Ed Woodward May Ultimately Be The One Who Prevents José Mourinho Staying At Old Trafford Long Term

Posted: January 5, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Jose Mourinho, Liverpool, Managers, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
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In Ed Woodward’s short and largely unsuccessful reign as whatever additional title he now holds regarding his control of the transfer policy at Manchester United, he has already had to deal with three managers.


David Moyes was the easy one. Ed was brand new to the position as was Moyes so they muddled through the first transfer window together like two kids meeting for the first time when starting school on the same day.

Ed made a mess of things that time back in 2013 and United ended up with Juan Mata, thanks to Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill, and Marouane Fellaini thanks to Woodward who missed the deadline for a decent discount on the deal and ended up paying £4 million more than he needed to. Still, easy come easy go, as they say.

None of this was a problem for Moyes who spent most of his time at Old Trafford behaving like some wide-eyed child on Christmas Day. By the time he began to appreciate the size of the club and, therefore, the size of the task he had taken on, it was too late and he was sacked.


Louis van Gaal strutted into Old Trafford as though he had been there all of his life. Not only did he walk the walk but he talked the talk. He spent an absolute fortune on average or, in the case of Bastian Schweinsteiger, ageing players, most of whom have since left the club.

He fell out with Ed Woodward towards the end of his tenure when he realised that United weren’t going to extend his contract, despite him winning the FA Cup, because they wanted to employ José Mourinho.

In fairness to van Gaal, although he had his team playing dour and boring football, the FA Cup win would probably have kept him in the job had Manchester City not appointed Pep Guardiola as their new manager, replacing Manuel Pellegrini.

Anyway, van Gaal left with a large amount of compensation burning a hole in his pocket, settled his bill at Wings and flew off into the Portuguese sunset. Enter José Mourinho.

José is pretty well known for wanting his cake and eating it. He tends to get annoyed when the club he represents tells him that he needs to sell players before he can buy new ones.

This is now Mourinho’s fourth transfer window with United having previously had three free hits whereby this wasn’t the case and he was let loose with more than £290 million. Even with this amount spent he still maligned the fact that, last time out, Ed Woodward only managed to sign three out of four targets!

Now, however, it would appear that the honeymoon is over and he needs to shift some deadwood before he spends much more. It isn’t a case of the club not being able to afford to buy without selling, more a case of not wishing to add to the payroll when there are still so many who are paid but not played.


Ed, also reportedly, isn’t too keen on shelling out £50 million for Danny Rose of Spurs. His argument being that, for the same money, the club could buy a younger player, less injury-prone and, possibly, with more potential.

He is probably right but that will not go down well with Mourinho on two counts.

Firstly, as with Roman Abramovich, Mourinho does not appreciate being told who he can and cannot buy, particularly by someone who doesn’t have a footballing background.

Secondly, Mourinho, in the main, is a manager for the “here and now”. He wants a proven left back, not one who may turn out to be world-class in a few years. You can bet your life that he is using City’s purchase of Kyle Walker as an example whilst arguing his case for buying Rose.

This may turn out to be a minor spat or there may even be no truth whatsoever in the reports. If either of these are the case then normal service will be resumed shortly.

If, however, Mourinho does not get his way then this could fester. He will feel as though he has been undermined by his CEO and it is possible that any working relationship they had will break down.

If this happens then Mourinho will leave at the end of his contract and that would go down as another mistake by Woodward to add to the many he has already made since appointing himself as transfer guru.

Only time will tell.


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