Manchester United – I Need To Rant!
As many of you will know, I am a devout Manchester United fan. I like to think I’m as objective as a fan can be though, so I don’t get on the bandwagon with and green-and-gold shite etc.
I mean, the reality is that, from a financial perspective, the Glazers have been superb for United. Point to the debts all you want; United pay off huge amounts per year, and never leave themselves short. They’re the most profitable football club in the world, and that remained the same even when they weren’t getting into the UEFA Champions League! They’ve not done any stupid owner stuff i.e. getting involved in matchday squads. They simply handle the financial side of things, and let the football men handle the football side of things, which is precisely how it should be done.
In general, I’ve not seen what everybody has against Woodward, who is the Glazers’ henchman, if you like. Sometimes transfers in football don’t happen; that’s life. However, I’m starting to get a little pissed off with him now because he’s doing some really bizarre things. Take the Alex Telles deal, for example. The deal was held up on multiple occasions because FC Porto wanted a few million more than that United had offered. Just pay it! It’s not like United don’t have it, you know? There’s been too much of this penny-pinching, and although I get it’s Woodward’s job to ensure that deals are ‘right for the club’, he’s not making that call on anything but money, which is why United missed out on Sancho pre-season, who wanted to join, and who Solskjaer needed in his squad.
I’m sure the beanies are delighted to have not had that deal on the books but the upshot is that United are going to struggle this season, and it’s probably going to cost Solskjaer his job because people are fucking stupid. He’s the best thing that has happened to this club since Ferguson left, getting the best out of talented youngsters, playing better football, scoring more goals. You can see the improvements, and the direction he wants the club to go in, something that was never present when Mourinho, van Gaal, nor Moyes was there. However, he’s not been backed in the transfer market in summer despite all of his signings having been very good ones, and I don’t get it. When they stopped buying for Mourinho, I understood it. I didn’t understand why they didn’t sack him there and then, but I understood why they didn’t want to waste any more money – because his signings hadn’t worked out. That’s not been the case with Solskjaer though, whose signings have all been excellent in their own right.
Look at Chelsea’s improvements under Lampard this season. That’s not because Chelsea are better than Manchester United; it’s because they backed their manager in the transfer window, and he’ll repay them for it by building a brilliant squad, given time. If United don’t trust Solskjaer, for whatever reason, then sack him – don’t just sit and count your money! Each year United doesn’t do what they need to in the transfer market is another year they slip behind the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool, and Chelsea, all of which did more than enough pre-season to further their respective projects.
Solskjaer is a far smarter football man than I am, and if I know that United desperately needed a right-sided attacker, a proper poacher, and another centre-back, then I am sure he knows too. The board have not backed him though, instead panic-buying on the last day of the transfer window. The team is now so imbalanced that promising Uruguayan winger Pellestri has been forced into the general squad, even though nobody has any idea if he’s ready or not, purely because he’s a right-sider. It could be a genius signing, or it could be a flop – nobody knows. Traore is a brilliant signing – but again, for the future, not the now, and he doesn’t join until January anyway. Cavani? Seriously? He can do a job on a free transfer but has not been a good finisher for two years now, so what is it he brings other than height? And why didn’t United him buy him sooner if he was a target, given that he was on a free transfer? It all feels very messy and poorly prepared to me, and that’s what United’s displays this season have mostly been.
United barely had a break between seasons, and desperately needed new faces to keep everybody motivated, which simply hasn’t happened. They’re in for a long and difficult campaign, and like I said earlier, it’ll probably cost Solskjaer his job. It sickens me to consider it, because of of how positive Solskjaer’s impact as manager has actually been to those that watch the team rather than those that simply tune into Match Of The Day every fortnight or so, but I can see it coming. This situation is precisely what happened when Mourinho got sacked, and with Manchester City looming in the next month or so, a similar outcome would not surprise me, much as it saddens me to consider it. If it does happen, it’ll set United back years, whether Pochettino comes in or not, because this board keeps making the same mistakes every two years as if they somehow think that, by not spending money, they won’t have to in the future. It’s short-sighted, delusional, and the first time I’ve felt that something needs to be done behind the scenes at the club since the Glazers took over.