More On Manchester United’s Intention To Appoint A Director Of Football

Posted: August 13, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur, Transfers
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This, if it finally happens, is something we here at WSA have been championing for years. We even wrote a short article for HITC on the very subject back in 2013 so the need has been there for more than five years.

At present there is a short in the circuit which supposedly joins the manager to the board and CEO.

The system is half and half. It is still the old fashioned one where the manager hands in a list of players he thinks he requires for the club to buy, and the present day one where somebody above the manager decides which will be bought and which won’t based on what the club actually NEEDS as opposed to what the manager WANTS.

Invariably, the list provided by the manager is designed to protect his job more so than look after the future of the club which, whilst being a consideration is most certainly a secondary one.

Mourinho, as manager, was employed to take the club forward and not just to spend as much money as possible every time the transfer window opens. He was also employed to bring through and, occasionally buy, younger players as a base for the future.

The problem with the Portuguese is that his managerial appointments have nearly always been about him rather than the club. The headlines nowadays are mainly about what HE is or isn’t doing, what HE is saying, what HE wants and needs, who HE has upset and who HE has praised.

Even headlines about players, such as Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba, are derived from their perceived treatment by the manager.

It is only very recently that headlines regarding United and a Director of Football have reared their head. The Guardian, having obviously read our article in HITC, also picked up on the idea!

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Mourinho will have to accept a Director of Football if he stays at Manchester United

Mourinho stated, in a recent interview, that he thought his job was now more one of head coach rather than manager. Well, here’s some news for you José, it always was.

The club no longer wants to spend £50-60 million on players who are no better than those already at the club and who, in fact, are also older than those in situ.

That is not negativity by the board, that is good financial management. It is Mourinho who, in an attempt to protect his own reputation, wants players who can go straight into the team, will be around for a year or two and have no resale value. That is his modus operandi. He doesn’t care that it is short term because most of his jobs are short term. He won’t be there to deal with those players when they are handed a free transfer because they have gone past their very short, even by footballing standards, sell-by date.

Where he has a point is that the club also appointed him to catch Manchester City NOW, not in five or ten years. To do this Mourinho needs to buy or bring through players who can have an impact NOW, not when he is long gone and the problem is that the people currently deciding who he can or cannot buy are the wrong people.

So it is a delicate balance and no longer one a coach/manager need be entirely responsible for.

United presently have a manager who wants to buy everybody and doesn’t think money should he an object and a board who doesn’t want to buy anybody over a certain age or price or both!

The problem at Old Trafford is that there is no Director of Football so who vetoes the manager’s choices? As far as we are aware neither of the two sirs, Bobby Charlton or Alex Ferguson, are consulted on footballing matters so the decision on which players to buy or otherwise is ultimately Ed Woodward’s.

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The two wise sirs but, evidently, not wise enough to be consulted on anything football-related

He is a glorified Marketing Executive who is very good at bringing money into the club. In fact, we think you’ll find that he has signed more sponsors than players during this last window.

The Director of Football role needs to be filled by an ex-player and, as we have said in the past, there are quite a few hanging around Old Trafford picking up salaries for doing very little. Does any of them have the contacts and the ability to do the job? If not, then one needs to be brought in from outside the club as Manchester City did with Txiki Begiristain.

This is a situation which has needed sorting out for quite a long time. If United are serious about catching City, which we can only assume they are, then appointing an experienced Director of Football may very well be an excellent start.

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