Disneyland

Sterling Archer

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Amidst the new leaks and briefings about mediocrity, player discord and the likely imminent manager change, I find myself thinking back to all the critical decisions that have led Manchester United to this precipice again. Like many here, that interview from Louis van Gaal, was so telling upon second read in these circumstances. The statements from Jose Mourinho about the significance of his second place finish, while then seeming like an egomaniac raving after realizing he was no longer his youthful genius, now seem more like red flags. Another poster dubbed it the canary in the coal mine. That has stuck with me. In fact, I hear it. Not chirping in my head. Rather, one specific word. A whisper at first. Disneyland. A little louder now, as if someone next to me has said it. Disneyland. And now like a wailing siren. Disneyland.

Way back when David Moyes was at the end of his spell with us, our Chief Executive Ed Woodward was out searching for his replacement. He approached Jurgen Klopp, then with Borussia Dortmund, and sounded out his interest in the role. But it was an odd pitch, a red flag that gave Klopp serious pause about taking what was the hottest managerial job in football. Woodward's vision for us was, shockingly, Disneyland.

From Klopp's biography 'Bring The Noise', written by Raphael Honigstein:

Not long before, Manchester United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward had flown out to see Klopp in Germany. David Moyes's short tenure at Old Trafford was coming to an end, and Klopp was United's favourite to replace him, to bring back a sense of adventure to the Red Devils' game.

Woodward told Klopp that the Theatre of Dreams was 'like an adult version of Disneyland', a mythical place where, as the nickname suggested, the entertainment was world class and dreams came true.

Klopp wasn't entirely convinced by that sales pitch — he found it a bit 'unsexy', he told a friend — but he didn't dismiss the proposition out of hand either.
We don't have to linger on whether those specific words are what convinced Klopp to decide against managing Manchester United. The most important takeaway here is the way in which Woodward, who remains our Chief Executive, viewed the club. Not as a place of football heritage but rather an amusement park. In the years since then, we've continued to hear more bizarre and questionable public statements from Ed: "Watch this space". "When people see Schweinsteiger on the team sheet, that's gonna send some shivers down the spine."

But actions do speak louder than words. Woodward's decisions, however, are quite aligned with his choice words. Ill-advised and out of character for what I've been accustomed to from my beloved Manchester United.

There's a sick irony in all this. The manager turned off by the Disneyland pitch goes on to transform our arch rivals, Liverpool. They were at the time, fallen - or sleeping, depending on your preference - giant of English football. Year after year awaiting an elusive next league title, the club was becoming more synonymous with missed opportunity and poor management than it's days of glory.

I fear that for Manchester United. We are nearing seven years of not just mediocre football, but also disastrous decision making in player recruitment, academy development, and managerial appointments. All the while, the more successful clubs are leveraging the open minds of the next generation. I'm in my early thirties now, and it's eery feeling that United's best days were in my youth. For the young ones turning to football now and tomorrow, United's greatness is a history lesson. The remarkable career achievements of Sir Alex Ferguson, for which he was knighted, grow more distant. Our YouTube and Twitter highlights are grainy and fuzzy on the 4K ultra high definition cell phone screens of the next generation of fans. That's if they are watching us at all.

In a way, we are a bit like Disneyland. An enthralling cornucopia of football when I was a kid; an enduring headache of noise and worry as an adult. All the while, our rivals have moved on to virtual and augmented reality that will knock your socks off from even the comfort of your couch.

From Henry Rider Haggard:
Time after time have nations, ay, and rich and strong nations, learned in the arts, been, and passed away to be forgotten, so that no memory of them remains. This is but one of several; for Time eats up the works of man.
 

WolfInSharp'sClothing

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If you scratch the surface of Disneyland, behind all the bright coloured paint, everything is in need of refurbishment. Behind the smiles of their workers are empty eyes and shattered dreams.

As it goes, it might not be a bad comparison.
 

antohan

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Yes, Woodward is completely clueless and has no business running a football club like ours. His decision-making is terrible, should have stayed in commercial operations.

Doubt anyone here disagrees.
 

SteveJ

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It sounds like Woodward did zero research into Klopp's character, and what would best appeal to him.
 

red thru&thru

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Yes, Woodward is completely clueless and has no business running a football club like ours. His decision-making is terrible, should have stayed in commercial operations.

Doubt anyone here disagrees.
You will be very surprised. A lot are saying it is not Ed's fault. It is all of the managers he's employed.
 

Inigo Montoya

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If you scratch the surface of Disneyland, behind all the bright coloured paint, everything is in need of refurbishment. Behind the smiles of their workers are empty eyes and shattered dreams.

As it goes, it might not be a bad comparison.
 

Mainoldo

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You will be very surprised. A lot are saying it is not Ed's fault. It is all of the managers he's employed.
Yes the managers have been great :houllier:.

Maybe there just all crap. The only side we should be supporting is Manchester United. A lot of fans seem to forget that believing every manager is Fergie.
 

DomesticTadpole

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It sounds like Woodward did zero research into Klopp's character, and what would best appeal to him.
He didn't at all. I think Klopp wanted to bring a club back to the top. The way Woodward sold us was that everything was brilliant and we are the best, when we obviously weren't. We needed selling as a project.
 

DomesticTadpole

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Yes the managers have been great :houllier:.

Maybe there just all crap. The only side we should be supporting is Manchester United. A lot of fans seem to forget that believing every manager is Fergie.
He picked the managers, I suspect foisted players on managers and made promises he would never keep. The managers do take some of the blame, but he is quite happy to put himself into the limelight, so he takes the majority of the blame.
 

red thru&thru

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There's a sick irony in all this. The manager turned off by the Disneyland pitch goes on to transform our arch rivals, Liverpool. They were at the time, fallen - or sleeping, depending on your preference - giant of English football. Year after year awaiting an elusive next league title, the club was becoming more synonymous with missed opportunity and poor management than it's days of glory.
I agreed with all of your post. I agree to an extent to this but I don't believe, putting rivalries aside, FSG don't get enough credit for the work they did. After all, they only took over in 2010 and without spending obscene amounts of money, have got to where they are today. Just look at their transition from Rodgers to Klopp. Obviously different type of managers, but with similar styles of play. Not going from LVG to Mourinho to Ole!
 

SteveJ

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Surely the obvious way to appeal to Klopp would be to stress the 'family' nature of the club, and also its passionate support?
 
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red thru&thru

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Yes the managers have been great :houllier:.

Maybe there just all crap. The only side we should be supporting is Manchester United. A lot of fans seem to forget that believing every manager is Fergie.
What is supporting Manchester United? Will be interesting to read your reply?!
 

DomesticTadpole

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Surely the obvious way to appeal to Klopp would be to stress the 'family' nature of the club, and also its passionate suport?
Yes. Instead we will have just said how much support we have round the world etc. Klopp will love The Kop, the connection the players have with them. As you say United was always a family club, a close family and that has gone in a lot of ways, their class has gone.
 

Jim Beam

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Surely the obvious way to appeal to Klopp would be to stress the 'family' nature of the club, and also its passionate suport?
Attacking and exciting football, going from Munchen tragedy to the top of the Europe, bringing us back to that very top again after Fergie's leaving.

In short, he should have presented us as the biggest challenge he could take upon himself and not "all shiny, happy" version with which he went imo.

Well, one thing is sure, doubt he will (and can) go with that Disneyland story in the future again.
 

antohan

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You will be very surprised. A lot are saying it is not Ed's fault. It is all of the managers he's employed.
The only thing Moyes, van Gaal, Mourinho and Ole have in common is Ed Woodward thinking those managers, with their respective styles and associated recruitment preferences, engaged in that order, could result in anything but a complete waste of money and dysfunctional squad.
 

Sterling Archer

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I agreed with all of your post. I agree to an extent to this but I don't believe, putting rivalries aside, FSG don't get enough credit for the work they did. After all, they only took over in 2010 and without spending obscene amounts of money, have got to where they are today. Just look at their transition from Rodgers to Klopp. Obviously different type of managers, but with similar styles of play. Not going from LVG to Mourinho to Ole!
That's a fair point. Their squad now is an evolution as opposed to upheaval. And much to do with the ownership group. That's allowed them to not suffer from a major transfer misstep, such as with Keita, or selling what was an important player, Coutinho.
 

SteveJ

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'Disneyland' = 'We have (more) money (than sense)'.
 

SER19

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There is absolutely no reason a club like united shouldn't have been able to attract klopp. We were less than a year post Ferguson and leagues ahead of Liverpool still in terms of reputation though we'd had a shocking season.

That we didn't get him, is on Woodward
 

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As I have said elsewhere, Woodward behaves like a fan, not a CEO.

The decisions the club makes could be taken from the polls on this forum. It’s absolutely ridiculous and is the reason why time and time again we start down a respectable path and start backtracking the moment we don’t see instant results
 

red thru&thru

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That's a fair point. Their squad now is an evolution as opposed to upheaval. And much to do with the ownership group. That's allowed them to not suffer from a major transfer misstep, such as with Keita, or selling what was an important player, Coutinho.
Yea, great points. That is what having experience men on the football side of things does. Like you say, it's been a steady evolution rather than an upheaval.

I honestly believe, if we get the correct structure in place and with our resources, we could be back competing within 1-2 years.
 

Ish

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You will be very surprised. A lot are saying it is not Ed's fault. It is all of the managers he's employed.
If there are people saying that, surely it has to be a tiny minority? Most opinions I’ve come across - even from the days of Mourinho, were that the majority blamed the manager as well wanted a structural change with Woody at the very least.
 

Sterling Archer

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Surely the obvious way to appeal to Klopp would be to stress the 'family' nature of the club, and also its passionate support?
To be truthful, I'm not certain that Klopp would have chosen to manage us even if the conversation had been different. Some men just prefer the girl next door persona to the supermodel, you know?

The incident is more revealing of Woodward to me.
 

red thru&thru

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Don’t bother got nothing to say. You keep backing your manager like a good boy. ;)
Hahaha. You clearly have nothing constructive to say and keep pulling things out of your backside. Always a tell tale sign when someone replies with, "You keep backing your manager like a good boy." :lol::lol:
 

Sir Scott McToMinay

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Perhaps by “not sexy” Klopp meant “not an underdog”?
Pretty sure he never fancied the Bayern job neither, the Man United of Germany.
Maybe he understood the United job was a poisoned chalice and an incredibly difficult job in a pressure cooker environment?

Someone posted yesterday about how he was promised 2 seasons in Liverpool without a sacking, we would’ve never given him that back then, now we probably would have.

I really don’t know though, can just speculate, wouldn’t put it past ED to feck it up obviously.
 

Classical Mechanic

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If you scratch the surface of Disneyland, behind all the bright coloured paint, everything is in need of refurbishment. Behind the smiles of their workers are empty eyes and shattered dreams.

As it goes, it might not be a bad comparison.
I see our friend has returned and all boisterous now his team is out of the relegation zone.
 

Mainoldo

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Hahaha. You clearly have nothing constructive to say and keep pulling things out of your backside. Always a tell tale sign when someone replies with, "You keep backing your manager like a good boy." :lol::lol:
I’ve ran out things to say with most fans. They don’t learn then want to b£tSh and moan at the board when things go wrong ignore the short term obvious. We will never get to the long term this way.

I promise you if change is not made, but it will anyway we will get relegated believing in this clown of a manager.
 

Catt

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Klopp is a LFC manager so it's definitely a 100% true.
 

Sterling Archer

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If you scratch the surface of Disneyland, behind all the bright coloured paint, everything is in need of refurbishment. Behind the smiles of their workers are empty eyes and shattered dreams.

As it goes, it might not be a bad comparison.
Oof. Sounds like the leaks coming out of United now.
 

red thru&thru

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If there are people saying that, surely it has to be a tiny minority? Most opinions I’ve come across - even from the days of Mourinho, were that the majority blamed the manager as well wanted a structural change with Woody at the very least.
You are probably correct, as it is the same names that keep popping up. It is almost as though it is Ed and the Glazer's are writing the replies themselves! :lol:

But yea, like you say, of course managers have to take proportion of the blame, everyone involved has to. But the ultimate decisions are made by the owners and the board. I said earlier, the two worst run clubs in the PL are without DoF (equivalent role).

Just imagine we had someone like Campos running the football operations and he went out to meet Klopp? I'm pretty confident I'd have seen my manager pumping his chest after winning the league.
 

Ish

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You are probably correct, as it is the same names that keep popping up. It is almost as though it is Ed and the Glazer's are writing the replies themselves! :lol:

But yea, like you say, of course managers have to take proportion of the blame, everyone involved has to. But the ultimate decisions are made by the owners and the board. I said earlier, the two worst run clubs in the PL are without DoF (equivalent role).

Just imagine we had someone like Campos running the football operations and he went out to meet Klopp? I'm pretty confident I'd have seen my manager pumping his chest after winning the league.
100% agreed. It's not just about the DoF, like you said - it could be something equivalent as well - but as long as it's experienced football men who know what they're doing.

There's a certain level of respect that Ed and his cronies will never get in the footballing world - not least so because he started out being arrogant and flaunting the amount of money we had all around the media. :lol::houllier:. I think he's been every club and agents negotiating dream, tbf. And we wonder how we've managed to overspend and overpay for the average we have in our squad.
 

red thru&thru

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I’ve ran out things to say with most fans. They don’t learn then want to b£tSh and moan at the board when things go wrong ignore the short term obvious. We will never get to the long term this way.

I promise you if change is not made, but it will anyway we will get relegated believing in this clown of a manager.
If you read through anyone of my posts, I've not ONCE defended Ole. It is clear as day he should never have got the job, I never wanted Ole in the first place. I said it so in here (I think). But what I DO NOT want to happen again is, Ed to appoint another manager. He clearly shows that he is not capable of doing this.
 

red thru&thru

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100% agreed. It's not just about the DoF, like you said - it could be something equivalent as well - but as long as it's experienced football men who know what they're doing.

There's a certain level of respect that Ed and his cronies will never get in the footballing world - not least so because he started out being arrogant and flaunting the amount of money we had all around the media. :lol::houllier:. I think he's been every club and agents negotiating dream, tbf. And we wonder how we've managed to overspend and overpay for the average we have in our squad.
Exactly. First he boasts and then he says he can't get value. Clown.
 

SteveJ

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"Watch this space."
*points to head*
 

Ish

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Exactly. First he boasts and then he says he can't get value. Clown.
Couldn't make it up. Sad part is, he's probably more than pissed away every bit of additional income he's brought in through sponsors, ten times over, on sacking managers, bad signings and inflated wages.
"Watch this space."
*points to head*
:lol:
FUE
 

Devilsrock7

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Does anyone think we would have stuck with klopp for 4 seasons , no chance imho , he was berated on here in his earlier tenure at "anfailed" never won a final etc , dilussional German with his own failure thread as I recall.


Not excusing Ed for his numpty approach by any stretch of the imagination
 
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