John Murtough Sack Watch

luke511

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Mistakes he's been directly involved in since becoming DoF:

- Renewed Mike Phelan's contract after the Solskjaer disasterclass in the Europa League final, first indication of his lack of awareness and foresight.

- Spent a large chunk of budget on Sancho, whilst we already had Greenwood, Amad and Pellistri as options for the right wing.

- Due to spending the money on Sancho he failed to bring in a much needed CDM to replace one of McFred as the deepest midfielder in the double pivot, after poor performances and heavy criticism the season prior. This left a huge hole in our midfield which led to a poor season overall.

- Failed to bring in a CDM in the January window to help Rangnick's problems in midfield after the Solskjaer sack.

- Spent a large % of the summer budget on another RW, Antony, whilst we already have Sancho, Amad and Pellistri instead of signing a much needed centre forward. This signing was a critical error for a number of reasons, showing that he's unable to walk away from a ridiculous, overpriced valuation.

- Failed to bring in any low value, high potential scout oriented signings.

- Due to his failing in the summer to sign a top striker, Weghorst is brought in to replace Ronaldo until the end of the season. A player that had already proved he wasn't up to standard after an awful season at Burnley. He goes on to become the worst striker at the club in a very long time, potentially ever.

- The first signing of the summer is a player that has just had the worst season of their career, for £55 million with a year left on his contract, £5 million more than a public take it or leave it offer. This again shows the inability to walk away from an overpriced valuation, setting the club up badly for future negotiations. The early signs show that Fernandes and Mount are completely incompatible in the same midfield as two 10s, something that was obvious to the average fan but not to the director of football. The player is currently injured to no surprise, the equivalent of throwing millions of the club's money into a hot fire, yet again.

- Failed to sell McTominay, after rejecting £30 million (!!) from West Ham, meaning we have no money for any more permanent signings.

- The end of the window beckons, realisation sinks in that Mount is not the no.6/no.8 we desperately needed and we end up paying double the original asking amount for the Amrabat loan, a player that still hasn't been integrated into our starting XI over a month into the season.

- Again, failed to bring in any low value, high potential scout oriented signings, whilst as always giving the manager an unhealthy amount of power in regards to recruitment.

- After a disastrous start to the season following all the predictable mistakes, fans are now turning on the manager.

I think it's time we recruit a better DoF..
 

Big Ben Foster

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He's the manager's personal assistant and chief of staff rather than his boss
 

cj_sparky

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Does he have any power?

Doesn't he have the same sort of standing in the structure as the manager? I'm sure I've seen a diagram with the hierarchy that show him on an equal line with Ole/ten Hag.
 

Revan

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Replacing him is an order of magnitude more important than replacing the manager. While I do not particularly have trust in EtH, there is some chance he might turn out to be good. There is more chance of Martial winning the Ballon D'Or than Murtough turning out to be a good DoF. He is and has always been the manager's personal little bitch.
 

luke511

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Does he have any power?

Doesn't he have the same sort of standing in the structure as the manager? I'm sure I've seen a diagram with the hierarchy that show him on an equal line with Ole/ten Hag.
He was in charge of hiring Rangnick and Ten Hag so I think he has. He’s just really bad at it.
 

Revan

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Does he have any power?

Doesn't he have the same sort of standing in the structure as the manager? I'm sure I've seen a diagram with the hierarchy that show him on an equal line with Ole/ten Hag.
That was before the latest reforms, but you are correct, under Woody, he was in the same hierarchical position as Ole.

Under Arnold, he is theoretically manager's boss and practically the manager's foot massager.
 

NotoriousISSY

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I remain convinced he has a job title but doesn't do the job and is another puppet put in place to appease fans, because they do think we're all thick as shit.

It's scandalous that a career sports scientist/director of development at youth level was put in post for the first iteration of DoF at United. It's either got to be a big name with solid United ties or a best in class person. I don't know what he's done in his career, but I know he meets neither criteria.
 

Tiber

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He is so utterly unqualified for the job that it feels unfair to expect much from him
 

Rampant Red Rodriguez

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Who do we replace him with the?. Wreck it Ralph won't return after how we treated him.

We need an actual experienced club building person to complement ETH, not some random person learning on the job to compliment him and offer nothing but his butt-cheeks.

Is there anyone from Brighton we can get?.
 

VP89

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Mistakes he's been directly involved in since becoming DoF:

- Renewed Mike Phelan's contract after the Solskjaer disasterclass in the Europa League final, first indication of his lack of awareness and foresight.

- Spent a large chunk of budget on Sancho, whilst we already had Greenwood, Amad and Pellistri as options for the right wing.

- Due to spending the money on Sancho he failed to bring in a much needed CDM to replace one of McFred as the deepest midfielder in the double pivot, after poor performances and heavy criticism the season prior. This left a huge hole in our midfield which led to a poor season overall.

- Failed to bring in a CDM in the January window to help Rangnick's problems in midfield after the Solskjaer sack.

- Spent a large % of the summer budget on another RW, Antony, whilst we already have Sancho, Amad and Pellistri instead of signing a much needed centre forward. This signing was a critical error for a number of reasons, showing that he's unable to walk away from a ridiculous, overpriced valuation.

- Failed to bring in any low value, high potential scout oriented signings.

- Due to his failing in the summer to sign a top striker, Weghorst is brought in to replace Ronaldo until the end of the season. A player that had already proved he wasn't up to standard after an awful season at Burnley. He goes on to become the worst striker at the club in a very long time, potentially ever.

- The first signing of the summer is a player that has just had the worst season of their career, for £55 million with a year left on his contract, £5 million more than a public take it or leave it offer. This again shows the inability to walk away from an overpriced valuation, setting the club up badly for future negotiations. The early signs show that Fernandes and Mount are completely incompatible in the same midfield as two 10s, something that was obvious to the average fan but not to the director of football. The player is currently injured to no surprise, the equivalent of throwing millions of the club's money into a hot fire, yet again.

- Failed to sell McTominay, after rejecting £30 million (!!) from West Ham, meaning we have no money for any more permanent signings.

- The end of the window beckons, realisation sinks in that Mount is not the no.6/no.8 we desperately needed and we end up paying double the original asking amount for the Amrabat loan, a player that still hasn't been integrated into our starting XI over a month into the season.

- Again, failed to bring in any low value, high potential scout oriented signings, whilst as always giving the manager an unhealthy amount of power in regards to recruitment.

- After a disastrous start to the season following all the predictable mistakes, fans are now turning on the manager.

I think it's time we recruit a better DoF..
You've named a lot of things that I actually think Ed Woodward did, not Murtough.

@Adnan has touched on this many times before
 

The Corinthian

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- has a difficult surname to pronounce (Murtoff? Murtow? get the feck out).
 

luke511

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You've named a lot of things that I actually think Ed Woodward did, not Murtough.

@Adnan has touched on this many times before
You can touch on it if you want? Even if the first half of that list isn’t on him, which I highly doubt as he was employed DoF March 2021, it’s still utterly dreadful.
 

Redstain

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Needs to happen way before even giving consideration to the manager.
 

Big Ben Foster

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Needs to happen way before even giving consideration to the manager.
Agreed. Replacing the manager first would just result in yet another manager-driven rebuild without any clear strategy or plan.
 

Telsim

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The Glazers aren't going to sack their man. He is in that position doing what he does because that's precisely what the owners want and consider acceptable. They put him there for this reason. Woodward would still be in charge if not for the ESL fallout, which is an event very unlikely to be repeated.

Chances are he will stay as long as his mentor than be sacked anytime soon. The one getting the sack will be Ten Hag.
 

Yakuza_devils

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He also appointed Rangnick as interim manager who is more suitable as DOF. And then, cancelled the consultancy or advisor roles to the DOF which he is actually very good at.
 

Yakuza_devils

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He needs to be sacked first before sacking the manager again. We need a top DOF to lead a proper rebuild. We are going nowhere for the last decade.
 

Roboc7

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You've named a lot of things that I actually think Ed Woodward did, not Murtough.

@Adnan has touched on this many times before
This is what Woodward said about Murtough when he was appointed:

“We have already made great strides forward in the way we run our football operations, and the benefits are visible in the resurgent pipeline of Academy talent reaching the first team and through our improved recruitment record. John has been integral to our progress in all these areas”.

That great progress was nonsense that only Ole faced consequences for. Everyone else disowned it and said they’d fix the shit shoe they helped create. We’ll never know who did or didn’t do what but Murtough is complicit and partially responsible for years of failure. He’s safe as houses in a job though because we can see from his travk record failure finest matter, if/when it falls apart under ETH, Arnold and Murtough will make their excuses and set about making a mess all over again.
 

The United

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He also appointed Rangnick as interim manager who is more suitable as DOF. And then, cancelled the consultancy or advisor roles to the DOF which he is actually very good at.
That was the most baffling decision that he has made so far. It definitely questioned his ability to see the bigger picture. It told us how far he was out of his league for this kind of job at a big club. I am not saying he can't improve, but would he become the level that we need at this club? So far, he has not been convincing.

Does he also deal with Women team too? We signed a few good players this year but losing Russo the way we did was ridiculous too.
 

RORY65

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He needs to be sacked first before sacking the manager again. We need a top DOF to lead a proper rebuild. We are going nowhere for the last decade.
This was the one where concerns really started to grow. I was really happy to have a director of football, even if it was just an internal promotion, to hopefully lead a serious football department. The first year when he had the role he still had to deal with Woodward being around which made his role harder so it was difficult to judge him or blame him for some of the errors made that summer (primarily bringing Ronaldo back) but once Arnold took over as chief executive it seemed like Murtough led the football operations.

He had brought Rangnick in, despite him not being a coach these days, because in the long run we were going to benefit from having a consultant with his expertise to assist. Then when it came to Rangnick becoming a consultant the club moved him on, so we put him in a role that didn't suit him and then got rid before he moved to the role that did suit him. It either indicated that Murtough lacked convictions in his decisions and was too subservient to the head coach, as has been the case, or he's just stupid. He's definitely the former, I don't know about the latter.
 

Plant0x84

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Yawn. You can put the best DOF in world football into OT and we will still flounder because of the restrictions placed by the owners. Nothing changes here until they are gone. Anything else is just sticking plasters.
 

Ubik

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That was the most baffling decision that he has made so far. It definitely questioned his ability to see the bigger picture. It told us how far he was out of his league for this kind of job at a big club. I am not saying he can't improve, but would he become the level that we need at this club? So far, he has not been convincing.

Does he also deal with Women team too? We signed a few good players this year but losing Russo the way we did was ridiculous too.
There's now a head of women's football (Polly Bancroft) but apparently organisationally it was pretty bad over the summer, as it was never clear who had actual authority.
 

tomaldinho1

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I do remember making the point when he was hired the club stressed his title wasn’t actually DoF and only ever referred to it as Football Director. I’m not sure if this continued to be the case but it looks very much like an appeasement hire when the clamour for a DoF was so strong at the time.
 

Telsim

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From now on whenever we change managers we should sack the DOF too. This way Woodward should of been sacked a long time ago.
We should be much more ruthless in these situations.
Nah, this isn't how it works. You can have a good structure and a competent DoF, and still have managers that fail for a myriad of reasons. Even in a good, efficient system you will have issues.

Right now, of course, we are the furthest thing from that. The way the club works now is the manager is the structure and he bears all responsibility, so that once the wheels fall off, which they inevitably will, the people above him stay nice and dry. And then the next manager comes. This is by design.
 

L1nk

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I honestly find it hard to really have a go at John Murtough. Imagine you are tasked with a job, but your bosses tie one hand behind your back, put a blindfold over your eyes and completely hamstring you, not to mention every decision you make they want to micromanage (which is what Joel Glazer does.)

How do you honestly expect anyone to work in that environment with any kind of normalcy. It's all the same mistakes over and over again since the Glazers started, Murtough is a person in a long list of people that are also victims of these parasites. Granted maybe the Glazers sell and Murtough is proven to be crap or chucked out, fair enough, I just cannot get on board with slagging off all these staff members when the common denominator throughout every shit transfer window - ever since they arrived - is the Glazers.
 

VP89

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This is what Woodward said about Murtough when he was appointed:

“We have already made great strides forward in the way we run our football operations, and the benefits are visible in the resurgent pipeline of Academy talent reaching the first team and through our improved recruitment record. John has been integral to our progress in all these areas”.

That great progress was nonsense that only Ole faced consequences for. Everyone else disowned it and said they’d fix the shit shoe they helped create. We’ll never know who did or didn’t do what but Murtough is complicit and partially responsible for years of failure. He’s safe as houses in a job though because we can see from his travk record failure finest matter, if/when it falls apart under ETH, Arnold and Murtough will make their excuses and set about making a mess all over again.
So you took some PR bullshit from Woodward of all people to try and guess Murtoughs actual worth?

Good move.
 

Roboc7

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So you took some PR bullshit from Woodward of all people to try and guess Murtoughs actual worth?

Good move.
No I’m just pointing out why he got the job which was all the work he did with Woodward in rebuilding our recruitment department and helping our “improved recruitment record”. It was widely reported to be the case at the time but people just pretend it wasn’t. They forget he got the job at a time when club thought things were going really well and he’d been integral to it.

Of course it was a load of shit, the recruitment department was and still isn’t fit for purpose and the wheels completely fell off but people ignore the fact Murtough was part of all that. The guy has been a huge failure and gets rewarded for it, just like Woodward.

This is what the club said about him;

“John will have overall leadership and responsibility for operations and strategy across all football functions, reinforcing the strong foundations already in place. This appointment builds on the work John has already undertaken in recent years, working closely with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the rest of the football staff to create the structures, processes and culture to deliver sustained success on the pitch. This has included successful overhauls of the club’s Academy and recruitment department”.

His actual worth is very clear, he’s complicit in failure both before and since Woodward left. The results of the structures, processes and culture he helped create speak for themselves.
 
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Big Ben Foster

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I honestly find it hard to really have a go at John Murtough. Imagine you are tasked with a job, but your bosses tie one hand behind your back, put a blindfold over your eyes and completely hamstring you, not to mention every decision you make they want to micromanage (which is what Joel Glazer does.)

How do you honestly expect anyone to work in that environment with any kind of normalcy. It's all the same mistakes over and over again since the Glazers started, Murtough is a person in a long list of people that are also victims of these parasites. Granted maybe the Glazers sell and Murtough is proven to be crap or chucked out, fair enough, I just cannot get on board with slagging off all these staff members when the common denominator throughout every shit transfer window - ever since they arrived - is the Glazers.
It's not one or the other though.

The Glazers are a massive problem - the biggest one, in fact. Their yes men are also a huge problem.
 

RedDevil@84

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He also appointed Rangnick as interim manager who is more suitable as DOF. And then, cancelled the consultancy or advisor roles to the DOF which he is actually very good at.
I think that the plan did not materialize because Rangnick saw that his suggestions (whether right or wrong) will not get implemented by Murtough. So he wanted an out.
 

luke511

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I honestly find it hard to really have a go at John Murtough. Imagine you are tasked with a job, but your bosses tie one hand behind your back, put a blindfold over your eyes and completely hamstring you, not to mention every decision you make they want to micromanage (which is what Joel Glazer does.)

How do you honestly expect anyone to work in that environment with any kind of normalcy. It's all the same mistakes over and over again since the Glazers started, Murtough is a person in a long list of people that are also victims of these parasites. Granted maybe the Glazers sell and Murtough is proven to be crap or chucked out, fair enough, I just cannot get on board with slagging off all these staff members when the common denominator throughout every shit transfer window - ever since they arrived - is the Glazers.
The Glazers set the budget and let the likes of Murtough do what they want with it. It's how that money has been spent is where we've failed the most. It's a complete lack of accountability pushing the entire blame onto them, they're a huge problem and need to go, but their biggest failing is who they have in charge of spending that money, which falls on the DoF and Arnold. We could hound Arnold out too but he oversees Murtough's lead in regards to football related recruitment, which has been the club's biggest failing. So here we are, if Murtough isn't gone soon then the fans will then go after Arnold for not doing the right thing.
 

gaffs

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I honestly find it hard to really have a go at John Murtough. Imagine you are tasked with a job, but your bosses tie one hand behind your back, put a blindfold over your eyes and completely hamstring you, not to mention every decision you make they want to micromanage (which is what Joel Glazer does.)

How do you honestly expect anyone to work in that environment with any kind of normalcy. It's all the same mistakes over and over again since the Glazers started, Murtough is a person in a long list of people that are also victims of these parasites. Granted maybe the Glazers sell and Murtough is proven to be crap or chucked out, fair enough, I just cannot get on board with slagging off all these staff members when the common denominator throughout every shit transfer window - ever since they arrived - is the Glazers.
Have The Glazers done that though?

For me, the biggest Glazer sin is employing inept people like Murtough who doesnt seem to have any control of first team affairs. He has turned over control to Ten Hag.

The director of football should be the one that sets the agenda for the footballing side of the club, be it the style of football or transfer strategies. The manager and players then fit into that ethos.

Ours changes with every manager and when Ten Hag leaves, we will be back to square one. We may even be in a worse position as the next manager wont want his Dutch league players.