John Murtough Sack Watch

astracrazy

Full Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Messages
1,604

Crimson King

Full Member
Joined
May 11, 2013
Messages
3,441
Is that actually true? We got nervous, offered him a significant role and tied him down for fear he’d go to Inter Miami, as opposed to Inter Milan? :lol:
Laurie Whitwell explained it like that in an article a while ago on the Athletic, and on a podcast as well. He's normally pretty good with that sort of internal stuff.

I think Woodward heavily relied on Murtough for all sorts of admin reasons in those early years because he knew feck all about running a football club, whereas Murtough had worked within clubs for a long time before he came to United.

As others have already pointed out, he did do a lot of good work with the academy restructuring. I think he was behind bringing in Cox as academy director, which also led to a huge falling out with Nicky Butt. Not necessarily because Butt felt like he was more suited for the role, but because I don't think they were as transparent as they should have been and he felt forced out, whereas there probably was a place for him working with Cox.

It's ironic that he brought in Cox, who was well regarded as an academy manager from his time at Watford and Sheffield United, and didn't promote Butt because it wasn't his area of expertise, but was then promoted to a role he didn't have any experience in over other more suitable candidates, including the (supposedly) incoming Ashworth.
 

Infra-red

Full Member
Joined
May 4, 2010
Messages
13,675
Location
left wing
He can't really have any complaints. £518m spent in the transfer market since he became DOF in 2021 - the squad is no better than when he found it. Of his two managerial appointments, Rangnick was a disaster and EtH looks set to be fired this summer after the worst season the club has endured in decades. Overall, a terrible record and legacy for Murtough.
 

devilish

Juventus fan who used to support United
Joined
Sep 5, 2002
Messages
62,211
So business as usual then?
Not really no.

I was against Murtough not because he's British as some people suggested but because he lacked experience in the role of sporting director which in itself is a very senior position. In fact I had no problems with him being given an academy role something he did fairly well in.

If you consider the football side as an orchestra then the sporting director is pretty much the conductor. His job is to make sure that each division is working efficiently, it shares the same goals and to offer his expertise in different sectors at different times. Thus a sporting director would keep very close tabs to the academy, the fitness team and the first team throughout the season. That allows him to get his hands blooded during transfers challenging stakeholders as of why player A is given a contract extension on a high salary, why we need player B when there's a kid in the academy whose doing so well and why on earth is player C kept to rot in the academy rather then loaned when he's got great potential but still lack that experience needed to be trusted by the head coach.

Brailsford is a sports person. SJR describes him as the closest person there is to him on the sports side. However he's got no experience in football. There are certain elements of his philosophy that can work in football like the marginal gains philosophy but that doesn't makes him well versed into football and that became obvious when he and his mate Moody took over Nice's transfer window of 2022-2023 and made an utter mess out of it. Blanc is a genius financial wise. What he did at Juventus defied logic. He was able to maintain the backbone of a Serie A winning side, he fount money to build a stadium while concurrently navigating at Serie B level were prize money is basically a fun size packet of chocolate bars and 2 Guinness. That earned him the role of Chairman, a role that is usually covered by an Agnelli/their consiglieres (ex Grande Stevens) and absolute legends (Boniperti). However it was during his greatest hour were his limitations were exposed ie he wasn't very good on the football side. Blanc was completely blindsided by his DOF and the fitness people. His lack of football experience meant that he kept relying on them despite not being good enough.

So we have two people who have less football experience then Murtough leading our summer transfer strategy. We all know that from an FFP POV there's really little room to get things wrong and that we must make every cent count. That's quite concerning.
 

golden_blunder

Site admin. Manchester United fan
Staff
Joined
Jun 1, 2000
Messages
121,791
Location
Dublin, Ireland
Regardless of how well he did or didn’t do at DoF level, we should give him credit for his restructuring of the academy, we truly have a better setup there now and it is starting to pay off
 

bludsucker

Full Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2014
Messages
788
Regardless of how well he did or didn’t do at DoF level, we should give him credit for his restructuring of the academy, we truly have a better setup there now and it is starting to pay off
He did. The results seem to evident by the amount of talent we have in our academy. So many players coming through. The likes of Amass and the fletcher twins, and the highly versatile leftback and winger (Mantato?). I am forgetting the name.
 

SalfordRed18

Netflix and avocado, no chill
Joined
Sep 24, 2012
Messages
14,352
Location
Salford
Supports
Ashwood City FC
The guy was useless so probably wouldn't make much difference.



Fergie advised Arnold to make a move for Ashworth instead. We have now got rid of Murtough for Ashworth =
Why? It's the complete opposite by all accounts and ineos were looking to keep him on in some capacity. Wouldn't do that if he was useless.
 

SalfordRed18

Netflix and avocado, no chill
Joined
Sep 24, 2012
Messages
14,352
Location
Salford
Supports
Ashwood City FC
He can't really have any complaints. £518m spent in the transfer market since he became DOF in 2021 - the squad is no better than when he found it. Of his two managerial appointments, Rangnick was a disaster and EtH looks set to be fired this summer after the worst season the club has endured in decades. Overall, a terrible record and legacy for Murtough.
Under what metric?
 

MadDogg

Full Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
16,200
Location
Manchester Utd never lose, just run out of time
Under what metric?
I mean, it's certainly got a claim on it. We're on track to finish on 60 points with a negative goal difference, finishing bottom of the CL group, with the one positive of getting to at least the semi of the FA Cup. The other option is 21/22 where we finished on 58 points with a goal difference of zero, and won our CL group stage but lost to Atletico in the round of 16, and lost in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

We got 64 points in Moyes season, and 66 points in both LVG and Mourinho's last seasons (all with a comfortably positive goal difference), and did better in the Champions League in all of them.

Obviously we might have a good finish to the season and move clear of 21/22, but it might go the other way and actually become clearly worse. It's pretty damning that it's currently about the same level.
 

Infra-red

Full Member
Joined
May 4, 2010
Messages
13,675
Location
left wing
Under what metric?
I mean, it's certainly got a claim on it. We're on track to finish on 60 points with a negative goal difference, finishing bottom of the CL group, with the one positive of getting to at least the semi of the FA Cup. The other option is 21/22 where we finished on 58 points with a goal difference of zero, and won our CL group stage but lost to Atletico in the round of 16, and lost in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

We got 64 points in Moyes season, and 66 points in both LVG and Mourinho's last seasons (all with a comfortably positive goal difference), and did better in the Champions League in all of them.

Obviously we might have a good finish to the season and move clear of 21/22, but it might go the other way and actually become clearly worse. It's pretty damning that it's currently about the same level.
Indeed. We've really lost a lot of games, too. In fact, it's already the most defeats in all competitions since 1989/90 and the most pre-Christmas defeats since 1930, too. One more league defeat will break United's defeats record for the Premier League era. We need to avoid conceding 12 or more goals in the remaining 7 games, otherwise we break that Premier League era record, too.
 

Roboc7

Full Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2014
Messages
6,785
Why? It's the complete opposite by all accounts and ineos were looking to keep him on in some capacity. Wouldn't do that if he was useless.
He’s been let go despite club approaching key time for transfers with no senior staff in place, that tells you all you need to know about what INEOS really of think him. He’s been a disaster as DOF and it’s no surprise INEOS have got him out the door.
 

Ali Dia

Full Member
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
14,708
Location
Souness's Super Sub/George Weahs Talented Cousin
He’s been let go despite club approaching key time for transfers with no senior staff in place, that tells you all you need to know about what INEOS really of think him. He’s been a disaster as DOF and it’s no surprise INEOS have got him out the door.
He resigned instead of taking a lesser position/role. INEOS are supposedly impressed with him and would have had him stay. It’s also been stated that he thinks the new setup should have a clear run at it with fresh eyes which makes total sense. He’s not this tit everyone is making him out to be. The glazers were the people he was strategising with. Impossible job.
 

Rightnr

Wants players fined for winning away.
Joined
Jan 25, 2015
Messages
14,768
He resigned instead of taking a lesser position/role. INEOS are supposedly impressed with him and would have had him stay. It’s also been stated that he thinks the new setup should have a clear run at it with fresh eyes which makes total sense. He’s not this tit everyone is making him out to be. The glazers were the people he was strategising with. Impossible job.
Man, I reckon some of you must overstay your welcome as guests by about 2 nights each time you go for dinner with relatives.

That's how well you're reading in between the lines here.
 

Roboc7

Full Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2014
Messages
6,785
He resigned instead of taking a lesser position/role. INEOS are supposedly impressed with him and would have had him stay. It’s also been stated that he thinks the new setup should have a clear run at it with fresh eyes which makes total sense. He’s not this tit everyone is making him out to be. The glazers were the people he was strategising with. Impossible job.
Yeah according to the PR puff pieces they are really impressed with him and he’s a great guy, fresh eyes etc. In reality they very quickly replaced him and now he’s left by mutual consent, which more often than not is a nice way of saying you’re fired. He made a career out of strategising with Woodward and the Glazers, as we’ve seen people with more ambition ditched him straight away.
 

Ali Dia

Full Member
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
14,708
Location
Souness's Super Sub/George Weahs Talented Cousin
Yeah according to the PR puff pieces they are really impressed with him and he’s a great guy, fresh eyes et. In reality they very quickly replaced him and now he’s left by mutual consent, which more often than not is a nice way of saying you’re fired. He made a career out of strategising with Woodward and the Glazers, as we’ve seen people with more ambition ditched him straight away.
Who else was there to help him or warn him etc? If INEOS have shown us anything is it that Murtough was actually trying to do the work of 3 or 4 specialist hires. Despite that he still wasn’t ever going to say no to a huge promotion even if he was never a DOF before. You don’t turn down that job at Utd even if in reality you’re just another buffer between the glazers and the manager and the fans. Just another lazy half hearted hire by people who don’t know football and had not built trust or relationships with anyone else in the game. Add to that they probably didn’t want to give power away when they didn’t have a clue who to and it created a power vacuum. It’s the glazers behind all this. They set everybody at the club up to fail. Even their so called puppets
 
Last edited:

Max_United

Full Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2013
Messages
273
Very disappointed, knee-jerk decision after only 3 years in current role. He was working under a bad structure and never had a chance to realize his grand vision. He was successful in all his previous roles. The road was always going to be up and down.

Not only had he operate under clueless owners, the manager and players have been letting him down - but they are getting free pass again.

He should have been given an opportunity to work under world-class owners with top manager, technical director, recruitment team and top players - and only then he should have been judged.
 

mu4c_20le

Full Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Messages
45,564
Very disappointed, knee-jerk decision after only 3 years in current role. He was working under a bad structure and never had a chance to realize his grand vision. He was successful in all his previous roles. The road was always going to be up and down.

Not only had he operate under clueless owners, the manager and players have been letting him down - but they are getting free pass again.

He should have been given an opportunity to work under world-class owners with top manager, technical director, recruitment team and top players - and only then he should have been judged.
Exactly! He's off to Inter now, will probably turn them into champions..
 

Roboc7

Full Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2014
Messages
6,785
Who else was there to help him or warn him etc? If INEOS have shown us anything is it that Murtough was actually trying to do the work of 3 or 4 specialist hires. Despite that he still wasn’t ever going to say no to a huge promotion even if he was never a DOF before. You don’t turn down that job at Utd even if in reality you’re just another buffer between the glazers and the manager and the fans. Just another lazy half hearted hire by people who don’t know football and had not built trust or relationships with anyone else in the game. Add to that they probably didn’t want to give power away when they didn’t have a clue who to and it created a power vacuum. It’s the glazers behind all this. They set everybody at the club up to fail. Even their so called puppets
Why would he need anyone to warn him, he worked at the club for years, let’s not make him out to be hard done by. He took the job knowing what it was and who he worked for and the reality is the best people do turn down jobs and/or walk away from them if they are meaningless roles or don’t give them any power.. That’s the difference between likes of Murtough and a proper DOF.

Like I said he thrived and wanted to work in that environment, if he didn’t he would have gone before INEOS arrived. He rode the gravy train and now it’s time to pay the price and move on.
 

Moriarty

Full Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Messages
19,295
Location
Reichenbach Falls
I think they will because the first season was decent, he was the overwhelming candidate at the time and all the other stuff that’s happened since that has been out of his and the other players hands. Perfect storm
Yep, all of that too. The upheaval upstairs did nobody any credit. INEOS will want to see how he performs under Wilcox and Ashworth. Personally, despite the shitshow this season, ETH has shown a willingness to play academy players and that's a big plus in my book.
 

Ali Dia

Full Member
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
14,708
Location
Souness's Super Sub/George Weahs Talented Cousin
Yep, all of that too. The upheaval upstairs did nobody any credit. INEOS will want to see how he performs under Wilcox and Ashworth. Personally, despite the shitshow this season, ETH has shown a willingness to play academy players and that's a big plus in my book.
Yes I agree with all. I hope we get some more youngsters this summer and ETH develops them the same way he has with Mainoo and Garnacho
 

E-mal

Full Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2017
Messages
4,113
Yes I agree with all. I hope we get some more youngsters this summer and ETH develops them the same way he has with Mainoo and Garnacho
You don’t want this fellow developing youth players with the open non-tactical football he plays. It is obvious to everyone we are poorly coached and you think this guy can fix it and want young players developing under a manager that has no respect for the ball?
 

Ali Dia

Full Member
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
14,708
Location
Souness's Super Sub/George Weahs Talented Cousin
You don’t want this fellow developing youth players with the open non-tactical football he plays. It is obvious to everyone we are poorly coached and you think this guy can fix it and want young players developing under a manager that has no respect for the ball?
Yeah! I think our young players are doing really well. Mainoo and Garnacho can hopefully be part of a new wave of harder pressing more football focused Utd players. They are all passionate about improving at the club at least which is more than I can say for a lot of our established pros.

As a fanbase we haven’t had a chance to feel close to enough of the players (and greenwood stings) but I bet if you asked either player or Rasmus or Big Willy K they will all say they are loving the trust and the experience and the management. You’d run through walls for the man who gave you your start and they will be better next season for it.

If we build a better defence and midfield to help us aggressively win the ball back as high up as possible and athletic enough to cover the space behind we will dominate games in the way we’ve wanted all along. We will stop conceding so many chances while playing on the front foot. I genuinely think we will be top 4 again with a few small tweaks in recruitment and then we can take the next steps once we are stabilised.
 

spwd

likes: servals, breasts, rylan clark and zooey
Joined
Aug 11, 2010
Messages
8,985
Location
Lyecestershyre
Very disappointed, knee-jerk decision after only 3 years in current role. He was working under a bad structure and never had a chance to realize his grand vision. He was successful in all his previous roles. The road was always going to be up and down.

Not only had he operate under clueless owners, the manager and players have been letting him down - but they are getting free pass again.

He should have been given an opportunity to work under world-class owners with top manager, technical director, recruitment team and top players - and only then he should have been judged.
Well said. :lol:
 

astracrazy

Full Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Messages
1,604
Why? It's the complete opposite by all accounts and ineos were looking to keep him on in some capacity. Wouldn't do that if he was useless.
i.e demoted

Doesn't exactly mean you were good at the job you were doing does it. He was good at lower levels, true, hence why Ineos wanted to put him back there but not as DOF.
 

SalfordRed18

Netflix and avocado, no chill
Joined
Sep 24, 2012
Messages
14,352
Location
Salford
Supports
Ashwood City FC
i.e demoted

Doesn't exactly mean you were good at the job you were doing does it. He was good at lower levels, true, hence why Ineos wanted to put him back there but not as DOF.
So not useless then?
 

golden_blunder

Site admin. Manchester United fan
Staff
Joined
Jun 1, 2000
Messages
121,791
Location
Dublin, Ireland
Who else was there to help him or warn him etc? If INEOS have shown us anything is it that Murtough was actually trying to do the work of 3 or 4 specialist hires. Despite that he still wasn’t ever going to say no to a huge promotion even if he was never a DOF before. You don’t turn down that job at Utd even if in reality you’re just another buffer between the glazers and the manager and the fans. Just another lazy half hearted hire by people who don’t know football and had not built trust or relationships with anyone else in the game. Add to that they probably didn’t want to give power away when they didn’t have a clue who to and it created a power vacuum. It’s the glazers behind all this. They set everybody at the club up to fail. Even their so called puppets
That’s a fair point, he’s been doing the jobs of 3-4 people if INEOS recruitment is anything to go by. I have some sympathy with him for that because I’m in the same position. It’s impossible to get everything done on time.

anyway good luck to him, and thanks for the academy restructuring. It’s starting to bear fruit.

im happy with the replacement Ashworth, best we could get and I would argue one of the leading experts at that level
 

Dan_F

Full Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2012
Messages
10,779
The anecdote on the recent talk of the devils podcast was hilarious. Mitten spent four hours with him at the cliff and in that time, a player’s family called him to ask how to work the patio windows in their house.
 

Plant0x84

Shame we’re aren’t more like Brighton
Joined
Jun 23, 2020
Messages
14,195
Location
Carpark and snack area adjacent to the abyss
The anecdote on the recent talk of the devils podcast was hilarious. Mitten spent four hours with him at the cliff and in that time, a player’s family called him to ask how to work the patio windows in their house.
It was a very interesting discussion, and highlighted that while he wasn’t experienced or suited to the FD role, he actually did a lot of good for the club in previous roles and the youth system will be his defining legacy. It was also an interesting point that he built his network from scratch, where as established DoFs have years of contacts built up already.

You can understand why stuff took so long and why the club is rinsed time and time again. Not necessarily a poor operator, just someone out of his depth. That’s on the owners and CEO at the time.

All this ‘good riddance’ and ‘useless’ talk is harsh in the extreme and quite unnecessary. The bloke did his best, wasn’t good enough and can move on with our best wishes.
 

roseguy64

Full Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Messages
12,666
Location
Jamaica
It was a very interesting discussion, and highlighted that while he wasn’t experienced or suited to the FD role, he actually did a lot of good for the club in previous roles and the youth system will be his defining legacy. It was also an interesting point that he built his network from scratch, where as established DoFs have years of contacts built up already.

You can understand why stuff took so long and why the club is rinsed time and time again. Not necessarily a poor operator, just someone out of his depth. That’s on the owners and CEO at the time.

All this ‘good riddance’ and ‘useless’ talk is harsh in the extreme and quite unnecessary. The bloke did his best, wasn’t good enough and can move on with our best wishes.
People will be one track minded on things like this and have no room for nuance. Gotta just ignore it.
 

The United

Full Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2015
Messages
5,849
He might have been very good at what he did before he became DOF, or whatever his last position was. His time here will mostly be remembered by installing a dude who had been lacking any recent experience with managing as an interim and giving him some vague positions for the next two years. Then the guy talked shit about the club in every press before having to leave in an unconventional manner. The sign was there that he may not be competent at this level.

Of course there were some awful signings, but then again, we have been doing that for a decade at least. So it is not exactly his fault. He was just not someone who could elevate us out of it.