Manchester United’s defining challenges

Since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, Manchester United has been falling from glory to what seems to be a bottomless hole of troubles. The club has had 4 managers in the span of 7 years while Sir Alex managed the club for more than 2 decades. Presence in Champions League that used to be a default is a luxury these days. Once a contender for important titles such as Premier League and Champions League, we are reduced to aim for Top 4 finish every year in the national league. The club is in shambles and faces defining challenges

Wrong coaches

I believe that we have had coaches that don’t fit with the club’s culture since Alex Ferguson’s retirement. David Moyes wasn’t good enough. Van Gaal wasn’t who he used to be. Mourinho was world class tactically, but he didn’t have the attacking mindset that the club is known for. Ole Gunnar Solskaer is a legend and familiar with the club’s culture. But he hasn’t shown that he has the tactical prowess to bring the team back to its former glorious self. We need a manager who is not only a household name, but also a great tactician and manager. As the club doesn’t have the appealing standing any more, another way to attract talent is to have a world-class coach that players admire. The coach also favors home-grown talent, a tradition that MU has carried for decades. Our current manager, unfortunately, doesn’t fit the bill.

An egregious transfer policy and a roster of insufficient players

The club was blessed with world-class players in the past, including Giggs, Vidic, Rio, Scholes, Ronaldo, Tevez, Rooney, Van Persie, Carrick, just to name a few. We also have excellent role players who are willing to step up to the plate when needed such as Chicharito, Fletcher, Anderson, Nani, O’Shea. Nowadays, players that meet the standard at MU are in short supply. We have players who have the potential to be excellent such as Rashford, Martial, Scott, Greenwood, De Gea, Maguire, Wan-Bissaka and Pogba, but they need help and a coach to realize the full potential. Other players are simply just not good enough. The bench is thin and features players who should have been shipped out of the club a long time ago such as Young, Matic, Rojo and Jones.

We made seriously expensive mistakes in the transfer policy such as Alexis Sanchez. The failure to attract players with merit was offset by the willingness to overpay. To some extent, I was pleased to hear that we pulled out of the deal with Haaland due to the excessive demand from the player’s camp. We can’t keep overpaying for players to come to the club so that they succumb to pressure from a high price tag and flounder.

The current struggles can be a blessing in disguise. The club needs to develop home-grown talent and improve the scouting system. We need to get back to the basic by promoting potential young players and identifying gems that can be polished. A resource-rich club like MU, I firmly believe, is capable of discovering inexpensive potential players like we did with Evra, Vidic, Kawaga or Chicharito. That’s not to say that we can’t open the cheque book when necessary. The journey will take time, but I’d rather see that get started sooner or later.

Ed Woodward needs to go

A CEO either resigns or is let go if he or she doesn’t bring the required results. Hence, I am baffled and disappointed that Ed Woodward manages to keep his job after years of absolutely embarrassing performance on the football side. He may increase the revenue for the club, but what good does it do if the long-term sustainable state of MU is in danger. We need a better executive who knows football and cares more about our on-pitch performance.

Manchester United is blessed with a huge base of dedicated fans like myself, a household name, a great tradition and a lot of resources. We can return to the top, but we need much better leadership on and off the pitch.

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