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Ed Woodward and the need for a Director of Football

 

Over the years, Manchester United fans have had to become interested in the performance of vice-chairman Ed Woodward over his spending and decisions related to transfers.

In 2005, Woodward advised Malcolm Glazer and the Glazer family to take over Manchester United, a take-over which was successful.

In 2007, he was given charge of the commercial and business operations. He has been criticized times without number about the way he handles transfer related issues.

But is he that bad when it comes to that aspect? let’s take a look on his decisions since he took over.

David Moyes after taking over from Sir Alex attempted to sign Thiago, Fabregras, Gareth bale and Ronaldo.

The negotiations were treated with levity as Ed missed appointments with the player’s agents to treat sponsorship deals.

Deadline day, he signed Fellaini more than the actual price of his clause due to late negotiations handling.

Come 2014, United broke the transfer record for Mata from Chelsea, Ed also made a deal with Adidas which was excellent commercially wise.

With that he was a face among the fans till the day Moyes was sacked.

Louis Van Gaal was hired after a successful world cup with the Netherlands, a manager with great philosophy and style of play that was destined to succeed at United.

Woodward started the 2014 summer transfer with the signing of Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw.

Big signings like Di Maria and Radamel Falcao came into the club even though they didn’t fit in the philosophy of Van Gaal.

Van Gaal’s manager to player relationship and training technique was questioned, he also complained about “LACK OF PLAYERS” as he was left with an unbalanced squad after the world cup.

Season ended, United looked to have their mojo back after finishing in the top 4 and qualifying for Uefa Champions league play-offs. Ed Woodward was excellent in the next transfer window by bringing in Depay, Martial, Morgan Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger and Matteo Darmian. Di Maria left the club because of some personal issues with the managers, he wasn’t the last player to complain about Van Gaal.

De Gea our best player at that time was seconds close to leaving but Ed performed a masterclass fax machine failure to keep him at the club.

Ed did everything perfect at least in the area of transfers. Van gaal was eventually sacked and Jose was the new manager. Instability and no direction as both Moyes and Van Gaal were not given enough time.

Jose Mourinho the current manager is struggling this season and even before the current season he talked about the lack of support from the club directors concerning transfers, even though his tactics are predictable and too defensive.

Jose’s tactics just look outdated and Ed Woodward might just get it right by not sanctioning any more transfers. Ed has supported Jose well by bringing in Eric Bailly (who is now getting benched and not get chances currently), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (who is now at Arsenal), Matic (who is now slow and rusty at the moment), Paul Pogba (the ever inconsistent), Romelu Lukaku (big and shadow of himself), Alexis Sanchez (Past his prime), Victor Lindelof, Fred, Dalot, Lee Grant and the only signing who flourished under Jose, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Different players that have been bought have failed to progress under Jose. Even Rashford’s progress has gone dim upon Jose’s arrival though the English man has been lazy with his finishing skills, Ed Woodward isn’t really to be blamed here.

Jose, just like the previous managers is looking surely to be sacked after the season ends and will add to the list of managers that didn’t progress after Sir Alex left the club.

Ed Woodward no doubt brings money to the club and has already broke the transfer record for United twice. Only fault is that the players he buys are not the players the managers need.

By that, any manager at the club will find it difficult to deliver his objectives and will soon get tired of everything.

This may bring to the conclusion of appointing a Director of Football as nowadays managers seldom last longer than a couple of years in any job.

A middleman between the dug-out and the hierarchy is perceived to be a more suitable figure in the long term.

With this, Ed Woodward will be involved majorly with his sponsorship deals with no distraction whatsoever.

Is modern day football right now and a club big like United should have appointed a DoF long ago.

It’s time for United to move away from the 90s British way of football and accept the reality of modern day football, or else the club progress will remain stagnant, managers will be sacked which will lead to zero progress at the club, we will be mocked by our rivals and have no bragging rights in English and European football. The club needs a figure; the club needs a Director of Football as soon as possible.

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