Why is our Transfer Recruitment / Scouting so bad?

Paul778

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Honestly I haven't got a clue beyond the standard reply of "the Glazers"

It's been 10 years of bad recruitment and we're seeing the same old shit now. We're at the end of the transfer window desperately scrambling around trying to find some cheap cast offs to bolster a mediocre squad that is in desperate need of real quality
On the incoming side we've been overpaying clubs and players for the past 10 years because we don't win things any more.

On the outgoing side noone wants to leave because they have such a sweet deal here that they'll never get elsewhere, so either we need to pay them extra to leave (subsidise wages, golden feck offs, etc) or they run down contracts and leave on a free, or they are so bad noone wants them anyway.

From a FFP perspective buying high with no resale is not sustainable and it seems this is where we are now. Woodward has done us up a kipper.
 

UpWithRivers

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I'm beginning to think its a conspiracy. It makes no sense whatsoever. Sure you can throw out the usual Glaziers, too high wages etc which is part of it sure but it doesnt account for all of it. 10 years plus and we always sell low, buy high and overpay on wages. Why? Why has not one of our players been targeted by Saudi. You telling me Maguire England international wouldn't be a coup? Fred Brazil international? De Gea? Why does no one want him? Why is it only us that pays ridiculous wages? It just cant all be down to incompetency. Teams, players, agents see United and just rinse us. Its in the collective psyche and I have no idea how that will ever change.
 

Caellum

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You also gotta look at some of the scouting/transfers with more nuances than just finding talented players.

Varane, Casemiro, etc. A club of United’s size needs a certain level of established players to both have experience but also to have stable high performances. We cant just go full Brighton - well we can, but we probably wouldnt finish top 4 if the balance is too shifted towards talents.

Its all about if you want short or long term succes. Imagine a team half full of Garnacho level of talent. It can work wonders, but in 3 years and in the meantime fans will grow impatient of no success/fluky results. Such an approach requires massive balls and alignment with sponsors too probably. On top of that, when talents are 2-3 years into their contract and have matured, they could also just want to move clubs and run their contract out.

In short: you gotta have some big players to bind it all together, and be attractive to both fans and players.

Umm The Busby Babes, The Class of 92 ???? We were the original Brighton, fans are so impatient for success, the likes of Busby and Ferguson have have been sacked in the current era long before they were able to create the teams they did, the suggestion that you need big players to bind it all together is simply wrong, you do however need the right players.
 

Redstain

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Rubbish director of football and a infrastructure that doesn't actually allow the scouts to have any integral decision making in player acquisitions. There are countless articles over the years where scouts made recommendations the club didn't follow it's the same thing even with Murtough in charge as we found out with their analysis on Antony.

Club is an embarrassment, two seasons in a row overpaying for players and two seasons in a row bottom of the barrell loan deals due to poor management of finances.

Only hope is that the club sold and all the hierarchy from the manager up are replaced.
 

laughtersassassin

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Our club is actually so pathetic. We are just letting the likes of Liverpool overtake us once again.

We aren't even trying to prevent it.

Club is 100% praying we get 5th and that gets a CL spot this year.

It's a complete joke but exactly as expected
 

baskinginthesun

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I'm beginning to think its a conspiracy. It makes no sense whatsoever. Sure you can throw out the usual Glaziers, too high wages etc which is part of it sure but it doesnt account for all of it. 10 years plus and we always sell low, buy high and overpay on wages. Why? Why has not one of our players been targeted by Saudi. You telling me Maguire England international wouldn't be a coup? Fred Brazil international? De Gea? Why does no one want him? Why is it only us that pays ridiculous wages? It just cant all be down to incompetency. Teams, players, agents see United and just rinse us. Its in the collective psyche and I have no idea how that will ever change.
Maybe because those players don't want to go to Saudi Arabia. Clubs aren't going to bid for a player if they know for sure they are going to reject it.
 

The Red Thinker

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Reguilon from Spurs till Shaw comes back is like a nightmare. How did we fall this far? We used to be the club of elite ballers. I will take time to deal with this. I remember we used to be in a battle for Reguilon… but seeing him at Spurs makes me believe that we are no longer what we were. Fecking hell .
 

UpWithRivers

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Maybe because those players don't want to go to Saudi Arabia. Clubs aren't going to bid for a player if they know for sure they are going to reject it.
So only our players dont want to triple their salary? Maguire would rather sit on the bench than earn 500/600 plus a week? Not a chance.
 

baskinginthesun

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So only our players dont want to triple their salary? Maguire would rather sit on the bench than earn 500/600 plus a week? Not a chance.
What? Maybe Saudi Arabia isn't a desirable place to live for them.

Plus, you also mentioned Fred and De Gea who are no longer at the club anymore.
 

Katy Cat

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At least on the scouting side, I'd say it probably isn't that bad. Rather we're seeing, hearing and reacting to - particularly in this place - is a product of a systemic failure...

IMO, 3 big factors: managerial churn (all of LVG, Mourinho, OGS and now ETH have been allowed to spend heavily on players to suit their styles); the total absence of a coherent, progressive playing strategy (which, amongst other things, provides some insulation against player turnover); and the total failure of our executive to develop any sort of credible retention and reward approach (which has really started bite back).

And of course all of this is itself just symptomatic of the dereliction infested by the Glazer's rentier model.
 
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Champ

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and those are the best names that our scouts, DoF, and analysists can come up with.... context is everything.
For a short term obtainable emergency loan? Yes, pretty good options all told, especially when looking for experience at a senior level and of the league in which United play in, options are fairly limited.

Context is indeed everything it would appear.
 

Big Ben Foster

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Why are people obsessed with Brighton's recruitment team. They've never managed a top 4 finish in the league. It can't be that good.
They consistently overperform relative to their resources.

We consistently underperform relative to ours.
 

JediSith

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The club has never been prepared to take a few steps backwards to take more steps forwards.

Under SAF scouting was pretty much his programme, I think his brother was head scout and I imaging United had self employed scouts around the world who would send reports and videos about players from South America, Asia and European leagues that are not well followed.

Once SAF left. The club just stuck with doing it the manager’s way and had Moyes come. Moyes is actually very good at identifying players from the most obscure places; Shamus Coleman for £60k from the Irish league. I think Moyes implemented some changes but was gone after 9 months.

Then they hired LVG a manager used to working in a European system. A manager used to working for teams that had great scouting networks. It’s when we actually first started hearing talk of “The list” but the list was mostly players identified by Moyes and SAF before him. Just look at our signings, none actually made sense for the football LVG initially wanted to play … does Matteo Darmian seem more like a right back suited to Moyes or LVG? He’s blatantly a Moyes RB.

Then we had Mourinho, similar concept but I think he just signed the players he wanted so during his time no advancement made in our scouting system. Ole was the same.. but signings like Amad, Pellistri , Garnacho showed that there was some scouting development for younger players. But not very good because it misses players in the 19-23 years age.

Now ETH has come. A common gripe some people have is that he regularly signs players he knows. But it could be he is forced to sign players he knows because the club’s scouting system is so underdeveloped. So when he says “ I need a player in this position who can do this and that” basically fit his system and style of play etc the scouting database can’t give an answer. It’s a bit like having the measurements of a building on Apple Notes Vs has an entire 3d markup on CAD for an architect
 
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Josep Dowling

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I'm beginning to think its a conspiracy. It makes no sense whatsoever. Sure you can throw out the usual Glaziers, too high wages etc which is part of it sure but it doesnt account for all of it. 10 years plus and we always sell low, buy high and overpay on wages. Why? Why has not one of our players been targeted by Saudi. You telling me Maguire England international wouldn't be a coup? Fred Brazil international? De Gea? Why does no one want him? Why is it only us that pays ridiculous wages? It just cant all be down to incompetency. Teams, players, agents see United and just rinse us. Its in the collective psyche and I have no idea how that will ever change.
Walk away from deals. Don’t have tunnel vision on targets. Take advantage when players become available. Sell at the right time. United have failed at this for 10 years. Because we aren’t smart in the transfer market our budget doesn’t stretch like it use to in this crazy market. Selling is as important as buying.

The minute Mount cost more than £40m with a year left on his contract then should have walked away. We could have said this for so many transfers - did we need to offer Sanchez £500k to get him? Did we need to pay Antony 10x his Ajax salary? Could we not find a better CB for £80m than Maguire? Why pay £67m for Di Maria when he didn’t even want to join the club? Why didn’t we sign Fellaini earlier in the transfer window when he has a lower release clause than we paid? Did we have to offer De Gea £350k a week to convince him to stay, he can’t even find a club now.

It’s why I get so frustrated when I see the club waste money and you get so many Caftards saying ‘why do you care, it’s not your money’. Because it could and should be spent better to strengthen the squad.
 
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tomaldinho1

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Why are people obsessed with Brighton's recruitment team. They've never managed a top 4 finish in the league. It can't be that good.
It’s less that it’s that amazing but more that the rest of the league bar Brentford is so bad.

Scouting until very recently was basically sending a load of blokes who usually had some kind of footballing background to watch players, if someone looked good a senior or chief scout would go to corroborate the initial opinion. That was basically it.

Bloom has Starlizard which is essentially a massive gambling database and an army of analysts who input data every game. It’s worth comfortably more than the entirety of Brighton football club.

As a genuine example of how basic most clubs are, many clubs use/used Prozone when there was this push into big data and using stats to analyse games and scout players, much of the data for lesser known leagues was simply bought from Football Manager.
 

baskinginthesun

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It’s less that it’s that amazing but more that the rest of the league bar Brentford is so bad.

Scouting until very recently was basically sending a load of blokes who usually had some kind of footballing background to watch players, if someone looked good a senior or chief scout would go to corroborate the initial opinion. That was basically it.

Bloom has Starlizard which is essentially a massive gambling database and an army of analysts who input data every game. It’s worth comfortably more than the entirety of Brighton football club.

As a genuine example of how basic most clubs are, many clubs use/used Prozone when there was this push into big data and using stats to analyse games and scout players, much of the data for lesser known leagues was simply bought from Football Manager.
I don't really have a problem with what Brighton are doing. Data analytics and making decisions around recruitment seems to be working immensely for them, especially for the market they shop in.

But, at some point they'll get passed by other clubs and this method becomes unsustainable. I mean Southampton were doing similar things a decade ago when they came up to the league.

Brighton are definitely the team to watch as their recruitment has been pretty sound the last few seasons. I'm sure United could take a few pages out of their book but, these models end up failing long term because at the end of the day big money wins out. They only have a budget to replace 1 or 2 stars a season. But, if they lose too many of them, they won't be able to keep up.
 

marktan

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Fletcher, Arnold, and Murtough are just jobs for the boys. Arnold was Woodword's Bristol uni mate no? What do Fletcher and Murtough even do if we end up with fecking Mason Mount for £60m and an unproven striker kid for £70m? About a million midfielders are moving this summer and almost all of them would've been more useful to us. Some like Palinha are still available.

We may have some decent scouts but they're all being overruled by Ten Haag to sign any player he's watched before - leading us to the likes of Antony and Mount.

Same with Ole just signing names that had hype behind them - the likes of AWB and Sancho. City or Brighton or even Liverpool would never in a million years go anywhere near AWB. Whoever identified him should've been sacked on the spot.

Until we get a proper impartial DoF, a proper recruitment and data team, we're just going to continue signing whatever the manager wants. It's a terrible way to do things. Liverpool have a good mix of this - but ideally you want it to be 80% recruitment team and like 20% manager. We could go the Brighton route but we'd need a feeder club like Union SG to train the likes of Amad and Pellestri.

City.. well unlimited money and dodgy back room deals can't really be replicated (Halaand for £60m, hah yeah right). People say they're successful with transfers but they also sign dross like Kalvin Phillips and all those weird Spanish wide forwards they've signed over the last 10 years. They're just fortunate they had KDB, Sterling, Aguero, Silva Kompany etc already there when Pep came so didn't have to spend as much to catch up as United did when Mourinho did. They are better than us at least ill give them that as they have a semi good recruitment team and a DoF led by Tixi.
 

tomaldinho1

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I don't really have a problem with what Brighton are doing. Data analytics and making decisions around recruitment seems to be working immensely for them, especially for the market they shop in.

But, at some point they'll get passed by other clubs and this method becomes unsustainable. I mean Southampton were doing similar things a decade ago when they came up to the league.

Brighton are definitely the team to watch as their recruitment has been pretty sound the last few seasons. I'm sure United could take a few pages out of their book but, these models end up failing long term because at the end of the day big money wins out. They only have a budget to replace 1 or 2 stars a season. But, if they lose too many of them, they won't be able to keep up.
I think if you are in the CL the risk appetite is so low for buying someone like Caceido pre Brighton so I don’t think United would ever use the same models. Not sure what you mean re budget, if they are selling two players who cost them almost nothing comparatively for 150m, they will have surplus to reinvest and I assume with their model that means signing 4-5 names to develop plus address some short term need i.e. Milner signing.

It kind of depends what they want to do, the most lucrative option is probably doing what they’re doing without ever pushing to try and win the league (which then demands sustained heavy investment for a few windows minimum). Sit around EL places maybe even get a CL finish in a good year and sell 1-2 starters a year for huge money.
 

baskinginthesun

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I think if you are in the CL the risk appetite is so low for buying someone like Caceido pre Brighton so I don’t think United would ever use the same models. Not sure what you mean re budget, if they are selling two players who cost them almost nothing comparatively for 150m, they will have surplus to reinvest and I assume with their model that means signing 4-5 names to develop plus address some short term need i.e. Milner signing.

It kind of depends what they want to do, the most lucrative option is probably doing what they’re doing without ever pushing to try and win the league (which then demands sustained heavy investment for a few windows minimum). Sit around EL places maybe even get a CL finish in a good year and sell 1-2 starters a year for huge money.
We've seen the type of investment that's needed for the teams who compete in the CL need, season after season. A team like Brighton just can't do that. No matter how much they generate from player sales. Plus, the need for development needed with their model just doesn't work for the club's competing for the "Top 4." I'd be happy to proven wrong (technically I have, in the case of Leicester) but, continued success and the ambition to win the big prizes requires huge prices and immediate success from player recruitment.

Like you said, what their doing now is working and it appears sustainable for their current ambition. But, if they do get the itch to compete higher up the table or go for trophies their recruitment strategies will need to change.
 

tomaldinho1

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We've seen the type of investment that's needed for the teams who compete in the CL need, season after season. A team like Brighton just can't do that. No matter how much they generate from player sales. Plus, the need for development needed with their model just doesn't work for the club's competing for the "Top 4." I'd be happy to proven wrong (technically I have, in the case of Leicester) but, continued success and the ambition to win the big prizes requires huge prices and immediate success from player recruitment.

Like you said, what their doing now is working and it appears sustainable for their current ambition. But, if they do get the itch to compete higher up the table or go for trophies their recruitment strategies will need to change.
Ok gotcha and agree.
 

Jackal

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Maguire starts in the England team, so your point there is null and void straight away!!
Maguire starting in the England team isn’t because of merit. It’s because Gareth Southgate has a covenant with failure and the fact that the England team itself has fallen off their normal standard.

Would Maguire start in a squad that had Woodgate, Terry, Ferdinand, Ledley King, Jamie Carragher, etc? There are about 10 English CBs better than Maguire.
 

Champ

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Maguire starting in the England team isn’t because of merit. It’s because Gareth Southgate has a covenant with failure and the fact that the England team itself has fallen off their normal standard.

Would Maguire start in a squad that had Woodgate, Terry, Ferdinand, Ledley King, Jamie Carragher, etc? There are about 10 English CBs better than Maguire.
That's kinda my point.
 

Daily_Blind

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It seems to me like we don’t look to the South American market enough. Yes, we have South Americans on the team but they were already established in Europe. Why are we not vying for targets straight out of South America instead of waiting to buy them for more once they’ve been established in Spain or Amsterdam?
 

nickm

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Reguilon from Spurs till Shaw comes back is like a nightmare. How did we fall this far? We used to be the club of elite ballers. I will take time to deal with this. I remember we used to be in a battle for Reguilon… but seeing him at Spurs makes me believe that we are no longer what we were. Fecking hell .
Oh do fcuk off. Remember Andy goram?
 

The Red Thinker

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Oh do fcuk off. Remember Andy goram?
Andy Goram barely played and he was a goalie. Not the bloody left back! Reguilon is better than Goram but United at that time we’re already a team of monsters with great resilience and discipline.
 

Theo88

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Revolutionary. Tell us more about this "area scout" concept.
I laughed so hard with this. Next step it might be 'Man UTD is now splitting footballers into outfield players and GKs' :lol:

Ultimately, a lot of what we are seeing now, the overall state of this club is a result of lack of strategic vision. OR it's a result of a vision that doesnt align with what fans would want from the football club they love. Call a spade a spade, the club's value has grown significantly over the past years. If you can run your business operationally to the ground but still manage to achieve what the Americans have achieved who are we to complain about things :lol: .What we perceive as value, isnt necessarily what the boys consider value and it's obvious that titles isnt necessary to grow your brand. Man UTD is like a McKinsey horror story. Cut all the shit you dont need, optimise value and growth - happy days.

Take any variable you want. The type of footballers we've been attracting, the stadium, the scouting, the training grounds, the lack of any significant title the replacement of managers every other year, the elimination of Ragnick's role (yes that one too). It all stinks of lack of footballing vision and direction. A scouting network costs money. It's also a hit or miss (more often a miss rather than a hit) and to get any ROI you need to wait years. We are opportunistic at best.

Now, i know people are annoyed about this club and our on pitch performance, but honestly? Amad, Pellistri, Garnacho, Hojlund are a step in the right direction. Cutting ties with CR7, making Sancho disappear are also probably indicative of a club that is quassi-footballing. I remain positive. and I hope this club gets sold to someone who wants to build an on-pitch empire over the long term rather than the most valuable asset in the country.

Funnily enough - i was checking linked in a couple of weeks back, and i found a Strategy / Analyst Role for Man City. I was wondering if we as a club have something similar. (I didnt apply :lol:)

edit: empires aren't built over one summer period. It takes time, patience and resources.
 

AaronRedDevil

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"Manchester United scouted heavily across the globe for a striker and found Mbappe to right choice!" Riveting analysis.
 

cj_sparky

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I remember the conference call when Woodward said we had "World class scouting and data analysis" after a summer of James, Wan-Bissaka and Maguire. :drool:
 

yumtum

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Reckon they've discovered that striking sensation that's been doing well in Germany this season? Kane or something?