Manchester United fans can protest but what they did to Ed Woodward is disgusting

Stunning is one word that feels underwhelming when talking about what some so called football ”fans” did to Manchester United’s vice chairman Ed Woodward this week. A reported 30 fans wearing balaclavas attempted to storm his house and threw flares at it. What on earth is the thoughts that any sane fan would be thinking.

The tensions between the fans and the Manchester United board has been escalating for a few seasons now and it all came to ahead in grisly scenes on Tuesday night with fans reportedly screaming ‘Woodward is going to die’. All of this over a game of football….

Perhaps it’s true that Woodward has not done a great job in his role at United. Former managers have been disgruntled by his actions. Louis van Gaal felt that Woodward was only interested in the commercial aspects of the club (i.e) how much money they could make from friendlies in Asia. And Jose Mourinho on more than one occasion had his player transfer wishes quashed by Woodward.

It has not been a great time for Woodward and that has reflected United’s performance on the pitch. At the same time fans are quick to forget that in dealing with financial matters Woodward has been a success. He has been responsible for growing United’s financial wealth by 3 times its original size when he first joined up with the club. But yes it is true he has made a few mistakes in the last few seasons. Some United fans would laugh at that and say he has been a total disaster, but his record with the club begs to differ. He has become an easy target and the scapegoat of United’s failings.

What cuts the deepest though about the attack is how some fans, and it is a minority, but some fans feel it is their self given privilege to act like maniacs. The same people that are probably very law abiding and hold down jobs completely lose it when it comes to football. It is evident that there are real fans and then there is the hardcore section who feel that football is the only thing they have in life.

How could this have been avoided? A meeting had to take place, clear the air talks should have happened, between a select number of fans and Woodward, why not? Surely then everyone could have moved forward without violence. Instead these fans that wanted to attack his house, complete with his innocent wife and children will be banned for life but the club that they supposedly love. One would think that Woodward’s home would have been fitted with adequate CCTV too, so this could be a reality.

Sometimes controversial moments tend to happen off the pitch, and this week in the Premier League has been one full of shame, let’s hope some understanding can take hold now, no one needs violence.

How well do you know English football? Want to challenge the best English Fantasy Managers? Play now.



Man Utd 6-0 Tranmere Rovers; The Red Devils continue to progress in the FA Cup as they cruised past Micky Mellon’s men with ease

After a really difficult week with defeats to Burnley and Liverpool in the league, Manchester United had only two things on their mind, of getting back to winning ways and aiming to end the season with a bit of silverware, as they travelled to Tranmere Rovers for the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Going into the game, majority of football fans were expecting a potential upset and some FA Cup magic, especially if one was to consider the away side’s poor form over the last couple of weeks whilst the state of the pitch at Prenton Park would have surely been an advantage to the hosts only.

However, it was a straightforward victory and a walk in the park for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United, as the three goals by the 16th minute mark was more than enough to put the game to bed despite the efforts and hard work that was shown by the Tranmere Rovers players from start till the end.

With the goals coming from the most unlikely of sources in the first half through Harry Maguire, Diogo Dalot, Jesse Lingard and even Phil Jones, it was the fifth time this season were the side has scored four goals or more in a single game. On top of that, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood were able to chip in with a goal, two individuals who have to step up in Marcus Rashford’s absence.

Now, we look onto the three key things we learnt from United’s latest match…

The back-three/five formation has it’s benefits when correctly utilised

The back-three/five formation is often seen as a defensive and pragmatic system, due to the number of defenders and lack of attacking-minded players that are utilised within the setup. However, when having the ideal individuals and intelligent players that fit into each specific role flawlessly, then it works out perfectly, just like what the Red Devils had seen from their team today at Prenton Park.

With the likes of Rashford, Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay remaining out on the sidelines and are not expected to return from injury anytime soon, United could possibly use the 3-4-1-2 setup more often as they aim to the remaining schedule game by game. Given the energetic wing-backs in Brandon Williams and Diogo Dalot, as well as a playmaker like Juan Mata to link the midfield to attack, the back-three/five formation could be seen a short term solution for Solskjaer and his men.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gets back to winning ways and fights to live for another day

It’s not been an easy week for Solskjaer, as the defeats to Burnley and Liverpool have had the United fans and the Premier League pundits questioning if he is the right man for the job, someone who is lacking the needed experience and tactical knowledge in order to succeed at one of the biggest clubs in the world. Though, with the dominant victory over Tranmere Rovers and the players putting on a discipline and composed display, it could possibly be something that they can build on from here.

As the side continue to remain in the FA Cup, Europa League, EFL Cup (not for long) and six points away from fourth-place Chelsea, there is still a lot to fight for as long as Solskjaer can remain open-minded on and off the pitch whilst proving that he can get the best out of the current squad. If he can get maximum points from now until the key players return from injury, then there is a possibility of the team ending the season on a high note, however, it is a big if as the side have not been able to show their dominance, consistency and quality on a regular basis so far this footballing campaign.

The United supporters continue to protest against the Glazers and Ed Woodward

Despite the 6-0 victory over Tranmere Rovers and the fact that the side have qualified for the next round of the FA Cup, the United supporters were still not satisfied, as they went on to directing their anger and frustration to the Glazers and Ed Woodward, who have played the pivotal role to the club’s decline. With the fans raising their voice today and recently against Burnley and Norwich, it looks like they will continue to do so until there is a huge change to revive their football club.

It’s actually been a long time coming, as the hierarchy and the owners have not shown enough attention and care towards the club’s performance and results on the pitch, whilst they are more bothered and focused about the income and profit they have been able to make off it. However, the Manchester United fans are taking a stand and are now saying enough is enough, as the side have failed to make a single challenge for the Premier League title since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ed Woodward and the monumental mistakes he has made


In order for a massive football club to be successful consistently on the pitch, it must be ran well and be intelligently proactive off it. It’s one of the few and huge reasons to why the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus dominate their respective leagues whilst also convincingly challenge well in the Champions League, even if they haven’t won it for the last couple of years or so.

And then when you look at Manchester United, the money has always been there for the side to continue being ruthless time and time again. However, due to the lack of footballing knowledge of the Glazers as well as Ed Woodward, the most successful club in England have constantly gone back and forth whilst not finding the right medicine to take them back to where they used to belong.

Now, we dig deep into the mistakes that vice-chairman Ed Woodward has made…

Telling Rio Ferdinand he does not have a future at the club

At the time of the situation, the Red Devils went through a horrendous 2013-14 campaign under David Moyes. And to top it all of, Ed Woodward walked into the dressing room on the final day of the season and told Rio Ferdinand that his services are no longer required. The worst thing about it, the experienced individuals such as Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Ryan Giggs left in the same summer, meaning that the United squad were missing the crucial veterans they looked up to.

For sure, he wasn’t going to remain as a regular starter at 35-years-old, but his incredible experience and likeable personality would have been something that the young defenders as well as the whole squad would have benefited from. United’s defensive issues unfortunately continued and were ongoing for the next few seasons, meanwhile, Rio Ferdinand went on to play his last year as a professional footballer at Queens Park Rangers in the next campaign, before eventually retiring.

Bragging to the media that the side can buy anyone in the world

One of the most uncomfortable statements made by Ed Woodward himself was back in 2014, where he had stated how financially dominant the club were, how the club’s strategy in the transfer window was well planned and how good the scouting department are. Five years on, United are in the same position, and have not been able to evidently prove these as a fact or a statement.

The club have never been the type to brag and publicise about their financial prowess or their ability to spend around £200million to £250million each summer window. However, since the interview was conducted by Woodward, other clubs have been able to poach extra money for when their respective players moved to Old Trafford, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Fred and Romelu Lukaku is the best examples, three individuals who are certainly not worth the figure they were brought for.

Hiring Ole Gunnar Solskjaer without keeping an eye out for other coaches

If we are being brutally honest, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wouldn’t have got the job on an interim-basis nor as the permanent manager of the club hadn’t it been for his previous success as a United football player. Otherwise, it would have been a similar situation of when the board had brought in David Moyes, someone who lacked the required intelligence and qualifications for the job. Looking quickly into Solskjaer’s managerial experience, he has managed only two small sides in Cardiff and Molde, which isn’t enough to warrant him a coaching position at a mid-table team such as Everton, Leicester City or Wolverhampton Wanderers, let alone a massive club like Manchester United.

On the other hand, the likes of Antonio Conte, Mauricio Pochettino and Zinedine Zidane were quietly available before the 46-year-old Norwegian international had officially got the job, which does raise the questions of how Woodward had analysed the coaches before coming to a final outcome. Given that the proven managers in Jose Mourinho and Louis Van Gaal were not able to lead the team to a title challenge, it does seem like the hierarchy opted to change their ways by bringing in someone that really understood the club’s style and mentality on and off the pitch.

Targeting/signing players by their reputation rather than by their quality

Going back to United’s recruitment and scouting process, it doesn’t seem like they actually have a plan in place and they prefer to do more business if they finish out of the Champions League spots. During the time where the club were preparing for Europa League football, they had still managed to bring in the top quality players such as Henrikh Mkhitaryan Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Not only that, but Woodward has evidently shown his love for a marquee signing over the last couple of years, where he attempted to bring in either of Gareth Bale, Kaldiou Koulibaly or Neymar, but the end outcome itself was purely expected. With how much time and focus is wasted on trying to lure players into Old Trafford through the lucrative contracts rather than the club’s ambition, it’s a must for the recruiters to find individuals through their quality and the rising potential they have.

Sleeping giant Man Utd have to plan for a make or break summer window


After going out of the Champions League the other night to Barcelona whilst currently sitting outside of the Premier League top four, the questions are being raised on which way Manchester United Football Club are heading. As they look to finish another season without any trophies, it may lead the Glazers and Ed Woodward to dive into the summer window with around £200-£250million to spend.

For sure, since the last time they had won the league title, which was under Sir Alex Ferguson during the 2012-13 campaign, the club have incredibly spent just over £800million on 24 new players over the last six years. The evidence and proof is here, that the capability of splashing the cash is simply there, but the lack of planning and recruiting shows why no actual success has followed from it.

United’s Champions League exit to a dominant and ruthless Barcelona sums up that the team needs badly refreshing. The rebuilding job was expected to be completed by now, with both Jose Mourinho and Louis Van Gaal spending a lot of money in their first season at the club, but have failed to take the team back to the top of the league and have not turned Old Trafford into a fortress once again.

From the defensive problems, midfield lack of quality and depth to the inconsistent and attack, the team has its holes that will need covering before they can start to challenge in each competition. The likes of Ashley Young, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones should no longer be seen as regular starters, three individuals who are seen as loyal servants but are holding the side back to quite an extent.

Meanwhile, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit a poor run of games since being appointed as the permanent manager, where he has suffered defeat to teams such as Arsenal, Everton and Wolves whilst unconvincingly beating both Watford and West Ham in recent weeks. In all honesty, Solskjaer inherited a team that is mixed with deadwood players and individuals with potential, rather than a complete squad that is filled with the needed proven stars and are really hungry to be successful.

With the local reports advising of a possible director of football arriving, whether it is either Edwin Van der Sar or Mike Phelan, the hierarchy need to forget about saving costs and appoint an individual that has experience and practice within this demanding role. Once this matter is sorted out, the club can organise a list of players to target before going guns blazing in the transfer market.

On the other hand, as majority of the Old Trafford faithful will fear, the group of transfer targets as well as which players should be bought and sold may not be crystal clear until the end of the season, when it is finalised if Manchester United finish in the top four or not. A concerning factor that leaves them behind the likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Manchester City, the best teams within Europe who have the winning mentality to remain ahead of the rest in and out of the season.

Overall, the only way the Red Devils can bounce back from this decline and prevent themselves from experiencing what AC Milan, Inter Milan and Liverpool have experienced over the last five to seven years, is by making a statement in the summer and by meaning total business. With both Bayern Munich and Real Madrid expected to go all out in the 2019 summer transfer window, things may become real interesting if Manchester United do the same and target similar players as one another.

Manchester United produce another poor and unconvincing performance at home


Jose Mourinho and Manchester United had the perfect opportunity to bounce back to winning ways following the international break, as they took on a Crystal Palace side that are currently struggling for goals and have only won two league games so far this season. On paper, the fixture seemed like it would be a routine victory for the hosts whilst the visitors would struggle to get into the game.

However, it was completely the opposite, with neither side having the cutting edge or the final quality in the penalty box to score a goal and give their team the full three points. The way how Roy Hodgson had his side setup, it stopped United from progressing forward through the middle and they were strained to play the ball out to the flanks, forcing them to play a more direct approach.

Meanwhile, Mourinho’s starting line-up was not good enough, with Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku undeservingly being selected in the team, two individuals that have been atrocious and inconsistent for a number of months throughout the year of 2018. Even then, the manager has not shown the ruthlessness he once had by dropping these two players despite they are his favourites.

The first half was quite open, with United dominating the ball and Crystal Palace waiting patiently for the opposition to unlock their rigid defence. Despite the Red Devils only managing to test goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey with a few shots, it was the Eagles that actually had more positives to take from the first 45 minutes, showing they can soak up the pressure whilst being dangerous on the counter.

Under Mourinho and especially at Old Trafford, United have formed a tendency to build the tempo up slowly from defence to attack, allowing the likes of Andros Townsend and Wilfried Zaha to catch them off guard from time to time. Though, the duo could not end their impressive dribble with a strong attempt on goal as they would see their shot go off target or easily saved by David De Gea.

After the half-time break, United began the second half in usual fashion as majority of the Old Trafford faithful were expecting the side to take things up a notch as they have shown over the last couple of months. A lot of the team’s successful comebacks so far this season has been due to the fact they start the first half very slow and are forced to turn things around before it’s too late.

Mourinho brought on the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini for the last 20 to 25 minutes of the game, however, the substitutions only forced the team to desperately play long ball from all areas of the pitch and it led to no positive outcome. With no actual footballing plan, the players and the supporters were confused with what they witnessed on Saturday evening.

In the end, Crystal Palace did more than enough to deserve the point and they may have even been disappointed to not get their third victory of the season. Had they had a more clinical and aggressive centre-forward on the pitch, they would have certainly managed to get a goal or two before the game came to an end, something they have been sorely missing since the campaign began.

Overall, the future of Manchester United football club does not look great, and the board as well as Ed Woodward have to make some drastic decisions, whether it’s to keep or sack Jose Mourinho. If these ongoing issues and problems are not fixed anytime soon, the Red Devils may not realistically challenge for the Champions League or the Premier League for the next couple of years or so.

Manchester United need to stop buying players a few years too late


Manchester United’s signings over the last couple of years or so have been very questionable and unconvincing, especially when you realise that the likes of Angel Di Maria, Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin lasted at the club for only a short while. Three individuals that were important and in fine form for their previous team, but could not hitting the ground running at Old Trafford.

The previous coach in Louis Van Gaal had spent £250million during his two-year reign and now, Jose Mourinho has managed to splash out a huge figure of over £350million since arriving to the club in May 2016. Despite £600million being spent over the last three to five years, Manchester United football club are yet to successfully win the Champions League or Premier League in that time.

On top of that, Ed Woodward’s idea of trying to look for a big name signing every summer transfer window does not help at all. When looking at the squad at the moment, the quality in midfield and attack is here and there, however, the leadership and excellence is badly missing in defence as well as the overall class in the team when you compare it to the top-six teams in the Premier League.

With how Mourinho prefers to buy players that are certainly proven and are at the final peak years of their respective careers, a large number of Manchester United supporters believe that the manager’s way of targeting potential signings is not effective. Because of this, the club are not able to move forward as the side simply do not have the perfect spine to guide them on and off the ball.

Overall, the board and Woodward himself have not done enough to amend the club’s downfalls in the transfer window and have failed to come up with a plan on how to approach these matters in the long run. Due to this ongoing and concerning issue not being resolved, the European clubs that Manchester United buys from are able to gain a further £10million to £15million on their players.

Here are the three examples of players that the club had brought a few years too late…

Alexis Sanchez

It did not take long for Alexis Sanchez to make himself to be recognised as one of the best players in the league when he arrived to Arsenal from Barcelona in the summer of 2014. His performances were complete on both sides of the pitch, where he would constantly press the opposition until he retrieved possession of the ball once again to helping the side in attack with his goals and assists.

However, the Chilean international has not been able to replicate his displays since joining the Red Devils at the start of the year. Some will feel that player is starting to lose a bit of his touch and quality, whilst the rest believe that Mourinho’s lack of attacking style is not helping the team and its best players. It’s not a surprise that he has already been linked with a move away from Old Trafford.

Bastian Schweinsteiger

Joining Manchester United during the Louis Van Gaal era, many Premier League experts and English football supporters predicted Bastian Schweinsteiger to fit in well in the centre of midfield and become the player that makes the team tick. With how the midfield was lacking total composure at the time, the former Bayern Munich star and current Chicago Fire player was seen as the perfect signing.

In the end, the defensive-midfield partnership of Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin did not go down too well, as both individuals were missing the ideal pace and ability that was needed on both sides of the pitch. Most importantly, the 34-year-old did not have the robustness to play in an open-minded and physical league on a regular basis and he was also heading towards a slow decline before leaving the Allianz Arena.

Radamel Falcao

The announcement was made on deadline day in the summer of 2015, Falcao’s loan move from Monaco to Manchester United was official, and it led the Old Trafford faithful to believe that these big name signings would lead a resurgence to compete in all competitions they took part in. From Ander Herrera to Falcao, it seemed like the Red Devils meant business as the plethora of new arrivals made many feel that the good days and magical moments were returning soon or later.

On the other hand, things did not go down as planned as the hype and excitement instantly died down as the Colombian international’s injury issues returned and it allowed him to only 26 league appearances, with just under half of them seeing him utilised as a substitute. Despite his time in England being unconvincing, it’s best to say that Falcao came back from a near career-ending ACL tear and had move to a new environment and a new club, so it was always going to be tough for him to get going.

Manchester United set to see the best of Jose Mourinho after love in with fans


Less than a week ago Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho sat in the post press conference after seeing his team lose 3-0 to Tottenham and prepared to take the heat from the waiting journalists. He ended an awkward few minutes by talking about respect a word he repeated three times. His reason was to tell every one in the room that they should be showing him some after winning 3 titles in England. This wouldn’t have had much of an effect on any journalist that night but respect is what he is earning from the United fans, his most important allies.

It was surprising to see at first the reaction of the fans after the defeat to Tottenham, culminating in Mourinho giving them a friendly gesture as he walked back to the dressing room and picking up a vintage United scarf which he then wrapped around his neck. If that show of sentiment from the United faithful had not given Mourinho warmth then nothing could. But that was something deep down that Mourinho would have respected, how many other fans in the same situation would have been cheering and clapping their manager? It was a sign that they are all in this together with him, and most importantly, it was a sign of support.

There is of course a tale of two sides, and another set of fans on Sunday for United’s game against Burnley at Turf Moor grouped together not to attack Mourinho but vice-chairman Ed Woodward with a plane message over the stadium that said ‘ a specialist in failure’. Woodward has come under fire for not signing the couple of other players that were on Mourinho’s radar this summer. But Mourinho was quick to defend Woodward first by claiming that he did not see the message and then dedicating Sunday’s vital win against Burnley to Woodward. Indeed had United lost this match Woodward could have been tasked with finding Mourinho’s new replacement.

After the 2-0 win over Burnley which was helped by a brace from Romelu Lukaku a mountain of sorrow seemed to be released from Mourinho’s shoulders, something that had plagued him since July when he could not forcibly conjure up a smile on United’s poor pre season in America. But this win meant so much to him that he took the time to go over to United’s away supporters climb over the advertising barriers, thank them profusely and then hand over his jacket to one lucky fan.

Mourinho’s most successful moments with his teams has always involved a togetherness with his players, a them versus us if you like, and the same applies to the fans also. This attitude was at the core of Mourinho’s incredibly successful time at Inter Milan, where they won their first European Cup in 2010 after more than a 40 year wait. It is very questionable whether Mourinho had this special relationship with Real Madrid’s fans who always clamour for more, but if he now has it at United, even when last week they looked down and out, the fans should now see the best of a team managed by Mourinho. If Mourinho feels the love, he gives it out in spades.


The argument for and against Mourinho staying at Manchester United


On Monday night Manchester United lost 3-0 at home to Tottenham which only added more misery and pressure on manager Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese has endured a torrid time this summer, first with an average pre season, then seemingly moaning at every press conference and then his failings in the transfer window to bring in more players, or of course that could be Ed Woodward’s failings, by any measure there is friction between the two.

A loss away to Brighton did not help matters and now Tottenham have come to Old Trafford and ran off 3-0 winners, United have conceded 6 goals in two games and have not kept a clean sheet this season. The pressure is mounting on Mourinho but the United board have said he will stay. September has just become one of Mourinho’s most important moments in his managerial career. Here are the arguments for Mourinho staying or leaving the club.

Argument for Mourinho staying at Manchester United

Everywhere Mourinho has gone he has brought titles. In his first season with the club he won the Carabao Cup and the Europa League. He installs a winning mentality, however every player needs to be on his side for this to work.

What was evidenced even last night is that he can be bold to change his tactics around. After the loss against Brighton he changed to a daring 3-3-3-1, whilst that seems slightly negative in the strikers role at home, it caught Tottenham off guard and for the first 50 minutes of the game there was only one side in it. Had Romelu Lukaku taken his chances the game could have been very different.

Mourinho is known for his third season syndrome when seemingly everything winds down and his teams fade away. It’s been cynically called Jose being found out. However every manager has a problem period, perhaps we have to venture into the unknown and give Mourinho more time and possibly a 4th and 5th season. After all had Sir Alex Ferguson not been given the time he wouldn’t have gone on to become the clubs greatest ever manager.

Argument for Mourinho leaving Manchester United

Has Mourinho ever built ‘his’ team at any club he has managed? That has been very questionable and a problem that he hasn’t been able to stamp his full outline and vision on a team. Recently he has bought Alexis Sanchez but has not got the best out of him. We have all seen Paul Pogba version 2.0 at the World Cup, but we only witness the older version with Mourinho’s team.

Mourinho throws money at the situation and then sees what happens. Though you could point the finger at any big club manager for this, there needs to be a balance and carefully understanding why you need this player and what job he can do. In spending tens of millions on talent he has also turned one eye away to the youth team something he also did at Chelsea. Would Marcus Rashford even be a consideration for Mourinho’s team if it wasn’t for former manager Louis van Gaal who promoted him?

Mourinho has not shown commitment to United. Nobody is suggesting he doesn’t do this in the training ground and dressing room and no one is suggesting he isn’t 100% focused on football, because he is. But 3 seasons into his job he is still saying in a hotel in Manchester. Three months is one thing, but 3 years? Don’t get anyone wrong, room service for 3 years must be superb, but surely he should have found somewhere to live by now, if anything it’s about integration within the team and the city.

September is a key moment then in Mourinho’s future at United. On top of at least 2 Champions League matches, United’s next 2 league games will be away and they are tricky ones against Burnley and in form Watford. After that they will be at home to Wolves and then at home against West Ham. One would feel it’s those first two games where Mourinho and United will have to win, otherwise the special one could well be the first managerial casualty of the season.

Why Manchester United needs a Director of Football at the club

It was a tumultuous summer for Manchester United with a dreadful pre-season outing in America as well as a troubled time in the transfer window. After failing to get their top targets to the club, the Red Devils have started the new Premier League campaign without players that José Mourinho made abundantly clear he wanted.

You need to go back five years to understand where the chaos behind the scenes has started from. When Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down, the club were always going to be appointing a manager that was inferior – there was no getting away from that. But where United have struggled so much is the fact that they never truly replaced David Gill’s role at the club. Gill, who now is the UK vice-president of FIFA, ran his post as the club’s chief executive so excellently and quietly that not many knew who he was; he was always a peripheral figure at Manchester United that excelled in tandem with Ferguson, working side by side.

Since Ferguson and Gill’s departures at United, the club has, quite devastatingly, taken a downturn in overall performances. Whether it is David Moyes, Louis van Gaal or Mourinho, managers are finding it increasingly difficult to get United back to the top of the football food chain – a place where Ferguson dominated from.

Ed Woodward, the current executive vice-chairman and person who runs the day-to-day operations, has perhaps bitten off more than he can chew. Overseeing recruitment and personnel, Woodward is also tasked with managing the job he is best suited to: bringing in commercial partners and sponsors to further revenues of the club. There are few in world football who can do what Woodward can do commercially, but that does not mean he can build and mould a world-class squad.

Last summer can only be described as a farce. After bringing in just three players: Fred, from Shakhtar Donetsk, Lee Grant, from Stoke City as a third choice goalkeeper, and Diogo Dalot, from FC Porto and a right back for the future, United have left themselves short going into this season. More was needed to be done.

Mourinho wanted an experienced centre back to partner with Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelöf throughout this season. Bailly and Lindelöf, both 24-years-old, are still relatively inexperienced operating at the highest level.

With the Ivory Coast international’s injury problems, he cannot be trusted to complete a full season and become the rock United so desperately need in the heart of their defence. Lindelöf, who had teething problems last season, is a great talent, but certainly needs to be playing in a defence where there is a natural born leader to guide him. None of this is rocket science, given their still youthful ages for the position they play in, but Woodward was reluctant to give the green light to who the Portuguese manager wanted.

Mourinho, quite clearly, wanted Toby Alderweireld from Tottenham all summer long. Given the Belgian’s contract has a clause in it which says he can leave for £25 million next summer (2019), Spurs were open to negotiating a fair price for the world-class centre half. That quoted fee was around £50 million for one of the best defenders in the world. Woodward, in the end, made the decision that, given he was turning 30 throughout the season, Alderweireld would not be worth the money.

Alderweireld was not the only candidate for the position, but Woodward decided against bringing in another central defender until Mourinho moved one of his four on. The position was integral to Mourinho’s plans this season, but it was not the only area that was in need of strengthening. Left back remains an issue given Luke Shaw’s inconsistency and Ashley Young’s longevity, but a move for Juventus’ Alex Sandro was abandoned early on in the summer.

The other position was right wing. Possibly the perfect target for United was Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez, who was eventually snapped up by Manchester City instead. The Algerian possesses the qualities that United so desperately long for: a player who can remain on the right and not constantly cut inside and take up space from the midfielders and strikers. Mahrez is a fantastic dribbler and has the speed needed to give the left back a troublesome time – something Juan Mata, who has been forced wide ever since joining the club in 2014, does not have in his locker.

With tensions rising between Woodward and Mourinho, the need for either a Director of Football or a Technical Director has never been higher. The executive vice-chairman has briefed to the English press that the club are searching for someone to fill the void, but it seems slightly bemusing that they had the perfect candidate in Javier Ribalta, who has just joined Zenit Saint Petersburg as Sporting Director, and yet decided to let him go.

Perhaps it is a PR stunt from Woodward to ease the pressure off him and get fans to focus on that, but the decision, if they go through with it, seems to have been made because of public pressure rather than Woodward coming up with the idea himself. Everything at the club seems reactionary right now and without prior thought.

Manchester United simply have to bridge the gap between Mourinho and Woodward. The likes of Monchi, of Roma, Edwin van der Saar, of Ajax, and Andrea Berta, of Atlético Madrid, have been talked about, but United need to make the right decision and get them on board as soon as possible.

It is testing times for the the Red Devils at the moment, but the season has just begun and there is still plenty of positives out there. United fans have to keep the faith and hope the board come to their senses and start resolving some of the problems.

Do you have what it takes to challenge the best Premier League Fantasy Managers? If you’re up to challenging the best then play now!

Manchester United trying to buy the Premier League title next season

Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward recently made a statement outlining the club’s intent to recruit a strong enough side to challenge on all four fronts next season, hinting that they hare likely to make a host of big-money acquisitions to achieve their goal, but would the Reds Devils be trying to buy the Premier League title?

It’s something supporters have been critical of the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City for in the past, but now United are set to top the spending charts for a second consecutive summer to sign their coveted targets. A mass overhaul is expected at the end of the season, and Woodward revealed the club are going to spend large sums of money to challenge at the top again.

“The squad will be absolutely deep enough and ready to challenge on all fronts and all competitions next year. That will as ever involve some ins and outs. In regards to this summer’s transfer activity we have already started implementing our plans. We expect to be active again during the window, as we look forward to next season challenging for trophies in all competitions,” he said.

Last summer, Manchester United spent approximately £170M on Angel Di Maria (£66M from Real Madrid), Luke Shaw (£33M from Southampton), Ander Herrera (£31M from Athletic Bilbao), Marcos Rojo (£17M from Sporting Lisbon), Daley Blind (£15M from Ajax), and Radamel Falcao (£7M loan fee from AS Monaco)

The signing of Memphis Depay has set them back a further £25M, and there’s more to come through the door this summer. So should Manchester United be challenging for at least one club honour next season given how much they have spent in the last couple of transfer windows? Could they be accused of trying to be the title?

Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale is reportedly on his way to the Premier League, after a season to forget in Spain, with a deal to United being “almost done” according to some sources. It’s another example of how United’s financial muscle could haul themselves out of trouble, propelling them to success.

While Manchester United have always been a club to spend large sums of money on the right players, they have parted with a lot for any side in the last two seasons, and they are in desperate need to see a return of their investments soon. Manager Louis van Gaal said he has three seasons to win the Premier League title, so this campaign should see United take big strides in the division.