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The real problem?

This isn’t meant in any way to be a defence of the Glazers and Woodward - it seems clear there is a lack of strategy/direction and also, I fear, of genuine care in terms of United’s footballing stature. I’m more interested in questioning the view that we must inevitably struggle while those people remain at the club. We can only hope that isn’t true - because, let’s face it, they’re likely to be around for a long time.

What I’m wondering is this: what exactly do our coaches and players do in training? Under four managers now, we’ve looked truly abysmal at times and have never got a consistent, effective style of play up and running without being bewilderingly dull and defensive.

Van Gaal and Mourinho had a few transfer windows and were definitely given money. Here are some signings they made, in no particular order:

Bailly
Darmian
Schneiderlin
Di Maria
Memphis
Mkhitaryan
Pogba

None of these are bad footballers. I don’t think there was too much opposition to their signings, with the exception of Pogba, and even then it was largely the fee. The managers to this extent were backed and, arguably, chose wisely.

But what happened to these players? Has any big club had as many failed signings as we’ve had in the last few years? That can’t all be down to Ed and the Glazers; as I’ve said, these are international footballers offering things we needed in positions where we were short. Some even stated well - Darmian, Bailly, Di Maria - before fading badly.

Given that Bailly doesn’t seem to be in Solskjær’s plans, and will almost certainly leave soon to be another failure, the only one of those we can even attempt to call a “success" is Pogba. And I’m not exaggerating when I say that he hasn’t been much better than Juan Sebastian Veron: he’s just been there longer and stood out in mediocre sides.

So why this catalogue of failure? Bailly and Darmian could have been solid defenders and formed part of a decent back four. Schneiderlin could at least have been a good squad player, yet barely limped to the end of his first season. The others are attacking players with flair who really ought to have flourished - and have looked good elsewhere.

I don’t think it’s Ed and the Glazers we can blame for this. Different managers have brought in players they wanted and have failed utterly to get a tune out of them. The main reason our squad is the way it is is that we’ve signed players like these and had to get rid when we’ve admitted defeat with them: all of the above (save Di Maria, who wanted out) could conceivably still be at the club and offering 7/10 performances at least, and we’d be better off - not winning the league, but better off.

To sum up, we can’t keep blaming those who don’t directly influence what happens on the pitch. All four post-Ferguson managers could and should have done much better with what they’ve had. Solskjaer deserves the most sympathy as he’s not been in the role long and inherited the worst squad by far. But how do we consistently, over six years, look so poor in possession? Why are we so easy to defend against, so slow and unimaginative in attack? Why are players unfit? Why do attacking players fail so consistently, even spectacularly, at this club?

These are, for me, coaching and training problems that should be improved upon whatever we think of Ed and the Glazers.

posted 1 week, 4 days ago

Bailly is decent...you really need to get him fit again

posted 1 week, 4 days ago

comment by Big McTominay (U22257)
posted 8 minutes ago
Ed appoints the best men for the job available at that time, and then backs them with signings.

I'm really not sure what else he (or eany other CEO for that matter)could do.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Under Ed’s stewardship, United have gone from champions to also-rans to, as it stands, mid-table mediocrity or worse. Any “CEO” who oversaw such a dramatic decline in another industry would be under severe pressure; for instance, as a school principal, if your institution falls by an Ofsted ranking, you’re often gone even if you didn’t teach a single one of those inadequate lessons.

The footballing decisions aren’t going well - terribly, in fact. Giving a manager a new contract and then not backing him. Making a new player the top-earner without anticipating the problems that would cause. Whatever on earth was going on in the summer of 2013. No continuity between managers meaning permanent flux. These are the reasons why people criticise him.

As the article says, though, training and tactics I don’t blame him for and think we could be a (more) successful club with or without him.

posted 1 week, 4 days ago

comment by kneerash-23 Cara Gold (U6876)
posted 41 minutes ago
Like you would think the one thing a club legend would inspire as manager is effort.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Lamps has managed it

posted 1 week, 4 days ago

I've said this many times, it's not acceptable how poorly players are developing at United, you probably have to go all the way back to De Gea to a player who has improved since joining and reached a level fans had hoped. Every other player has declined as a player or stagnated and never reached any sort of potential. Surely this is basics in how to make a good football squad, bring players in and improve them and the team as a result.

And every manager must take most of the responsibility for that.

posted 1 week, 4 days ago

comment by Sheriff JW Pepper (U1007)
posted 10 seconds ago
comment by kneerash-23 Cara Gold (U6876)
posted 41 minutes ago
Like you would think the one thing a club legend would inspire as manager is effort.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Lamps has managed it
----------------------------------------------------------------------
He's even got Willian tracking back...

posted 1 week, 4 days ago

comment by manutd1982 (U6633)
posted 2 minutes ago
I've said this many times, it's not acceptable how poorly players are developing at United, you probably have to go all the way back to De Gea to a player who has improved since joining and reached a level fans had hoped. Every other player has declined as a player or stagnated and never reached any sort of potential. Surely this is basics in how to make a good football squad, bring players in and improve them and the team as a result.

And every manager must take most of the responsibility for that.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Exactly

So many of our signings stagnate or just fail completely. I bet even Fred would look better in a few other Premier League teams.

posted 1 week, 4 days ago

comment by Metro.⚽️ (U6770)
posted 1 hour, 29 minutes ago
comment by Going Loco Like Sissoko (U10893)
posted 10 minutes ago
comment by Metro.⚽️ (U6770)
posted 6 minutes ago

It ultimately boils down to bad signings for me.

Sanchez was a great Premier League player but he was also a bad signing because of his wages - everyone could see that from the off.



----------------------------------------------------------------------
So, take the wages out of the equation for one second and you're telling me that he was destined to fail before he went? If we were offered Sanchez (wages not in the equation) we'd have snapped Arsenal's hand off. I don't buy it for a minute that *everyone* (generalising here) thought this was a bad signing. If anything I think the general consensus of most people was it was a good signing. However, what has happened subsequently there is no way anyone would have predicted that. Same with the majority of the signings above.

The issue at United is the owners, I'm just a fan of Jose but give him the support and it's proven he wins titles. It might not be pretty, but he wins. Funny how the only team that he didn't succeed was united and that to me was IMO due to the owners not backing him with the targets he wanted.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

That's just it - you can't take the wages out of the equation because that alone was a problem from day 1 - not his form.

I'm not saying it was a bad signing from a quality aspect. He was clearly a very good player but the apple cart was tipped upside down. It ruffled the feathers of everyone else.

As for Jose - how much did he spend on new players in total ?
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Not sure how much Jose spent, but I see your point to a degree. The reason I am saying forget the wages for a second, because there is a degree of hindsight to what you're saying because of the outcome, but as a quality signing no one would have known it would've turned out that bad as you've admitted.

Going back your point, it looks 1000 times worse because of the exorbitant wages they've been paying him. I just think some of the signings they've made and how they've translated to poor form considering the reputation and form of the majority of them is quite baffling. But then this is reality and not Champ Man so no signing is guaranteed.

posted 1 week, 4 days ago

comment by Christopher (U20930)
posted 2 hours, 23 minutes ago
Surely you can blame the people who have employed 4 separate managers who have all been failures though?
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Depends. Did they pass on any glaringly obvious candidates ?

posted 1 week, 4 days ago

comment by Clockwork Red (U4892)
posted 1 hour, 29 minutes ago
comment by Big McTominay (U22257)
posted 8 minutes ago
Ed appoints the best men for the job available at that time, and then backs them with signings.

I'm really not sure what else he (or eany other CEO for that matter)could do.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Under Ed’s stewardship, United have gone from champions to also-rans to, as it stands, mid-table mediocrity or worse. Any “CEO” who oversaw such a dramatic decline in another industry would be under severe pressure; for instance, as a school principal, if your institution falls by an Ofsted ranking, you’re often gone even if you didn’t teach a single one of those inadequate lessons.

The footballing decisions aren’t going well - terribly, in fact. Giving a manager a new contract and then not backing him. Making a new player the top-earner without anticipating the problems that would cause. Whatever on earth was going on in the summer of 2013. No continuity between managers meaning permanent flux. These are the reasons why people criticise him.

As the article says, though, training and tactics I don’t blame him for and think we could be a (more) successful club with or without him.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Tou cant put where we are on Ed alone. He had to succeed Gill and replace SAF. Surely you accept that's ot an east job?

Then he is reliant on the manager, coaches and players pulling their weight, which they arent.

posted 1 week, 4 days ago

comment by Big McTominay (U22257)
posted 2 minutes ago
comment by Clockwork Red (U4892)
posted 1 hour, 29 minutes ago
comment by Big McTominay (U22257)
posted 8 minutes ago
Ed appoints the best men for the job available at that time, and then backs them with signings.

I'm really not sure what else he (or eany other CEO for that matter)could do.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Under Ed’s stewardship, United have gone from champions to also-rans to, as it stands, mid-table mediocrity or worse. Any “CEO” who oversaw such a dramatic decline in another industry would be under severe pressure; for instance, as a school principal, if your institution falls by an Ofsted ranking, you’re often gone even if you didn’t teach a single one of those inadequate lessons.

The footballing decisions aren’t going well - terribly, in fact. Giving a manager a new contract and then not backing him. Making a new player the top-earner without anticipating the problems that would cause. Whatever on earth was going on in the summer of 2013. No continuity between managers meaning permanent flux. These are the reasons why people criticise him.

As the article says, though, training and tactics I don’t blame him for and think we could be a (more) successful club with or without him.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Tou cant put where we are on Ed alone. He had to succeed Gill and replace SAF. Surely you accept that's ot an east job?

Then he is reliant on the manager, coaches and players pulling their weight, which they arent.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

I have written ten or more paragraphs saying precisely this

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