The general direction the club is taking

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by King7Eric, Mar 1, 2018.

  1. Mar 1, 2018
    #1

    King7Eric Full Member

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    First of all I want to make it clear this thread has nothing to do with Jose in particular or the kind of football we play or the results this season.

    I have been thinking about the general direction our club is taking as we look towards the future. In 5 years time where do we see Utd in the footballing world? Will be in a better position, a similar position or a worse position to the one in which we currently are? Can we answer with absolute (or relative) certainty?

    If we look at the giants of the European game, Real Madrid, Barca, Juve, Bayern etc we can more or less say with certainty that they all will be in similar standings in the game as they are now (notwithstanding a short blip or a glorious period). This is because the structures of these clubs are vastly different to ours. They have a set pattern of the players they like to buy and the kind of football they expect to be served that maintains their status quo. We were pretty similar under SAF and in 2000 or 2007 we could have said pretty confidently that where we expect to see Utd in the next 5 years.

    But nowadays there isn't that kind of surety of excellence (or relative excellence) around our club. Yes we underwent an understandable blip once SAF retired but I think its a little deeper than that. Much of our immediate future seems to rest in the hands of our manager (whoever it may be at the given time). With SAF we knew we had someone who would be here for the long haul but after him, as many posters here are fond of repeating, we won't be seeing such a long serving manager again. So why are we still following the same kind of model we did when he was in charge? I'm not simply advocating a DOF because again for that position you need someone whom you trust completely and you know will be here for the long haul, because no matter how you paint it, with a DOF you are undermining the power of your manager and if you are gonna do that you absolutely have to be sure that guy is perfect for the job in every way.

    I look at our squad now and to me it does not guarantee future success. We have lots of brilliant young players but can we say with certainty that we are providing them the best platform in which to flourish? We demand instant success and if they fail to deliver, they end up being replaced by experienced players (eg Shaw by Young, Martial by Sanchez). But the problem is our experienced players are all near or above 30. When we look back at our most successful teams (1999 or 2008) we will find we had players relatively young in age (The CO 92 in the former and Rooney, Ronaldo, Tevez) but not so young in experience well supplemented by wiser experienced pros. The reason that even at ages 24, 25 they were all much more seasoned than you would expect is because they were all regularly played at young ages, even when they under performed. I know at that time we had the luxury of having older match winners around which we don't at present but the only solution is to persist with the likes of Rashford, Martial, Pogba, Shaw etc and let them make mistakes. They will learn and grow and become top quality players.

    We may not win much in the next couple of years but we surely will be flourishing 3-4 years down the line. Otherwise if we keep demanding instant success and replacing players and managers if we don;t get it, we are gonna end nowhere. Not only is the belief in young players essential to this, but we also need people at the top (footballing people) who are ready to persist with this. The hierarchy needs to be able to trust the players completely and vice versa. The best direction for the club to take is to set targets for the next 3-4 years and not seasonal targets, because its the only approach that at this point that has the most chances of succeeding. Once we have a core of world class players in their prime, that's the time to revert back to having lofty expectations season in and season out, ala the Reals and Barcas of this world.

    Do you guys agree with this? Or you think the current approach of aiming for short term success is better?

    Edit- TL: DR For assured long term success, the better model for us currently is to establish a footballing hierarchy at the top that is happy to let our youngsters play and grow at the cost of a few barren years. Once the players reach their prime then we go back to expecting managers to challenge for silverware every season as chopping and changing every year will get us nowhere.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
  2. Mar 1, 2018
    #2

    Shiva87 Full Member

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    That's a long post! Don't worry so much. We'll be fine and very much challenging for top honours.
  3. Mar 1, 2018
    #3

    SalfordRed18 Full Member

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    Tl:dr version?
  4. Mar 1, 2018
    #4

    Varun Moderator Staff

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    A club like ours in a league as competitive as it is simply cannot just rely on young players making it and plan long term based on that. Short term success is needed and ideally you want a squad that has a mix of both to take you forward.

    As far as where I see United in 3-4 years go, depends on whether you're asking in terms of trophies or in general quality. As far as general quality goes, I think we'll be fine as we're building a good squad. Regardless of whether Jose stays or goes, his eye in the market will hold us in good stead. As far as trophies go, we could have a couple and we could as easily have none, the league is unique in terms of the number of top teams so its anybody's guess who'll win the leagues. Assuming Pep and City don't repeat the ridiculous season they've had mind.

    Its easier for the likes of Barca, Real, Bayern, etc to have a more certain future because they're far ahead of their competitors financially. Once the gap goes beyond a point, there's no catching up no matter how hard you try as the individual quality shines through.
  5. Mar 1, 2018
    #5

    Regulus Arcturus Black Banned

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    Sorry but that just codswallop.

    Bayern's status quo for example is maintained by being the biggest and richest club in Germany bar none, and by buying up all the top German talent from their rivals. Incidentally, this was the United model of the 90's, but the face of English football has changed massively due to Roman and the Sheikhs and now the huuuuuuuge TV money meaning the likes of Watford can turn down 30 million quid for Troy Deeney.
    Madrid & Barca is the same story as Bayern and up until recently they've been lucky enough to be able to outbid and out-pursuade any player, it'll be interesting to see them in 10 years if PSG and City keep hovering up all the top talent.

    All of these clubs have completely changed the way they play several times over the past 15 years.

    Maybe we should just celebrate that the Russian, the Sheikhs and the TV money has killed the status quo and made the English league truly the most competitive top league in football?
  6. Mar 1, 2018
    #6

    King7Eric Full Member

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    I'm not talking about their style of play. When I say kind of football they expect to be served I mean the likes of Bayern and Barca won't accept a dominantly pragmatic approach. I agree with what you've written in the middle paragraph but that just reinforces what i said, that one way or the other they maintain their status quo, but its not really possible in England nowadays and hence we need an alternative approach.
  7. Mar 1, 2018
    #7

    Regulus Arcturus Black Banned

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    That's because they don't have to ffs.

    If a couple of billionaires bought Bundesliga clubs and did a Chelsea/City.. after a few years of nothing Bayern would accept fecking anything. Same for Barca.

    And it's bollocks about expecting to be served a certain kind of football, I've seen some shite Bayern and Barca teams in the past 18 years but right now they are both in a sweet spot (like United were for nearly 25 years).
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2018
  8. Mar 1, 2018
    #8

    King7Eric Full Member

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    We are building a good squad only if we let the likes of Shaw, Rashford, Martial etc play every week. If they don't and we still are not winning trophies then we risk either losing promising players or watching them regress before our eyes, a double whammy either way. I am not one of those who thinks Jose destroys youth blah blah. But the fact is if he is under pressure to win trophies then he will have to depend more on the finished product rather than developing players.
  9. Mar 1, 2018
    #9

    Regulus Arcturus Black Banned

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    In fact, in 2003 Barca were shite, finished 6th and their football for a few years had been dog turd. They sold their sold to Laporte and his commercial machine, using United's David Beckham to win votes etc.
  10. Mar 1, 2018
    #10

    King7Eric Full Member

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    I don't get what you are arguing about. As i said in the first line of the OP that this post has nothing to do with playing styles. If you don't agree with what I said regarding playing styles of Barca or Bayern fair enough, but that's not the point of this post.
  11. Mar 1, 2018
    #11

    Regulus Arcturus Black Banned

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    Erm....

    "They have a set pattern of the players they like to buy and the kind of football they expect to be served that maintains their status quo."

    No, their status quo is maintained by being the big boys and big spenders in their leagues, you can't be so obtuse to not already know that? Everything in the line above is complete garbage.
  12. Mar 1, 2018
    #12

    Varun Moderator Staff

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    We cannot let anyone play every week regardless of their performance though. Besides it being simply wrong on others in the squad competing for those positions, the league is too competitive. We're not cruising to wins every game to be able to do that. Forget about the PL or United, that is true for almost every other top club out there. A Kovacic has to fight against Kroos/Modric/Casemiro every week, ditto Asensio, Dembele, Coman etc etc. You can't be at a top club as a kid and expect a run out regardless of how you do.

    It'd also be bad for Shaw/Martial mind. They're not going to develop unless they're challenged at every step and have to remain on their toes. Guaranteeing them a spot regardless won't get them anywhere.
  13. Mar 1, 2018
    #13

    Fluctuation0161 Full Member

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    I'd like there to be more football experts on the board or at least helping to shape the long term vision for the club. It seems at the moment we only have the commercial experts on the board and the football experts come in as the management team.

    There needs to be a footballing vision as well as a commercial vision long term for the club. I don't know if that would be a director of football or just more football professionals working with the board to plan for the long term, but we need to look at this to help shape our next 5, 10, even 20 years in footballing terms.
  14. Mar 1, 2018
    #14

    JohnnyKills Full Member

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    Nah not for me.

    The TV money hasn't really changed the status quo; no club has broken into the Champions League elite on the back of their TV windfall. There are still as many cannon fodder teams as ever.

    As for the Sheikhs and the oligarchs, they have disrupted the status quo but they've done it in a completely unnatural way which has jacked up transfer fees and allowed Chelsea and City to zoom past more established clubs without earning the right to do so.

    Liverpool and Tottenham have upped their game through shrewd planning and decision-making, and that's certainly admirable, but we shouldn't be celebrating any of the rest.
  15. Mar 1, 2018
    #15

    King7Eric Full Member

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    For the love of God!!That's what I'm saying mate. That one way or the other they maintain their status quo. I said they expect a certain style of play, you don't agree with that, fair enough, maybe they don't, but you and I are both agreeing on the bigger point I was making, that they maintain their status quo.
  16. Mar 1, 2018
    #16

    King7Eric Full Member

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    Agree with what you say. But the difference between Asensio/ Dembele situation is that they are kept out by players who are winning trophies regularly, so you can justify leaving them out. We are not doing that, so for me in such a period its better to focus on developing raw diamonds into the finished articles. I agree about the competition bit though, yes they need healthy competition but they should also be allowed to make mistakes without having the threat of being dropped.
  17. Mar 1, 2018
    #17

    King7Eric Full Member

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    I agree with this. We need some of our former players (or something of that ilk) to be working in conjunction with the likes of Woodward for the holistic growth of the club on and off the field.
  18. Mar 1, 2018
    #18

    Varun Moderator Staff

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    We are allowing them to make mistakes though, its not as if we expect 10/10 performances every game. Yes, the margin for error is lesser especially in attack because of the options we have there but Shaw for instance only has to get past Ashley Young. He's unlikely to have the same level of competition for much longer. The first point is again something no club in England can really guarantee. Nothing one can do about it.
  19. Mar 1, 2018
    #19

    Oo0AahCantona Full Member

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    Unfortunatly, we completely missed the opportunity to take advantage of our wealth at a time when you could grab a garunteed world class talent for 30-40 mil. As a result, the market exploded and now average players are going for that range. And even a club with our financial power finds it difficult to throw our weight around.

    We can’t replace players fast enough to properly transform the team because the prices quoted are just so unrealistic, as a result by the time it takes to get established talent across the first 11 we end up needing to replace the first lot of players we bought and as a result have been stuck in a cycle of regurgitation.

    At this point we’ve stabilised but need to start taking a longer term approach.
  20. Mar 1, 2018
    #20

    United never give up Banned

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    The general outlook certainly looks better than in 2014-15

    However, the biggest issue is the dropping standards which some fans have, dressing it up as "realism" - this is a sure path towards Arsenal status. They too used to win titles, then gradually started accepting 2nd, then 4th etc....

    We have to remain demanding and ruthless as a fanbase, just as the other elite clubs' fans are

    I remember how after the loss to City at OT many fans told me to "calm down" - NO. We were an absolute disgrace that day - I for one won't let our standards drop. Of course we back our team no matter what, but we cannot lose our ambition and determination to win trophies

    2nd/4th etc should never, ever be celebrated by Manchester United

    (Awaiting all the fans calling me "spoilt" etc now :wenger:)
  21. Mar 1, 2018
    #21

    borrays New Member

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    We are Manchester United Not bloody Arsenal. Ronaldo, Fletcher were in and out squad in their early years at the club.
  22. Mar 1, 2018
    #22

    King7Eric Full Member

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    Because the senior players in the squad ahead of them were serial winners. Right now it's not the case. And from 04-06 the likes of Ronaldo did play regularly even though they were frustratingly inconsistent.
  23. Mar 1, 2018
    #23

    borrays New Member

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    No they were not. In fact SAF used to rotate Ronaldo & Fletcher for the right wing position. so you knew that young players are inconsistent yet you want them to play no matter what?
    What will happen if we finished 10th, care to explain? We are currently at 2nd, have big chance to win a trophy or two yet lot of fans here voiced their dissatisfaction.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2018
  24. Mar 1, 2018
    #24

    Di Maria's angel Captain of Moanchester United

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    If you play well, you will start. In Shaw's case, he's been up and down when starting and, in my opinion, he probably won't make it here. Rashford hit a massive slump back in December and hasn't done much in his sub appearances to push anyone out of the team. Martial was a little unlucky in that he was shunted to the right to accommodate Sanchez, however, he played up front against Chelsea and his second half showing was ridiculous, to be honest. Like the old saying goes, if you're good enough, you're old enough - I honestly think, as harsh as it may seem, none of our youngsters have shown the consistency required at the top level. Just look at Jesse and his recent rise; he's scored goals yes, but it's his other attributes, that may go unseen, which have kept in the managers eyes since November. Rashford and Martial have failed in those simple aspects required every game - it's not surprising that the best form either have shown was at the beginning of the season where both could use their pace against tiring defenses to excel.
  25. Mar 1, 2018
    #25

    whatwha Sniffs Erricksson’s diarrhea

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    How does the fans' standards actually affect the club though? It's not like Jose and Woody read the Cafe (or do they :nervous: )
    Fan behavior during home games could tell them something, I guess. I'm just unsure about how else they gauge fan opinion of our standards etc - if they give much of a damn.
  26. Mar 1, 2018
    #26

    King7Eric Full Member

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    I think it is harsh that you are expecting them to put in consistency at a high level when they aren't the finished product yet. Unless you are Messi every player needs to go through this inconsistent young phase before you become a consistent high quality player.

    The argument here seems to be we can't afford them underperforming so it's okay to replace them with more experienced pros. But my point is our supposedly more experienced players aren't that much better, so might as well give these kids a go. I'd play Shaw over Young and Rashford over Mata, yes they'll make mistakes but they'll grow due to it as well. And it's not like Young and Mata are setting the world alight either. If in the summer we replace them with a player who again takes a while to settle in and so on we'll never achieve the consistency in team selection we need to succeed.
  27. Mar 1, 2018
    #27

    Hugh Jass Full Member

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    This. Some posters have a hard time understanding that our league is the most competitive. This is not like France or Germany where you only have one team. It is not even like Spain where you only have three teams. This is the problem not just faced by us but by all the teams in the top six.
  28. Mar 1, 2018
    #28

    P-Nut0712 fan of well-known French footballer Fabinho

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    You do realise we've won a trophy for the past 2 years right? The only trophies to evade us in those 2 years are the premier league and the fa cup.

    We're also still in the hunt for 2 trophies this season. I don't expect us to win the CL, but you talk as though we've been in the wilderness for 10years picking up no trophies. Sure we can progress further and get back to being the top side in our country and Europe, but it's not like we have an old side that is coming towards its end.

    DDG, Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw, Pogba, Martial, Rashford, Lingard, Lukaku is a good solid young set of players to build from. We also have some great prospects that haven't hit first team level or are just getting to that point. McTominay in our side and TFM, Tuanzabe and Periera cutting their teeth at other sides. As well as academy products like Gomes and Chong that look like they could have a future here.

    In all what I'm trying to say is currently we're making progress with a young squad that is still picking up trophies along the way.
  29. Mar 1, 2018
    #29

    King7Eric Full Member

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    Eh? What are you on about mate? I've been advocating throughout this thread to play the brilliant young prospects we have at the club and you are telling me about the great young prospects in our squad.

    Also I didn't even mention anything about being in the wilderness or struggling or anything. I was talking about the structure of the club and the future. Did you even read the OP?
  30. Mar 1, 2018
    #30

    King7Eric Full Member

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    And how many league titles have the mighty Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool won in the last few years? How many real world class/ world class potential players do they have between them? Kane, Eriksen, Salah on current form probably. People need to stop going on about this top 6 stuff. Yes PL is more competitive than any other league but these three don't have the resources to compete with Utd, City or Chelsea for a sustained period. How many league titles do you think Spurs, Liverpool and Arsenal will win between them in the next 5 years??
  31. Mar 1, 2018
    #31

    United never give up Banned

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    It can have a massive impact - at Madrid, whenever the manager is clearly not going to work out, the white flags get waved by the fans after games. Barcelona fans will also show their discontent

    As fans we've been guilty of being too 'soft' and accepting of mediocrity served up by Moyes/LVG - some people wanted LVG to stay even after the 2015/16 season ffs

    We need to be more ruthless in our criticism (after games, not during) as fans at OT.
  32. Mar 1, 2018
    #32

    Hugh Jass Full Member

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    This.
  33. Mar 1, 2018
    #33

    Hugh Jass Full Member

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    Fair enough. If you want to think that way, I am not going to argue with you. But you are wrong and going to be disappointed.
  34. Mar 1, 2018
    #34

    Sky1981 Fending off the urge

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    Just because you give rashford 50 games doesn't mean he'll become ronaldo.

    This is the thing that irks me when people think all youth needs is game time. You can't turn cbj into patrice evra no matter how many games you play him.
  35. Mar 1, 2018
    #35

    P-Nut0712 fan of well-known French footballer Fabinho

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    You're tone is as if you don't think we're heading in the right direction. Everything points to the fact that we are so the threads tone makes no sense.

    You state they will only stick around at places like Madrid and Barcelona as they are winning trophies whilst ignoring that we're doing exactly the same thing.

    You say to just play the kids which would mean giving up on the trophies this club was built on winning.

    So what I'm saying is you're comments make zero sense. Squads are built on a mixture of experience and youth and at the moment we're a year or 2 away from having what I would call the perfect blend. In fact you could say age wise we're there now, the problem is the experienced heads aren't quite at the level we want them to be at. When our mid aged lads reach that age and the youth we currently have is in their peak I think we'll be fine.
  36. Mar 1, 2018
    #36

    el3mel Full Member

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    Think we're going on a correct way for some time now. Problem is we stagnated a lot post SAF and started to improve late while everyone take several steps ahead of us. Now you can say we're starting to have a better squad with better quality in our starting lineup. We're working hard to minimize the gap that was created between us and the rest of top clubs in these past 4 or 5 years and it's not easy.

    I'm happy with what Ed is going right now but we need time.
  37. Mar 1, 2018
    #37

    ivaldo Mediocre Horse Whisperer, s'up wid chew?

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    What is that vision exactly and how do you know we don’t have one?

    Great post.
  38. Mar 1, 2018
    #38

    Cliche Guevara Full Member

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    United are certainly a club in transition.

    We’ve come late to the financial workings of modern football due to having Fergie for so long. Over the next couple of years our financial power alongside getting a more settled team will see us successful long-term again.
  39. Mar 1, 2018
    #39

    King7Eric Full Member

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    Mate this is exactly what I'm saying as well. That we should play our young players more, even if it is at the cost of a couple of barren years, because otherwise if we keep on chopping and changing , be it the players or the managers, we will get nowhere. I just want our hierarchy to trust the young players and let them reach their full potential. I was quite encouraged by Jose's comments that we won't be buying any more players for the forward positions because I feel we have a good core there. I would prefer the younger players to play over the likes of Mata and Young and Herrera and so on because in my estimation these playrrs aren't gonna win us the league. I hope I've made myself clear now.
  40. Mar 1, 2018
    #40

    Cliche Guevara Full Member

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    This is a pet hate of mine too. I think people genuinely believe that’s how it works.

    I have seen people clearly of the view if you play your u-21s for three years that’s how you build a successful side.

    It’s ‘the way forward’ apparently.