Monchi - "I cannot believe Manchester United do not have a Sporting Director."

Hoof the ball

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Unfortunately, the entire article is hidden behind the paywall, so, if anyone does have access to the rest I'd appreciate summarising if there's anything more to his comments.

As one of the biggest reasons for Man United’s poor transfer windows, Monchi still can’t understand the decision made by Ed Woodward.
Man United’s Ed Woodward made a very specific decision a few years back that Monchi still can’t seem to understand. The Sevilla sporting director has been one of the most important figures in his club’s history due to the impressive job he’s done so far.

This is a man who takes a long time to select only the best transfers for the Andalucian club and eventually makes the decision to sign them. A job that some of the biggest clubs have completely forgotten about in recent years. Manchester United is amongst that list of institutions that don’t seem to like having a sporting director calling the transfer decisions.

This trend has been one of the most problematic aspects of several clubs in recent years but they still don’t seem to like the role. Monchi is the best example of how a sporting director’s role can be crucial to a club’s success.


Woodward had a chance in May.
There was a moment at Manchester United during the month of May, when Ed Woodward came close to signing a sporting director. The options were Gary Neville or Rio Ferdinand. However, the decision to not hire any of them means that Ed wanted full control of the decision-making process.

Monchi spoke to The Guardian to explain why this is difficult to understand: “What is the main function? To dedicate the time to everything that relates to a sports level. Where 60-70 percent of the budget is allocated to the first team, if you don’t have a specialist who deals with that, it is very difficult to understand.

“I do understand there are very successful clubs – Manchester United are probably one of the top five in the world, but they do not have that specific position – but I think that clubs more and more are aware that they really need this position and also we are the connection between the technical staff, the squad, the board, we know the market, we get lots of information through the different scouts.

“So, for me, I can’t believe a club does not have this particular position. Logically, I have to believe in it because that’s what I do. But I do think it’s essential.”
 

Red Stone

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Seems like the entire world is suddenly waking up to the fact that we're terribly run. We've been getting a lot of critical press lately.

I'm not going to lie. I like it.
 

Santoryo

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Oh look another United is pathetic thread. We also didn't have a director of football when we were winning league titles after league titles. These opportunistic and vulture like opinions about United being throw around is hilarious to me.
 

Ali Dia

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Just hand over the transfers and contracts to someone classy and capable with a good track record in transfers and identifying talent. The glazers can market the shit out of the club and earn more for doing less if they’d just let go of some power to the right people. With our budget it should be possible to be at least competitive every year and have 2 good players in each position.
 

Josep Dowling

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Seems like the entire world is suddenly waking up to the fact that we're terribly run. We've been getting a lot of critical press lately.

I'm not going to lie. I like it.
I think what’s laughable is RedCafe has been full of this stuff since Moyes’ first season. Why has it taken the media 7 years for them to realise how badly we are run and actually report it?
 

Bastian

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Seems like the entire world is suddenly waking up to the fact that we're terribly run. We've been getting a lot of critical press lately.

I'm not going to lie. I like it.
I love it. Whatever helps in the process of them being forced to professionalise or feck off.

Whenever we sign a new manager, I want them to be ambitious to a fault. If they find the club is not ambitious enough, that they voice that. Same with players (don't have a problem with that aspect of Pogba's discontent here, or Rooney's for that matter either). Otherwise it's pointless. And ambition does not simply mean spend, but much rather the determination to have the best people in every important role.
 

711

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The writer of this piece seriously claims that United nearly appointed Rio Ferdinand as Director of Football on May. What bollocks. And I don't care how many stories in the Sun or whatever said the same, it's still bollocks.
 

sammsky1

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My issue with DoF is if they are meant to provide longevity and continuity when managers change, but what happens when they change?
All you end up doing is kicking the can higher up.

What is the average or median length of service of DoFs at Europe's top 20 clubs?
 
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crossy1686

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The writer of this piece seriously claims that United nearly appointed Rio Ferdinand as Director of Football on May. What bollocks. And I don't care how many stories in the Sun or whatever said the same, it's still bollocks.
I think it's been stated that if we were to hire a DOF they wouldn't be inline with real DOF duties anyway, they'd just be an ambassador who works on getting players signed up before the negotiations start. Big fat fecking waste of time anyway, which is why Rio was touted.
 

Ali Dia

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My only issue with DoF is they are meant to provide longevity and continuity when managers change, but what happens when they change? All you are doing is kicking the can higher up.

What is the average or median length of service of DoFs at Europes top 20 clubs?
I wonder about this too. I also worry that if the decision is left to Ed or the Glazers that’ll they’ll mess it up and hire the wrong person and that could set us even further back. We basically need someone with a proven track record for our first appointment and give it 5 years....
 

Santoryo

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All these people now talking crap about United and parroting their negative opinions about us are just playing to the current narrative. They know loads of naive United "fans" are just starving to be fed negative news so they can wallow in self pity and moan about their own club for the world to watch and laugh at them while pretending that they feel sorry for them.

Worst part is all these United fans brining up the likes of Monchi and other opportunistic assholes who themselves have histories of failings and bad dealing to try to pile on the self loathing and pity. It's pathetic.
 

Tyrion

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Seems like the entire world is suddenly waking up to the fact that we're terribly run. We've been getting a lot of critical press lately.

I'm not going to lie. I like it.
Exactly. The more crap they get for it, the better the chance they are shamed into the right decision.

Oh look another United is pathetic thread. We also didn't have a director of football when we were winning league titles after league titles. These opportunistic and vulture like opinions about United being throw around is hilarious to me.
Football has changed and besides, we had SAF.
 

sammsky1

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I wonder about this too. I also worry that if the decision is left to Ed or the Glazers that’ll they’ll mess it up and hire the wrong person and that could set us even further back. We basically need someone with a proven track record for our first appointment and give it 5 years....
Indeed! Who chooses our DoF given we don't trust Woody or the Glazers with anything football related!
 

Santoryo

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Feck off Monchi, how did those Roma signings work out for you? Worry about your own club and your own job.
Exactly. Unfortunately people don't see that, they see this as another chance to crap on the club, so they collectively pretend that they're quoting a wise individual so they can embark in their self pity journey together. Sad.
 

Tyrion

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My issue with DoF is if they are meant to provide longevity and continuity when managers change, but what happens when they change?
All you end up doing is kicking the can higher up.

What is the average or median length of service of DoFs at Europe's top 20 clubs?
I guess the idea is that this way, you can avoid all of the football expertise leaving at the same time. That and someone who understands the sport will be appointing managers.
 

Bastian

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All these people now talking crap about United and parroting their negative opinions about us are just playing to the current narrative. They know loads of naive United "fans" are just starving to be fed negative news so they can wallow in self pity and moan about their own club for the world to watch and laugh at them while pretending that they feel sorry for them.

Worst part is all these United fans brining up the likes of Monchi and other opportunistic assholes who themselves have histories of failings and bad dealing to try to pile on the self loathing and pity. It's pathetic.
1. If all these people knew United fans are starving for negative news why hasn't this been going on for years? Sure, there's a negative piece here and there, but not really people in the game as such coming out with direct quotes. This is a culmination of running the club in an excruciatingly terrible way.

2. That people who criticise Untied do not have a flawless record is the way of the world. If you can only criticise from a great height we can all just pack up and go home now.

Now we got that out of the way, we can look at the substance of what was said. And what was said is that it beggars belief that people who know how these things work, are not the people who work on these things at United. The square peg round hole team we've had for years takes after its corporate leadership.

Exactly. Unfortunately people don't see that, they see this as another chance to crap on the club, so they collectively pretend that they're quoting a wise individual so they can embark in their self pity journey together. Sad.
If anyone is crapping on the club it is the owners who have done nothing but desecrate the club.
 

sammsky1

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I guess the idea is that this way, you can avoid all of the football expertise leaving at the same time. That and someone who understands the sport will be appointing managers.
It seems that Barcelona always have someone steeped in Cruyff values and Ajax or Munich always have storied ex players involved.

Our most visionary decision should have been to ask SAF to be DoF straight after leaving with Pochintino as his first appointment. They both famously had lunch days before his retirement. Whether some of our modern hipster fans like it or not, Manchester United is built on the myth of Busby, recreated by Ferguson. If we appoint a DoF he should always have Fergusonian values.

OGS would be a perfect candidate now he also has experience of being manager on top of his playing experience. He's many new contacts at the top shelf of football bureaucracy and been able to analyse many potential players. We could also assume that he would stick around for a while, or until he was asked to step down. If he then decided to appoint someone like Nagelsmann, then the entire fan base would go with it.

I hope this is eventually what happens.
 
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POF

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It is absolutely ridiculous that United don't have such a position. Whatever the title, you need someone who can find value in the market and has contacts who can make deals happen. That is for both in transfers in and out.

United's transfer strategy seems to be to find a player who is at their highest possible value and pay through the nose for them.

You can't criticise the club for the money they have invested in the transfer market but you can criticise them for how poorly it's been invested.

Under LVG and Jose, the strategy seemed to be that the manager gave the club a list of players/positions that he wanted just before the window opened. That is comically bad.
 

Zlatan 7

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It seems that Barcelona always have someone steeped in Cruyff values and Ajax or Munich always have storied ex players involved.

Our most visionary decision should have been to ask SAF to be DoF straight after leaving with Pochintino as his first appointment. They both famously had such days before his retirements. Whether someone of our modern hipster fans like it or not, Manchester United is built on the myth of Busby, recreated by Ferguson. If we appoint a DoF he should always have Fergusonian values.

OGS would be a perfect candidate now he also has experience of being manager on top of his playing experience. He's many new contacts at the top shelf of football bureaucracy and been able to analyse many potential players. We could also assume that he would stick around for a while, or until he was asked to step don. If he then decided to appoint someone like Nagelsmann, then the entire fan base would go with it.

I hope this is eventually what happens.
That’s amazing :lol: :)
 

mu4c_20le

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Bit rich coming from him tbh. This is the guy who got turned down by Arsenal and had to go crawling back home after his Roma stint.
 

Bondi77

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Another clown having something to say about our club...Next!
 

hobbers

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If the options were Neville or Rio then there actually weren't any options :lol:

I love them both but come the feck on. What fecking half wit would appoint either of them sporting director? Neville the pundit who was a terrible manager and who has no connections, or Rio the pundit who has zero experience and no connections? Hell why not throw Evra, Fletcher and Ole into the mix and have all five of them play at being sporting directors. We could assemble a whole band of clueless DOFs and turn the club into a proper circus, not just figuratively but literally.

If we're going to ever have a DOF it's not going to be someone who hasn't got a fecking clue about the job. The only ex player it ever has a chance of being is VDS.
 

Jibbs

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All these ex united players like Neville, Rio and Evra are salivating at the chance to become Sporting Director or DoF since Ole has became manager. It is better that Woodward has kept it with himself. A fat paycheck is all they are after. But I sincerely hope United appoint an experienced SD or DoF like Bertra or Monchi soon.
 

flappyjay

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But I sincerely hope United appoint an experienced SD or DoF like Bertra or Monchi soon.
If we end up getting a dof it should be an already experienced guy. The only ex player I would want is VDS.
 

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My issue with DoF is if they are meant to provide longevity and continuity when managers change, but what happens when they change?
All you end up doing is kicking the can higher up.

What is the average or median length of service of DoFs at Europe's top 20 clubs?
Continuity isn’t just about the person though. It’s about ensuring a strategy and systems that remain the same irrespective of whoever is in the key football positions. Different DoFs will have different ways of doing that, but provided they are recruited based on those club’s values and its vision of where it wants to go, you’ll get that continuity and smoother transition when there are big changes.
 

gajender

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Same here. VDS looks like a knowledgable person who can be trusted.
Only problem is VDS has never held the position of DOF and has no expertise and why would he be interested in a lesser position of DOF at Man Utd when he is the CEO of Ajax.
 

Zlatattack

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Oh look another United is pathetic thread. We also didn't have a director of football when we were winning league titles after league titles. These opportunistic and vulture like opinions about United being throw around is hilarious to me.
How many figures in football have done what Sir Alex did? Think about how often that can be repeated.
 

Invictus

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If we end up getting a dof it should be an already experienced guy. The only ex player I would want is VDS.
van der Sar is the Chief Executive of Ajax, though — Overmars is the one who is primarily involved with the club's sporting side (particularly the scouting staff).



Edwin might be able do the job of a stereotypical Director of Football given his overall footballing background and brief flirtation with the idea of becoming a coach, but most of his education and experience pertains to marketing and corporate decision-making — so he would be more of an Ed Woodward replacement! :)
All these ex united players like Neville, Rio and Evra are salivating at the chance to become Sporting Director or DoF since Ole has became manager. It is better that Woodward has kept it with himself. A fat paycheck is all they are after. But I sincerely hope United appoint an experienced SD or DoF like Bertra or Monchi soon.
Monchi is an interesting one because while he has top-notch credentials at face value, he is very much a big fish in a small-ish pond and an expert at sniffing out bargains while operating on a somewhat minimalistic budget to build a squad that typically lags behind Madrid/Barcelona/Atlético — we don't know how he will react to a massive organisation like United with presumably grander ambitions, especially considering he has limited himself to the familiar environs of Sevilla for the best part of 2 decades and didn't excel as the Sporting Director of Roma from 2017-19 when he did decide to venture out. A lot of coaches and administrators with his profile tend to struggle when taken out of their comfort zones, so there's reason to be slightly wary.

Ideally, we would have better decision-makers at the highest levels (i.e. the boardroom) and then a Director of Football who is adapted to United's need and wants, rather than someone who would try to reinvent the wheel or needlessly disrupt whatever rhythm we've managed to build. Bayern are quite like that — a club with big egos and some power struggles in certain decision-making positions, but a robust upper structure with a chain of continuity established by ex-players, which is why their unabated success comes and no surprise — despite appointing 8 managers or caretakers in less than a decade following van Gaal's ousting and transitioning from Nerlinger to Sammer to Salihamidzić in the Sporting Director department.
 

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Monchi's spot on. For those criticising him, he was only asked to provide his opinion - it's the media that use it as part of the anti-United narrative. For an expert in his area - with a proven track record on the whole, let's face it - to make such a claim is something that the club should be taking on board. With that being said, of course he'll justify this role because he probably wants to see others in his position get jobs and prosper.