Manchester United’s Problems Begin And End With Ed Woodward, They Just Include Van Gaal

Posted: January 24, 2016 in Managers, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


It has reached the stage, at Old Trafford, where Ed Woodward has to put aside his pride.

Having employed David Moyes who, seven months into his reign, was deemed a failure then surely, eighteen months into his reign and with an inferior record, van Gaal must also be deemed a failure.

Up to now, van Gaal has had eleven months longer than Moyes in the job and roughly £200 million more to spend. Yet his record is worse. Why is he still there?

It has to be an over simplification to think that Woodward’s pride has anything to do with it, yet what is the alternative? It is understandable that he does not want to sack another one of his appointments, it wouldn’t make him look good with his bosses. Yet these are the bosses who put him in charge of football matters so this is also THEIR mistake. He has to do what is right for the club, not what is right for his ego.

Ed woodward is very successful in marketing. He has brought millions into the Old Trafford bank account through sponsorship deals with many multi-national companies around the world. He was responsible for the £750 million deal with Adidas. So his value, in that respect, should not be underestimated.

Where it started to go wrong was when the Glazers assumed, wrongly, that Woodward knew anything about the game.

In his first transfer window he overpaid for Marouane Fellaini by £4 million by missing the date of his release clause. He also, stupidly, announced to the world that Manchester United could afford to buy ANY player, thereby pushing up the price of ANY player in whom United had any interest.

In the next window he vastly overpaid for Angel Di Maria, a fact which was proven when they sold him shortly afterwards for around £15 million less than they paid. So on these two transfers alone, Woodward has cost the club £19 million.

In this respect Woodward is a typical ‘successful salesman’. He makes a lot of money, whether that be personally or for the club, consequently he spends, (some, including myself, would say “wastes”), a lot of money. The salesman will justify his wastefulness by pointing out that HE makes the money so HE will spend the money. Woodward strikes me as being that type of person.

So the obvious answer is to relieve him of his duties on the football side of things. The other obvious answer, which United seem reluctant to consider, is to appoint a Director of Football who would be responsible for all footballing matters.

This does not mean that luminaries such as Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton would not be consulted on important appointments, such as the manager, it just means that the final decision would not rest with the Marketing Director.

Assuming that Woodward isn’t removed during the season, then he has to step up to the plate and remove van Gaal. The team is now being booed at the end of each half in every game, which reflects badly, not just on van Gaal, but also on Woodward.

It is also fairly obvious that the players are trying to carry out the manager’s instructions, but these are just not working and their confidence is visibly draining on an almost weekly basis. It must also be hard on the team when he insists on so many players playing out of position. United are the only “top” club to do this and it is the legacy of failure during the last transfer window.

It has been said that van Gaal is happy to leave at the end of the season. Why make him wait that long?

So, Mr Woodward, do the decent thing. Pep Guardiola is going to Manchester City, unless you know differently, but Jose Mourinho is available NOW,. Manchester United have problems NOW.

You can then hang on until the end of the season before returning to the bowels of the marketing department from whence you came.

  1. Bernard says:

    I’m not a Mourinho fan by a long shot, but these are desperate times for United. Much as it grates I would be inclined to give JM the job until the end of the season and then reasess. It can’t get any worse.


  2. RedMe says:

    The appointment of Woodward giving him “carte blanche” shows how little the Glazer’s know about our game.
    This is the typical american move, he makes us money so we put him in charge, the rest is irrelevant.
    This is not the way it works at Manchester United, we are a club with tradition, history and much, very much pride. If you are only in it for the money get lost and take Woodward, van Gaal and Rooney with you.


  3. Jonas Barry says:

    LVG should be axed. Giggs should be the interim coach between now and May.


    • gaharis says:

      I am not so sure about Giggs, mainly because of this: Is Mourinho going to be the Man Utd manager? If he is appoint him now. If they have someone else in mind then assume that person is not available and yes appoint Giggs.

      The worst that could happen is they miss out on 4th and that looks like happening now. At least more will be known about how Giggs handles the task.

      I would have preferred Giggs went elsewhere as a Manager for a spell, but maybe that’s not possible as things are turning out.


  4. George Essien says:

    Please, for the love of the game and the club, let LVG go now or——-


  5. Lucky Odeh says:

    Plsssssssssssssssssssssssss, for the love of United let Van Gaal go!


  6. gaharis says:

    Two further thoughts: Yes the club needs to have someone at the top who understands football so it would be interesting to know who is currently calling the shots, LVG or Woodward. As good as Woodward has done at creating revenue it will all come crashing down if they unsuccessful and boring on the pitch.

    Also they just have to be serious about the Europa League. It carries a Champions League place for the winner and I am sure both Liverpool and Spurs will regard winning it as achievable this year also. I am not sure what happens if Spurs finish in the top four and win the Europa League, does fifth place then qualify for the Champions League? As it stand that is a highly possible outcome.


    • Thanks for the comments. To answer your question, no fifth place would not get a Champion’s League spot. England are only entitled to four. Another scenario would be, for example, United winning the Europa League and finishing say, seventh. This would mean that the club finishing fourth would not be given a place in the UCL. This happened when Chelsea won it not that long ago. They finished outside of the top four but qualified as winners, meaning that Spurs under Harry Redknapp at the time, failed to qualify. It would be quite ironic if the same club finished fourth again and failed to qualify again.


      • gaharis says:

        I am not sure you are correct but I am not sure you are wrong either!

        Click to access 2235751_DOWNLOAD.pdf

        “3.08 Exceptionally, an association may be represented by five clubs in the competition
        if the UEFA Champions League and/or UEFA Europa League titleholder does not
        also qualify through its domestic championship.”

        My reading of the paragraphs which follow is that if any of the English teams win the 2015/16 Europa League and do not qualify in one of the four Champion League positions then five English teams would qualify. But it is 3.35am and its bloody complicated!!

        Liked by 1 person

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