Christmas Humbug With Louis Van Gaal & Ed Woodward

Posted: December 27, 2015 in Football, Managers, Manchester United, Opinion
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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Was this the period which was going to show us how van Gaal had managed to turn things around at Manchester United?

Or, was this the period which was going to show us what a petulant, supercilious and arrogant man he really is?

Unfortunately for him, it was the latter. He is proving, with every game that passes, how tactically naive he is nowadays. This can only be put down to one of two things. He is either getting older and the inevitable loss of talent, ability and tactical nous is affecting him, or he was underestimating the quality of the Premier League.

For me it is a mixture of the two. He has won the league in Spain and Germany. The problem in those countries is that the only real preparation required is when you play the other top teams which, in Spain and Germany was only ever one. Now he is having to prepare fully for EVERY game and is failing abysmally so to do. This demonstrates both an under-estimation of the job at hand and a failing of mental faculties for not appreciating the differences in leagues.

I would normally say that I would be surprised if he was still in a job by the new year but nothing Ed Woodward does, or rather doesn’t do, is a surprise any more.

Obviously Woodward should still be head of marketing, at which he is very good. Whoever thought he would be a good replacement for David Gill should be sacked, along with Louis van Gaal. Logically, if you are going to fire the King then you have to also fire the Kingmaker.

This catalogue of disasters which started with the employment of David Moyes, (by Woodward, not Ferguson), could have been avoided had United replaced David Gill with either a Director of Football, who knew what he was doing, or Sir Alex Ferguson, who probably would have refused the job.

If you can imagine that United, without Woodward, would never have employed Moyes, then it is a safe bet to assume they would have employed a top manager. That being the case, it is quite possible that that manager would still be in charge now. No, I don’t know who he would have been because this is all speculation but all the heartache and vitriol would have been avoided.

The future may have been very different if a football man, rather than a marketing man had been given the task of finding new managers and signing new players.

The other top clubs all have specialists looking after each area of the club. Granted this has caused problems in the past when one area overlaps into another, or an appointment is made without the approval of the manager, who will forever deem himself to be the most important person.

An example which springs to mind is Newcastle appointing Denis Wise as Director of Football, a position which, at the time, would have meant Kevin Keegan, as manager, reporting directly to Wise. This was never going to work, particularly as Keegan walked out shortly after this crazy appointment. However, what was crazy about this appointment wasn’t the theory behind it, it was the way it was handled. Newcastle owner Mike Ashley wanted someone to work with the manager so he could stay out of football matters. Ed woodward would do well to do the same. This is not a new idea, in fact I wrote about it two years ago here.

In closing my hopes for the new year include Louis van Gaal flying off to the Algarve with his wife to enjoy a long and happy retirement, just in time to let in the new year!

Ed Woodward sticking to what he is good at. Just sign up new sponsors and bring money into the club. Stay away from appointing managers and buying players, all that does is lose all the money you brought in with failed transfers and having to pay off failed managers.

Those two things happening would allow me to have a reasonably cheerful new year.

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