Why was our transfer window such a fail?

Discussion in 'Transfer Forum' started by Sparky Rhiwabon, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. Aug 10, 2018
    #1

    Sparky Rhiwabon Full Member

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    Remember, when the Times said this? This sounded right at the time, and probably tied in with what us the fans were thinking we needed



    So, why have we only managed to sign one senior player?

    Glazers don’t want to invest (happy with top four)?
    Club don’t want Jose to spend the money? (But then why bother keeping him)
    No value in market (transfer inflation, exchange rate, etc)?
    We’re a bit skint (had to sell to buy but couldn’t sell)?
    Woody is an incompetent fool (outside of sponsorships, his old job)?
    Jose had unrealistic targets?
    Players don’t want to come here (lack of trophies, Jose)?

    Or what?
  2. Aug 10, 2018
    #2

    stubie Full Member

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    Transfer fees are past ridiculous! we cannot keep spending £150-200m each Summer!
  3. Aug 10, 2018
    #3

    Rightnr Full Member

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    We actually... can. We are one of the few clubs that make enough money to do so.

    The fact we're not doing it is an indication of the Glazers greediness.
  4. Aug 10, 2018
    #4

    Ekeke Full Member

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    Or our inability to get the best out of our big signings
  5. Aug 10, 2018
    #5

    settembrini Full Member

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    There are about six threads discussing this.

    I would say the major issues were:

    1. Mourinho failed to identify the weak areas of his team and prioritise spending on them.
    2. The poor relationship between Mourinho and his employers which resulted in Mourinho's targets largely being rejected by Woodward and the board.
    3. The owners are satisfied with our current standing and don't really care that we are unlikely to compete for major honours.
  6. Aug 10, 2018
    #6

    Damien Self-Aware RedCafe Database (and Admin) Staff

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    We've never signed 6 players in one window under Mourinho and the papers get plenty wrong. Only way we would have signed two centre midfielders in my opinion is if Fellaini had left.

    Mourinho couldn't have made it clearer he wasn't interested in an attacker in February. Things might have changed since then but we weren't really heavily linked with ones during the summer - there was the standard Bale, Willian and Perisic mentions then the odd 'weird' name like Mandzukic, Arnautovic and Rebic but those connections were all brief. Think Mourinho would have wanted us to go for Willian if he was available (from what Willian was saying about Mourinho constantly being in touch) but Willian's gripe at Chelsea was Conte and there was never that desire for him to leave after Sarri was brought in.

    There wasn't much said in the papers about leftbacks either and Mourinho and Shaw's quotes suggest that wasn't a priority either.

    We got the right back and one midfielder part, but failed on the centre back. We got the midfielder and right back done early but seemed to be a lull during the World Cup before we went into a centre back scramble in the last few weeks of the window. I'd guess the problem there was we expected Levy to lower his demands for Alderweireld but he stood firm.

    I don't think we'll ever really know why this window went so badly unless Mourinho does a Moyes and talks about it in a few years if he's at another club.
  7. Aug 10, 2018
    #7

    Offside Euro 2016 sweepstake winner

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    1. The ridiculous inflation of the transfer market
    2. The World Cup eating up weeks of the window
    3. The window closing early
    4. The man in charged of transfers has come across as incompetent for years. There obviously some in that.

    We’re not the only club who had a quiet window. But the way we were scrambling around at the end for any player reminded me of 2013. Woodward, after all is the common denominator in our post-Ferguson era of diminished success.
  8. Aug 10, 2018
    #8

    Red Katie The least positive person in match threads ever

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    Think the club probably wants to buy younger players than the ones Mourinho wanted to bring in. Good players, but maybe paying a lot of money for Willian, Perisic, Boateng etc isn't wise.
  9. Aug 10, 2018
    #9

    Inigo Montoya Leave Wayne Rooney alone!!

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    You mean Jose’s.
  10. Aug 10, 2018
    #10

    ayushreddevil9 Full Member

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    And i agree with that. Jose should look out for those players who add value. 1 player is good enough, not an entire list. That's what I think btw, nobody knows which names were there on the list but throwing in a wild guess - Willian, Alderweirald, Bale amd Perisic
  11. Aug 10, 2018
    #11

    Ekeke Full Member

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    Our as a club. Yes mostly Jose
  12. Aug 10, 2018
    #12

    Red Katie The least positive person in match threads ever

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    Would have liked Alderweireld but of the names linked this window we had mostly 29 year olds. Don't know if true though.
  13. Aug 10, 2018
    #13

    devilish Juventus fan who used to support United

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    Its a list of things

    a- Manchester is not an attractive city for most players
    b- Manchester United is a fading force. Players used to flock here to win trophies. Not anymore. Thus the only way to get the players we need is to either overspend or not be picky in terms of talent/age
    c- It was a difficult transfer market which wasn't helped by the EPL clubs lunacy to close things early
    d- Its evident that the vision of the club and that of the manager is different. God only knows why we had extended his contract since we weren't ready to back him up
    e- We lack a DOF, which means that we are able to veto the manager in terms of transfers without providing alternative players.

    In my opinion we need to change things top down. Woodward can do what he does best (sponsors, playing football manager etc) while the football side of things should be delegated to others. Id suggest the Juventus model were you've got 3 main directors ie the club vice president (usually a former player with brains), an experienced money man whose well versed in conducting transfer deals and a top quality DOF. Juventus has Nedved, Beppe Marotta (who made his bones with Como, Ravenna, Venezia and Sampdoria before moving to Juve) and Paratici

    I'd suggest SAF for vice-president (with Gaz as assistant/replacement), Woodward can take the CEO role while I'd go for Berta or Paratici
  14. Aug 10, 2018
    #14

    Gandalf Greyhame Full Member

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    Pretty much this.
    Why Woodward made a call to overrule Mourinho's footballing judgement and chose not to pay up for second choice targets Maguire/Boateng/Mina is another discussion entirely.
  15. Aug 10, 2018
    #15

    Cheesy Bread with dipping sauce Scout

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    Even if we did want all of what was suggested in that opening tweet, I imagine we knew we weren't going to be filling every position during the window, and that it was more a general list of areas we would potentially strengthen if we found value in the market. All-in-all I think part of the problem was we were never really quite sure as to which position was an absolute priority and which ones should've been left alone. Obviously I don't know the inner workings of the club but our pursuit for a CB seems to echo that. We sort of really wanted him, but at the same time didn't, because while we lack a world class CB, it's also not a position necessarily in desperate need of being immediately addressed, because our immediate options are serviceable if not remarkable. As a result we fluctuated between a bunch of players we kind of wanted to sign but didn't necessarily need to sign, and never fully committed to bringing any of them in.
  16. Aug 10, 2018
    #16

    theriddler Banned

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    Well the media can never be trusted, but the prevailing narrative seems to be that there is a disconnect between the Board/Woodward's transfer ideology, and that of the manager's.

    As seen in recent history at Liverpool under Rodgers, this is really a big problem, as in modern football, managers essentially live and die by their recruitment. The common denominator in relatively sustained success stories which aren't bankrolled by ridiculous investment (Klopp at Dortmund, Simeone at Atletico, and to a lesser degree Pochettino at Spurs) is that recruitment has mostly been strong and youth players have been given a chance and have made the grade.

    It seems Mourinho wants more readymade players, while the money men are more interested in finding players who have sustainable long term value. Liverpool's current model is a blend of the two. Recent big money buys - AOC, Keita, Fabinho, Salah, Mane and Alisson were all 30 million + signings, but all were 25 or younger when purchased.

    This is really vital as if they grow into top players, which many already have, you have a huge performing asset for the long term. The downside is mitigated as you can likely get rid of them for a small loss given their age and previous strong performances in a different league/environment. The problem with signing the likes of Matic and Sanchez is that while a step above from what Liverpool have signed, they are at their peak, and within 2 years, the decline will set in. Meaning more transfers and big fees.

    At the same time I really don't think someone of Mourinho's calibre would only want to sign 29 year olds. He's signed younger players before (not 19 year olds but 24-26 year olds), and I'm sure some of his targets must have been in that bracket.

    Likely a combination of a clash in transfer ideology, ridiculous valuations of targets (which neither Jose or Ed have control over), and perhaps doubts over the manager's transfer record, which has been pretty average during his stint at United.

    I fail to believe the garbage in the media about players not wanting to go to Manchester (the city) or play for Mourinho. One of the 4 biggest clubs in the world and one of the 5 best managers in the world. Of course players will come - the wages are there, so is CL football. Its not like he's Rodgers who actually couldn't attract players, he's Jose Mourinho ffs!
  17. Aug 10, 2018
    #17

    Sparky Rhiwabon Full Member

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    I couldn’t see a thread which actually addressed the question “why” as an open question, rather than just focusing on one factor. But then, maybe I missed it.
  18. Aug 10, 2018
    #18

    Denis' cuff Full Member

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    Ffs, OP: “when the Times said....” :rolleyes: and generally, “players we have been linked with”. What the feck do these vultures know that old Albert on his barstool doesn’t know? Weeks on end we get agonising speculation about players we haven’t even had any intention of bidding for.
  19. Aug 10, 2018
    #19

    Denis' cuff Full Member

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    Post.
  20. Aug 10, 2018
    #20

    Revan Assumptionman

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    We got a CM, extended Fellaini's contract (cause Mourinho wanted so) and Pereira returned from loan, so there you have the second CM. We signed a RB for 20m.

    Mourinho said last January that we are not planning to sign an attacker. That might have changed though, with him wanting Martial replaced which might have been vetoed.

    We failed to get a CB for whatever reason. More weirdly, we weren't even linked with any LB, but then Mourinho seemed to love Young.
  21. Aug 10, 2018
    #21

    Holters New Member

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    I honestly believe that if Fred and Dalot were our deadline day signings, then people would have been decently pleased. The main reason people feel let down is Mourinho's whining in the media and all the rumors about a defender joining.
  22. Aug 10, 2018
    #22

    septic Full Member

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    we can survive without another CB. LB is my biggest concern, and to a lesser extent RW.
  23. Aug 10, 2018
    #23

    mitchmouse Full Member

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    Can't remember which "quality" newspaper said it but I think the hierarchy would have given Jose more money for a top top name but not somewhat less for someone not as proven ie maybe Varane for a hell of a lot more than Maguire who hasn't proved himself long-term (one decent, not brilliant World Cup). But can't see why no one at the club thinks we need wingers and width
  24. Aug 10, 2018
    #24

    Njord Full Member

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    Say we got Alderweireld/Boateng, Sandro and Bale/Willian. Then the rest of the team would be DDG, Valencia, Smalling, Matic, Pogba, Fred, Sanchez, Lukaku.

    This would be a team with almost no experience playing together, where most of the players came in during the last two seasons, and Valencia and Smalling having only 4-5 years of regular playing time in their positions. Still the average age of this team would be close to 30, meaning they would be close to retirement just as they settled.

    If this was the plan, I'm glad it didn't pan out.
  25. Aug 10, 2018
    #25

    Luke1995 Full Member

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    Players prefer Guardiola and Klopp if that isn't obvious. They are managers who play offensive, attractive football and barely complain in the media.

    The board got much worse than during the Ferguson days

    And the club has owners who never cared and will never care about it.
  26. Aug 10, 2018
    #26

    drdoityourself Full Member

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    Can you use it in a sentence?
    The current regime seems very hesitant to sign players who are young but proven at a slightly lower level. Fred was a pleasant surprise and I was hoping he was a start of a change in philosophy in the market. Players like Malcom or Leon Bailey for the right wing, just anyone who can solve that position.
    Instead we've been focusing on close to thirty year old players, most of them already at a big club, all of them almost impossible to get. Willian and Bale in particular.

    Dalot has been signed but he's probably not expected to play a lot this season. Which leaves us with my biggest regret of the summer, the lack of investment in starting fullback positions.
    Luke Shaw had a wonderful start to the season when his leg broke, since he's been simply underwhelming and should not be counted on.
    Ashley Young has once again become very overrated after last season. He came in with a bang but once again he was bang average after a few games.
    The fullbacks are very mechanical in possession, slow to make decisions with the ball which contributes heavily to our slow buildup.

    The lack of investment in key positions is something I can not believe we didn't address this summer. The manager trust in age and experience in those positions seem to overrule actual current ability.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  27. Aug 10, 2018
    #27

    blue blue Full Member

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    Very good post.

    There does seem to be a disconnect between Jose and the board. His transfer record at Chelsea wasn't great and his success was very much helped by the squad that Ranieri put together. (Cech, Lampard, Drogba ,Terry and others were already there and he sold De Bruyne, Lukaku and Salah in his second stint)

    It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out.
  28. Aug 10, 2018
    #28

    el3mel Full Member

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    This.

    The ultimate target was top 4 finish. We know have a team that can finish top 4 without much fuss, so no need for farther investment.
  29. Aug 10, 2018
    #29

    steffyr2 Full Member

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    Some of all of the above I'd say. Utd's star has fallen a bit over the last 5 years, plus there are many other teams who can pay equivalent amounts of money to us.
    The nasty press doesn't help.
  30. Aug 16, 2018
    #30

    Cassady Supports Liverpool, Not Accrington Stanley

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    Your Manager.
  31. Aug 16, 2018
    #31

    endless_wheelies feeling dizzy

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    Mixture of those. If we were outside the top 4 the Glazers would probably have paid up for Alderweireld, Sandro, Willian, whoever else, or if they were available at a "decent" price (after Perisic and now Alderweireld not sure Woodward can be entirely trusted on this judgement).

    As it was they didnt want to go the extra mile.
  32. Aug 16, 2018
    #32

    The Boy Full Member

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    I don't see why the window is classed as a failure, as already mentioned here CM is a very strong position at the moment and Fred on limited evidence looks a very good signing. Shaw is also looking good again for the first time since his leg break so no need for a LB, Dalot is highly rated as back up at RB.

    Why you need a new CB is beyond me, the defence over the last few seasons has always been one of the tightest in the league, I know DDG is also responsible for this, but overall the stats for defence are very good and with Bailly and Lindelof added in the last two years and hopefully now growing as partnership things look good there.

    You got Sanchez in Jan and he is now gelling into the team nicely. The only issue I can see is a right winger and beyond Willian, the club did not seem to push too hard there, so that suggests Mou is happy with what he's got.

    The issue is the media, as other posters have said, who will class the window as a failure if you don't spend 150 million plus.

    My thoughts for what they are worth is that you look very good for the coming season and are in a stronger position than you have been for years. So the OP is putting forward a false premise, the window was not a fail!
  33. Aug 16, 2018
    #33

    marukomu The Gatekeeper

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    We're going to see more of Pereira this season which is what a lot on here wanted. If he'd signed more we may not have. I don't think Mourinho can win whatever he does with some. I am still willing to back him.
  34. Aug 16, 2018
    #34

    Dans Correctly predicted Portugal to win Euro 2016

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    Perhaps players are not so keen on playing for José??
  35. Aug 16, 2018
    #35

    dannyrhinos89 OMG socks and sandals lol!

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    It’s a combination of many things I guess. All what you listed is probably why.
  36. Aug 16, 2018
    #36

    Sir Scott McToMinay Full Member

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    Because there’s no value in the market, I mean there is, but you hae to dig a little deeper outside the top teams in the top 3-4 leagues to find value.
    All of Mourinho’s supposed targets were ridiculously overpriced, I’m glad we didn’t get rinsed again.
    Also his transfer record for us isn’t great, and he spent a lot.
  37. Aug 16, 2018
    #37

    buckooo1978 Full Member

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    fundamental differences of opinion between the board and Jose on transfer targets

    we wouldn't meet Spurs valuation of Alderwiereld or the 70m or so for Maguire but Ed was happy to brief that he'd offered 100m for Varane

    depends how much Spurs wanted for Toby but I'd tend to agree with Ed on this.... no point in signing for the sake of signing and Maguire wasn't an upgrade on what we have

    we need to be fighting for the next VVD or Umtiti- I'd still deffo take Alderwiereld for 30m in January as I don't think he will figure much in Spurs plans and his release fee will be 25m when activated next May

    in terms of RW I am baffled- There must have been a few feasible and achievable targets
  38. Aug 16, 2018
    #38

    Seven Seas Sardines Full Member

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    We should give them 30m and Jones in January.

    It was a disgrace we weren't in for Malcom for 30m..
  39. Aug 16, 2018
    #39

    LennonNL nipple flasher and door destroyer

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    Based on the last few years I can completely understand why management wouldn’t want to splash out on big players, because all in all they’ve not really succeeded here.

    Still though, we should have the scouts to find players that wouldn’t cost as much but still improve our squad in the positions we need. We’ve really become proper shite at that.
  40. Aug 16, 2018
    #40

    Wednesday at Stoke Full Member

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    I don't think it was a fail, we still came out with a world class midfield prospect for 50M and a future right back for 20M. That isn't a panacea of all ills but it fills a few holes and makes us better.