.

    But Herrera laughed off any suggestions the title was already won for Thomas Tuchel's men.

    "No, there are only six matches. I just saw the table. There is Rennes, Angers, Marseille," he said.

    "We respect a lot of teams and all opponents. We will always play with respect."

  • Icardi: I left Inter for PSG to win trophies Icardi: I left Inter for PSG to win trophies

    Mauro Icardi said he left Inter for Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain to win titles.

    Icardi moved to PSG on an initial season-long loan, with the French giants reportedly holding the option to buy the striker for €70million.

    The 26-year-old, who arrived at Inter from Sampdoria in 2013, scored 111 Serie A goals and 124 goals in all competitions to be eighth on the Nerazzurri's all-time list.

    Icardi – stripped of the Inter captaincy last season and frozen out by head coach Antonio Conte – said the time was right to leave San Siro.

    "I came here to play," Icardi told Canal+. "If you arrive with an option to buy, you know the player has to give his best to ensure the club decides to purchase him outright. We'll see what happens next summer.

    "I was in my seventh year at Inter and my dream was to play in the Champions League with Inter, which I did last season, but we never won anything.

    "I thought the time had come for me to go to a winning club, one that could challenge for and win titles. It's time for me to start winning.

    "The truth is that PSG is a squad full of champions and that is what I wanted."

    Icardi made his debut in PSG's 1-0 win over Strasbourg on September 14 before starting in last week's memorable 3-0 Champions League victory against Real Madrid.

    However, the Argentina international missed Sunday's late triumph at Ligue 1 rivals Lyon.

    "People call me a 'killer' in the penalty area. I am always ready in the box to score goals," Icardi added. "Ever since my debut when very young for Rosario, my objective and obsession has always been to score goals."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.