Edwin van der Sar on United

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by freeurmind, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. Oct 10, 2019
    #41

    Rozay Master of Hindsight

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    Than the chief executive when it comes to the performance of the football team. One man manages the ‘company’, another manages the football team. Sometimes, the football team may not be doing as well as it could because of the exec (see Newcastle who had a talented manager in Benitez who was not supported by Mike Ashley and co, so could only do so much). Usually though, the football team is the responsibility of the football manager. Hence why execs are not sacked every few months like managers when form is poor.
  2. Oct 10, 2019
    #42

    momo83 Full Member

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    Exactly. We can all explain what it is about the Glazers that we don’t like and why they have done more bad to the club. But the criticism of Ed Woodward I don’t understand. He has contributed to making us a powerhouse, he has given each manager a substantial budget and chased the players that they asked for.

    Occasionally he refuses to go beyond a certain price or sanction certain moves that contradict the clubs values. No different to City. Are people going to start criticising the board at City for not going over £60m for Maguire if City don’t win anything this year? It’s a double standard, City get praised for pulling out of deals while Ed gets blasted.

    Also I think a lot of the Ed hate has been stirred up by certain pundits and the media. Is Ed flawless no, he seems to be to heavily influenced by the media and PR. Eg not sacking Mourinho after Neville’s speech, giving Ole the job permanently, and now ignoring the obvious.
  3. Oct 10, 2019
    #43

    red thru&thru Full Member

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    Execs employ the managers and decide the purchase of signings. Execs bring in the managers. They decide a lot more than the managers.
  4. Oct 10, 2019
    #44

    Rozay Master of Hindsight

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    This is the only argument I could possibly see. ‘We need to replace the man who hires the managers’. Even then, it’s not one I’d take, and is not the one really being made either.

    And execs don’t ‘decide the signings’. Unless you believe all of our transfer lists are compiled by Ed Woodward, which tbh I suspect half this forum do.
  5. Oct 10, 2019
    #45

    poleglass red Full Member

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    "The man" is former Newcastle keeper shaka hislop. I find it funny that this even makes headlines and is even construed as something positive. We criticse keano n nev for repeating the same obvious weakness we have week in week out . Keano gets abuse for concentrating on the mental aspect, and not giving enough tactical breakdown. He's doing the exact same here. Not having a pop at van der sar really. Just sick of the amount of ex pros saying the same obvious crap. We know. Give us something more meaningful or insightful.
  6. Oct 10, 2019
    #46

    red thru&thru Full Member

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    I could write you a list of of ceo's etc who directly effect their managers.

    More than anything, it was always said that Fergie worked so well because of his management. Imagine if Martin Edwards had sacked Fegie in '89? Imagine if Gill, in 2012, had said to Fergie there is no way he is signing off the £24m signing of an historically injury prone player, in his last year of contract?!

    No matter how good your manager is, the ultimate buck is with the ceo.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  7. Oct 10, 2019
    #47

    Ajaxsuarez Full Member

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    Ajax didn't just "come across" their golden generation. Ajax hadn't developed a single world class talent (outside of European talents brought to the club at 14-16: Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Eriksen) since Van der Vaart + Sneijder in 2000-2003. In 2001 the KNVB instituted LVG's redesign/overhaul of the Dutch (youth) football pyramid and development ideas/fundamentals/"manual", known as (not kidding) "the masterplan". this was implemented nationwide and (imo) directly caused the completely drying out pool of world class talent, the last being those two Ajax midfielders + Robben at Groningen and RVP at Feyenoord - all around the same exact time. Instead we started producing boring, competent "system players" like Klaassen, Van Ginkel, etc. At Ajax, these ideas were further pushed through by Van Gaal in his role as Technical director in the years following the masterplan (2004), though fortunately he left again fairly soon due to conflict.

    Ajax produced completely mediocre talent for a full decade. In 09/10 Martin Jol's Ajax got humiliated in the CL by Real Madrid in a way that reflected none of the club's ideals nor any other element to even vaguely compete on the pitch with the Madrid's of this world. This inspired Cruijff to return to the club with what was coined the "velvet revolution", overthrowing the roundabout of management types that had been taking turns as the club's management the past decade and instead training and instating football people in those positions at the club. Van der Sar fit the profile perfectly and so he was approached and guided through his masters (at Cruijff's sport university) and then guided in his trajectory of learning the ropes at the club before finally taking on this position a good 5 years or so later.

    Cruijff also overthrew the Ajax academy and the ideas of Van Gaal and Jan Olde-Riekerink through his confident and "vessel" Wim Jonk, who completely changed the whole paradigm of what youth football entailed at Ajax with ideas that were subsequently taken over by the Dutch FA nationally as well (like the "twin games" idea, but also the training on different surfaces with different size balls, rotation of trainers through the teams during a season, etc.). He, and with him Cruijff, left Ajax in 2015 following a dispute with (his best friend) Bergkamp (who two years later also forced the exit of our greatest coach since Van Gaal, Peter Bosz).

    So it wasn't chance: Van der Sar was instated in/by the same process that overhauled the academy, leading to the talent that came through in recent years and also that which is about to come through again in the next 2/3 years (the 2002/2003 generation)

    Not the CEO (though this was before our listing so maybe it comes down to the same thing at the time), but funnily enough the Chairman at the time of our CL win in 1995 was Michael van Praag, son of Jaap van Praag who was the Chairman of Ajax from 1964 to 1978, the period of our three previous European Cup wins.

    Also Van Gaal was a tremendous coach in the 90s and is a legend of the club. His success with youth however, as described earlier, went to his head. In my opinion, the success of that team can again be traced back to Johan Cruijff, who was manager (and Sporting Director) at Ajax from 1985-88, in which he also was very hands on in forming the academy to his vision, for example instating Jany van der Veen, the scout who discovered Cruijff himself, as the head of recruitment of the academy ( / as head of Cruijff's own recruitment "company" (as well)), who personally in this period recruited to the academy players like Davids, the De Boers, Kluivert, and Seedorf, a big core of that 95 team, as well as players like Witschge, Menzo, Winters.

    Cruijff also personally tutored Bergkamp in a very hands on way btw, but that's a different thing. anyway I'm getting sidetracked. My point is just that in my eyes it's very far from coincidence that these success stories at Ajax and Barcelona seem to follow so closely from Cruijff's times at these clubs about a decade earlier.

    About whether this makes Van der Sar a brilliant CEO? Not at all. He seems competent though, so far, though it's easy to appear that way when everything on the pitch is going so well. The criseses in his time at the club haven't been handled too well, particularly for me the Bergkamp - Jonk and Bergkamp - Bosz disputes, in which both times he chose Bergkamp's side (directly opposing Overmars who backed Bosz). This was resolved with Bergkamp (and his buddy Spijkerman + friend Keizer) a couple months later in a moved that consolidated more of the club's power with Overmars (and his new man Ten Hag).
  8. Oct 10, 2019
    #48

    Rozay Master of Hindsight

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    That’s nice, but what part did VDS do? ‘Sort our the finances of the club’, as you put it? Is that what Man United are in need of? As for the football etc, is that not Overmars’ domain?
  9. Oct 10, 2019
    #49

    red thru&thru Full Member

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    Who chooses Overmars to run football operations?

    And yes, Manchester United ARE in need of money. If they weren't, why did they not get the RW, striker, midfielder, no10 player that was needed?
  10. Oct 10, 2019
    #50

    Grande Full Member

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    You should ask Russel Beardsmore that question.
  11. Oct 10, 2019
    #51

    Rozay Master of Hindsight

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    Are you being serious? So that means we need someone to do a better job of making money because we couldn’t spend £500m a summer?

    And we’re back to the sum total of ‘who chooses the manager’. This is what all clubs should focus on when their teams underperform. Sack the chief execs.
  12. Oct 10, 2019
    #52

    red thru&thru Full Member

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    So you actually think that Ed has done a good job? Accounts are all there for everyone to see. United have almost been caught up by other PL clubs in terms of finances. So Ed has failed there. Ed is in charge of the football division of Manchester United and they are failing. So YES, he needs sacking!

    Ed took over a club that was champions of England, 7 years later and £1bn spent on the squad, we are in a relegation battle!

    All the top clubs around Europe must bending over backwards to try and get Ed running their clubs!
  13. Oct 10, 2019
    #53

    Redlips Full Member

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    100% agree with this mate. I keep saying it, the obsession with our CEO is so weird and something that pretty much no other club faces. The media constantly put little ideas out there and our fans constantly bite, so the media create more stories to continue the cycle. Under the protection of Fergie and our success, us fans used to just bat it away as "haters gon hate", but now with no success and us all scrambling to figure out what is wrong we are clutching and swiping at everything and everyone trying to find a cause.

    Our fan base also act as though our plight is in some way different from any top club that goes on a barren run and start coming up with weird logic about how we can't keep sacking managers and how if we give our poor manager time he'll turn into Fergie, whilst literally no other club does such foolishness. I even see fans claiming David Gill as some sort of mastermind when he presided over possibly our most horrific period of personnel changes (Obertan, etc.). He had the benefit of SAF and we should realise that and also realise that Fergie is an anomaly and is probably greater than we even realise.
  14. Oct 10, 2019
    #54

    Ajaxsuarez Full Member

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    Overmars joined the club, and became TD (of sorts), before Van der Sar was at the club, and a good 3-4 years before Van der Sar took up the position of CEO
  15. Oct 10, 2019
    #55

    red thru&thru Full Member

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    Which is great. But VdS would choose to keep him in the position and give him the finances etc to do his job.
  16. Oct 10, 2019
    #56

    Rozay Master of Hindsight

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    :lol:

    Well done Edwin!
  17. Oct 10, 2019
    #57

    red thru&thru Full Member

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    Hahahaha, run out of ways to defend Ed? Didn't take long. :lol::lol::lol:
  18. Oct 10, 2019
    #58

    Rozay Master of Hindsight

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    Yea, this is pretty much my thinking. Think this is largely media created, and they have of course found fertile ground in disgruntled United fans. Ed didn’t help himself perhaps by stepping in front of the camera a few times in his earlier days though. But yea, hearing everyone bang on about ‘structure’ everyday is a bit nauseating to me, as I firmly believe it is a massive unknown for most football fans. Buck stops with managers if their football teams fail, always been the way. Yea, there’s the whole ‘the man who hired the managers’ thing, but that has a bit more credence if he were just putting his university mates in charge. Hiring managers who had won titles everywhere else and only failed to do so when they came here is only an issue for Nostradamus. Jose was the most successful manager in the world. He actually won some silverware too, and when the wheels fell off, he was sacked.

    As you said, many giants have gone through barren spells. To me, the wheels just need to keep turning and we will get our turn again soon enough. Our league is unparalleled in that there are many rich clubs with great players and managers. One team won’t just be in the title race forever. What do you think everyone else is going to be doing? But I don’t think it’s lack of will. We’ve hired top managers and broken transfer records. We will return.
  19. Oct 10, 2019
    #59

    Ajaxsuarez Full Member

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    Van der Sar doesn't have the power to fire Overmars, nor vice versa. Only the board or themselves can remove them from their positions.
  20. Oct 10, 2019
    #60

    red thru&thru Full Member

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    Head of the board is Edwin
  21. Oct 10, 2019
    #61

    Ajaxsuarez Full Member

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    no he isn't ffs:lol:

    the head (chairman) of the board is hennie henrichs (for now). VdS is CEO of the club. the board (of directors) isn't the same as management.
  22. Oct 10, 2019
    #62

    Betson Full Member

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    Unfortunately is more than just character , it is far more a quality issue and you can't drill that into a lad no matter how much you try.

    The quality in the squad is the issue. And there is no quick fix for that.
  23. Oct 11, 2019
    #63

    MetoTTT New Member

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    We're lacking competent people all over the club. On and off the pitch.
  24. Oct 11, 2019
    #64

    Lebowski Full Member

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    Football has changed a lot since 1995 and the size of the team that is involved in getting eleven players out on a pitch to perform to the best of their abilities is far bigger than it used to be.

    Even a generational manager like Ferguson who essentially did four of five different jobs at once will need support- all managers require the right structure necessary for prolonged success.

    Usually it's the CEO or board who are charged with setting the goals of the organisation, monitoring each department and making sure they are working cohesively towards the overall goal. At United it's the Glazers that set the goals and Woodward who acts as the CEO to ensure the structure to achieve them is correct. Several managers have failed under the oversight of Woordward, and the Glazer's goals for the club beyond making a lot of money for themselves are totally unclear. Usually it's the job of the director of football / technical director (in Ajax's case Overmars, in our case, we don't have one so it falls to Woodward) to bring the various departments sporting departments underneath them (coaching, fitness, diet, sports science, scouting, recruitment, contract and transfer negotiations etc) to become more than the sum of their parts and ensure they have the tools and their goals are aligned to the overall objective of the club. They also act as a buffer between the board (who usually lack practical football knowledge) and the team.

    Due to the nature of the sport, the managers and players will always be the most obvious ones to blame or praise, but a successful team is down to a number of factors, most of which are unseen by the average fan.

    It's overly simplistic to think that the only role of a CEO/owner is giving money to the manager to spend. It's also patently obvious if you look at virtually every successful club in the world that success on the pitch stems from having the right structure and that starts from the top.
  25. Oct 11, 2019
    #65

    red thru&thru Full Member

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    Well hell of a different to the structure here then! You learn something new every day! Ffs :lol::lol:
  26. Oct 11, 2019
    #66

    red thru&thru Full Member

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    Very eloquently put. I'm still not sure a lot of these people will understand who keep saying it's all down to the manager.
  27. Oct 11, 2019
    #67

    devilish Juventus fan who used to support United

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    The problem is a bit more complex though. The problem with United is that we've got a financial oriented board that have no idea about football. That means that we keep hiring managers who have completely different styles to one another which translate into having to start everything from scratch. Also as Campos said, the time were a club could get away with just a manager is over. Tactics, fitness and cuddling players to keep them motivated is a full time job these days. Thus means that the manager can't spend time scouting players or speaking to agents.

    I don't think that Woodward should be sacked. The guy is good in what he does ie bring sponsors and make money. However its time we separate finances matters from football matters. Thus we should have 2 CEOs with the football side taking care of the football side.
  28. Oct 11, 2019
    #68

    Lebowski Full Member

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    Thanks.

    There's definitely been collective myopia in our fanbase over the past six or seven years. Fans clamour to blame the manager we have at the time or more often, individual players, for the reason we're not challenging. First it was playing an ageing Wayne Rooney, then Fellaini and Ashley Young became the targets, and more recently it's been all Matic, Lingard or Rashford's fault.

    I think the penny is starting to drop with most United fans now that our issues run far deeper than the competencies of the eleven players we end up playing and the decisions of whatever manager we happen to have at the time.

    In some ways the owners have made a rod for their own back because most fans would far quicker turn on the Glazers and Woodward than a club legend like Ole, so he won't be an easy scapegoat. Away at Newcastle there were louder anti-Glazer chants than I have heard in years, and most of the away contingent remain very supportive of Ole and sympathetic to the structure he has to operate in.

    That's not to say the players and managers have been blameless. If the quality of the team is not reflected in the performances on the pitch (and there's a strong argument that they haven't this season) then questions should rightly be asked of the coaching staff and manager. Similarly if players are routinely turning in performances lacking desire or effort like they did in the last few games of Jose's career, it's only right to question their professionalism.

    However fundamentally, as was illustrated in Oliver Kay's article for the Athletic this week, "all problems lead back to the top". Solskjaer and his coaching staff are responsible for results on the pitch and getting the best out of our poor squad, but Woodward, as executive vice chairman, bears responsibility for the state of the club.
  29. Oct 11, 2019
    #69

    Rozay Master of Hindsight

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    What these posts suggest though, is that United’s staff consists of an army of bankers led by Ed Woodward, and then a football manager. My issue is partly the obsession with the title, because it seems a bit vogue. We have a number of specialists who are neither Ed Woodward or Ole Solskjaer taking care of all of these duties at the club. As we did under Fergie.

    Do you guys think that Woodward would have done a poor job if he had hired Guardiola or Klopp, and backed them with their targets, within this current structure? Or would they have been doomed to failure due to not having a director? I mean, they will have a scouting department with a head, a fitness department with a head, a Nicky Butt doing whatever he does with the youth (often these roles are appointed by the manager to ensure they ‘fit within his philosophy/style or whatever’) - but they won’t have a ‘Director or Football’, so it won’t work?

    If we had hired Pep, we would have allowed him to bring his own scouts, as other managers have done, his own fitness staff, and anyone else, so that he has the whole ‘structure’ that he’s happy to work with. The idea that these people don’t exist and it’s just Ed flipping Woodward making all such decisions is desperation I think by those determined to find a fall guy so that our plight is easier to ‘make sense’ to them.
  30. Oct 11, 2019
    #70

    red thru&thru Full Member

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    Exactly. People are saying that it's a new trend of blaming Ed and the board etc etc. I can only speak for myself here, but I believe I have given the board enough time to sort this mess out.There are so many standout moments from Ed to prove that he is out of his depth. Of course the managers are tasked with organising a team and getting a tune out of them. But Ed was the one who gave these managers the job.

    I've read people say that Ed was correct to stop Jose selling the likes of Martial but then if you're telling Jose to win titles, he has to do it his way. Jose asks for a defender, the Ed says no he can't have a particular defender but he can have another one. I man, how can Ed tell Jose what defender he needs? How is Ed even qualified to give this advice? But low and behold, he then goes on to sign the same defender, a year later for about £10m more than he would have cost the previous year.

    This just an example.
  31. Oct 11, 2019
    #71

    devilish Juventus fan who used to support United

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    We would do better then having a non manager as we have now. However let's have some perspective here. Both Liverpool and City have DOFs. Same with Dortmund and Bayern. We are using an outdated system that puts too much stress and gives too much power to managers who have neither the skills nor the will to take it. That's because modern managers only want a 3-4 year job and had probably never worked without a DoF before
  32. Oct 11, 2019
    #72

    JPRouve can't stop thinking about balls - NOT deflategate Scout

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    Where you have a point is that when Ajax had problems it was mainly the board as a whole that was targetted instead of one person, now that they are doing good only one person his praised.
  33. Oct 11, 2019
    #73

    Abhinav Full Member

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    So your idea of how we will be successful next is to let Ed Woodward continue to do his job and eventually he will find a manager who is competent and will sign the right players and lead us to success? Till then we should hang tight and wait for Ed to miraculously find the right manager?

    In your view is this is a sustainable way to continue success? It seems you believe that the only way for teams to continue to be successful is a) to either have a genius manager like SAF to stay at the helm for 20 years and b) win a lottery and make 2-3 consecutive successful managerial appointments. Cause god knows Ed Woodward has tried 4 times and has a 100% failure record so the probability of him making 2-3 correct appointments is actually 0.
  34. Oct 11, 2019
    #74

    Rozay Master of Hindsight

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    People may come with this ‘accepting mediocrity’ stuff they like to throw around on here but - we do not HAVE to always be the best team in the country. It’s not always a result of ‘utter incompetence’. I’m not saying that we should NOT hire a director. Perhaps he will come and add value. I am saying that I disagree that we are not currently successful BECAUSE of the lack of one.

    Said many times, but once a transfer window closes and a season is underway, it’s the manager/coaches and the players from there on out. They cannot keep hiding behind a director, exec or whatever. I watch people questioning whether a whole Paul fecking Pogba is ‘good enough’, while a Mauricio Pochettino can get a tune out of Moussa Sissoko. I see an XI of Allison, Trent, Matip, VVD, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Origi, Shaqiri and Mane best Barcelona 4-0. Yet our record signings are never good enough, and we always just need better players. Zinchenkos and Delphs change position and play brilliantly at LB for City, while we can barely get a performance out of the once most expensive full back in the world. ‘Just back the manager with better players’.

    When do the people who work on the green take responsibility? We hire a manager who has won trophies in every league. We give him Bailly, Pogba, Zlatan, Mkhitaryan to add to the rest and he comes 6th. If that team had finished first or second that season, nobody would look at the XI and say ‘they over-achieved’. We started the season as joint favourites. The football people fell short. Again.

    There are a lot of intangibles at the moment at the club. Players constantly playing under a cloud of great pressure and extra scrutiny. These things could be contributing to performance. It’s not all mathematics. Our current squad of players is not good enough, but at times over the last 7 years, we have certainly got a good collection of players. On paper. Are they playing to their potential? No. Is that Woodward’s fault? Would Monchi have them playing cohesively?

    Football is becoming overrun and over complicated by hipsters I fear, who are constantly going off about ‘the modern game’ - but the reality is that when it’s all said and done, it’s the squad and the staff of the training pitch who need to come up with something. If the manager is a capable manager and the players are capable players, they should be able to produce more than they have done, and if they don’t, should accept responsibility for doing so.

    City and Liverpool are better than us because they are just better teams with better managers/coaches. There are many teams in the PL who have DoFs who are not as good as us, or not really much better. Even big ones. Like Arsenal, who have Edu or whatever. Bayern were mentioned. For all their ‘continuity’, they had LVG, then Heynkes, then Pep, then Ancelotti. ‘We need to recruit managers who play the same way’ they say. These managers are all different. Stop making excuses for them. Pep came after Heynkes and changed the formation, decided Lahm was a midfielder and brought a few players he liked. And they got on with it. This is football. I’m not sure what ‘type’ of manager Zidane was, but he also came and motivated his squad and got the best out of them. Yet ‘ we need someone who doesn’t hire different types of managers to not confuse our poor player’s minds’.
  35. Oct 11, 2019
    #75

    Henrik Larsson Still logged in at RAWK (help!)

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    That's some really good stuff mate, I think you got everything spot on and I wish people would read that.

    With Van Gaal it's so typical and funny. As a manager working in a real situation he's clearly had a great way of developing young players. But if you let people like him make a theoretical 'plan' and implement it, it never seems to work and you get this sterile environment where only 'decent at everything/exceptional at nothing' players like say Jairo Riedewald seem to arise.
  36. Oct 11, 2019
    #76

    Lebowski Full Member

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    I would suggest not being too obsessed with the title. Technical Director / DOF/ Sporting Director / Head of Recruitment / Managing Director of Global Football - it doesn't matter what you call them, the fundamental point is that we need executive expertise and executive football knowledge in order to ensure the club moves towards a common goal, modernises and stops repeating the same mistakes every time we appoint a new manager.

    You are correct that we of course employ specialists in sports science, data analysis, fitness, scouting, recruitment and so on, but we have no executive with football (or indeed sporting) knowledge. All of these employees (along with the manager) report to Woodward and serve at his discretion. He's the executive with the ultimate control of structure and has never demonstrated that he knows how to organise, modernise or run a successful football team.

    This summer the club have briefed that they don't want to hire a Director of Football as they are happy with the summer transfer window and seem to have adopted a committee for transfers that comprises no longer of just Woodward but includes Marcel Bout (LVG's scout), Jim Lawlor and Mick Court. Obviously it remains to be seen whether this approach will be successful and whether it's better than having a single sporting expert in overall control (a DOF). I have my doubts, chiefly because it seems like the final decision still rests with Woodward, and it will still be him and Matt Judge actually negotiating contracts and transfers. Also, I think we've seen enough awful transfers in the last six years to start to wonder whether the people who have been internally promoted to serve on the committee are actually up to the job.

    Your question about Klopp and Guardiola is difficult to answer because it's purely hypothetical. I would suggest that they would be getting more out of our current squad than Ole as they're clearly better motivators and tacticians, but whether they would have enjoyed the same level of success with us as they are with the better run clubs they are currently employed by seems unlikely. Remember that city and Liverpool have a clear goal set by their owners (on-pitch success, CL for city, league title for Liverpool) and all decisions from top to bottom are made with this goal in mind. They both also have a sporting director to ensure a smooth bridge between the board and the football side and to oversee a club structure that has been established to allow both managers to thrive. I mean, city basically nicked Barcelona's executive and coaching team and metaphorically built a castle and throne for Pep to come in and sit atop.

    Their scouting departments have been able to identify the right targets with the right attitudes and injury records and acquire them promptly at a decent price and wage. Contract renewals are handled professionally and promptly, with their most important assets being tied down to long-term deals and having a wage structure that allows room for big pay rises when players improve (see Salah, Robertson and Mane) without breaking the wage structure of the club at the same time. Their recruitment and negotiation teams have also been able to quickly move players out of the club who the managers have said they can't work with or feel aren't up to the task, even if they are players the manager has brought in themselves. At United it's basically the polar opposite.

    Of course it helps that they have very good managers with a clear vision and style who can communicate what they need clearly, and it also helps that they are managers who fit the philosophy and goal of the club perfectly. However, that doesn't happen by accident. Appointing the right manager is one of the most crucial decisions the footballing leadership can make. United have made arguably the wrong choice four times running, have no style or philosophy and pull the plug on one manager's tenure to abandon their project half way through and go in a wildly different direction.

    It's not too farfetched to suggest that if we appointed Pep and he targeted the same players he did at city for us, Claudio Bravo, Nolito and Danilo would still be lingering around the club on big wages and Woodward would veto signing Laporte because he already bought him Stones and Mari. Pep would then quit having been branded 'Fraudiola' by the English tabloids and have to go on a 10 year sabbatical to calm down, last seen leaving Carrington by foot running into the woods muttering 'happy, happy new year Ashley, happy new year Jones'.
  37. Oct 11, 2019
    #77

    roseguy64 Full Member

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    Would agree with this post and say the blame lays equally across all facets of the club. Woodward for some of his decision making. Judge for failing with some negotiations. The football people around the manager who failed in recommendations or not being forceful enough for certain players. The manager and coaches for not being able to guide the players well enough. And the players for not playing to the best of their abilities that we've had to gut the squad and start over now.
  38. Oct 11, 2019
    #78

    Rozay Master of Hindsight

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    I couldn’t be bothered to separate the texts so I bolded some sections that I will respond to one by one.

    You say you have your doubts about the current setup as the senior sporting people all report to Woodward. I can’t see how there is any difference here than with a hypothetical director. If we appointed a DoF, he will still report to Woodward, as he should, as he is the CEO.

    You also seem to think that Liverpool and City have comparative benefit to us as a DoF allows them to have a ‘smooth bridge between the board and the football side’. I can’t see how such a bridge can be ‘smoother’ than a manager working with Woodward directly. Ole picking up the phone to the top man means there is no blockage.

    The next point about recruitment is also just 20/20 hindsight. Both clubs/managers would have wanted to sign a number of the players we have signed in recent years, and City in particular have actively tried. City, in all their structure, tried to buy Sanchez, Bailly, Fred and Dalot. None of them have been a success here. They also wanted Maguire. Things like injury records are again retrospective arguments, with the exception of Schweinsteiger, who was priced accordingly. Blaming the board for Bailly, Rojo and Zlatan doing their cruciates, or Shaw getting his leg snapped is ridiculous. It also ignores the fact that City have no fit defenders, and have had to deal with many an injury crisis themselves. It’s a hazard of the sport, and largely down to luck.

    As for moving on unwanted players, every team can only do their best here. I believe Mangala was just off City’s books this summer. Bravo, who you mentioned, is still a City player. Markovic was still being loaned about by Liverpool last I knew. The difference is, which you seem to be using as a criticism for us, is that we don’t just replace our big money signings year after year, or that we can’t spend £150m on full backs in one window. So I guess you feel we need to replace Woodward with someone who will? Money is a finite resource. It is less finite for Arab Sheikh’s than Canary Wharf businessmen. You use the likes of Nolito and co, but it’s easy to just discard and buy more when you have no financial constraints.

    Your arguments are not balanced, as they ignore the likes of Schneiderlein or Schweinsteiger, who were both loved on just over a year after they arrived, Memphis, too. Two of those for good fees. Same goes for Welbeck and Cleverley, and this year we just got rid of more at the manager’s request. Everything that happens down the road isn’t necessarily better if you probably look at it closer. There are lot of questions in all this ‘structure’ stuff. Where they are evidently better, is on the football pitch. Which is why I focus my issues on the footballing staff, first and foremost.
  39. Oct 12, 2019
    #79

    Lebowski Full Member

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    You're conflating a couple of separate points in my original post and it doesn't really sound like you understand the role of a DOF and a head coach in most large modern sides.

    There's two separate factors here. Firstly, we need football knowledge at executive level. If you want the club to succeed on the pitch, the club philosophy, scouting department, recruitment and retention should not be ran by somebody who has no knowledge and experience of football. To give you a couple of practical examples, look at the reform of our scouting system and our managerial hires under Woodward. Both of these decisions need to be taken at executive level, but they need to be taken by an executive with the experience and knowledge to make them properly. Woodward paid a City firm a small fortune to headhunt 'the biggest scouting network in English football history' yet the next manager he appointed was famous for not trusting their advice and instead going to get second opinions on players from his own contacts who he trusted. The end results were the driving of a wedge between the manager and the CEO, and the scattergun transfer policy we have seen in prior seasons. In terms of managerial appointments, Woodward has hired four totally different managers with totally different styles with no continuity, progress, coherence or philosophy. This is where a director of football comes in.

    The second factor is that whilst a head coach and a CEO effectively running all areas of the club together might seem theoretically more efficient without a DOF as a middle man, it very rarely works in modern football. It's not going to work unless you have the same manager for a decade and he happens to have a great working relationship with the CEO, plus the ability of Ferguson to have near-omnipotent control over every aspect of the football-side of the club from U9s to the first team whilst simultaneously handling first team duties.

    The modern manager gets two seasons in charge at a club, three or four if he's successful and lucky. In addition, modern football has become so complicated that training, picking, motivating and setting up your first team tactically for each opposition is a full time job. You can't expect your manager to handle that plus all other football operations. Again, that's where a director of football comes in- to let the manager concentrate on their job without having to fight unnecessary battles with a CEO who doesn't know a Maguire from a McTominay.

    You make some good points in the rest of your post so if you'll humour some more of my ramblings I will respond to them properly tomorrow when I'm less tired.

    As a very reductive TLDR, proper recruitment does limit the risk of flops and yes, even injuries; and secondly I think if you look at the numbers its fair to say that we've had a big problem in getting rid of players who didn't have a role in our first team, especially before this season.
  40. Oct 12, 2019
    #80

    red thru&thru Full Member

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    Some great points in here. Unfortunately, some fans of United struggle past the concept of having just a manager (SAF) and just a CEO (Kenyon/Gill) run the show. People fail to grasp the concept of what Saf did and how he evolved as manager at his tenure.

    Begrudgingly, I've started watching the City and Dortmund programme on Amazon. Fascinating to see the different roles in a club, especially the one's of CEO, DoF and coach/manager. I would urge people to watch them and understand how football operates now. We DO NEED a DoF (call it what you will) but only a proven one. Not some ex legend yes man of the club.