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Man United need a plan…not expensive superstars

If you have anything to add on any subject, mail   The problem goes beyond Mourinho…the club needs a plan Every problem foreshadowed by the appointment of Mourinho has unarguably come to pass. He’ll play dour, pragmatic football? Check. He’ll ignore youth? For the most part yep, check. Fall out with players, ostracise others? Check and check. Spend absolute boat loads of money? eh, Cheque? Worse still is his apparent failure to come up with a coherent plan for how he wants the side to play and, the ultimate sin, his complete inability to actually improve any of the talented players in his charge. All of that before we consider his paralysing fear when approaching important matches. But sadly the problem is much bigger than Mourinho. In fact it goes all the way back to the mighty Sir Alex. The Great Scot left behind a Premier League title and a squad in total disarray. He had failed to purchase a centre midfielder for seven years prior to his departure leaving behind an ill Fletcher, ageing Carrick, ordinary Cleverly and, inexplicably, Anderson. The defence was getting old and only RVP & De Gea could actually claim to be top class. The lack of investment post Ronaldo was striking, the academy slowed to a trickle and United have been playing catch up ever since. However, it’s ultimately the fault of the United Board for having no plan whatsoever for the post Ferguson era. No one noticed the degrading standard of the squad. No one asked the apocalyptic question “What if Alex dropped dead tomorrow?” The transfer policy since has been totally erratic. For all his undoubted talent why invest in Sanchez when both Martial and Rashford excel as left sided wide forwards? We still have no actual full backs and no right winger. And are we building the side around Pogba or not? If winning is all – why appoint Moyes? If attacking football and the ‘United way’ are important why appoint any of Moyes/LVG/Mourinho? The reality is that finding the right guy is only possible if the Board know precisely what they want and how they want to do it in the first place. They clearly don’t. They’ve been staggering from crisis to crisis, a bit like Donald Trump’s White House, always reacting, without vision, direction or strategy. It’s in stark contrast to what’s going on up the road and there really is no easy fix. Firing Mourinho only leads to the next panicked appointment and so on. All that being said – I realise finishing second in the league with a squad worth nearly a billion is a problem most clubs would kill to have. Steve – Dublin   …I’m sure the mailbox will be it’s usual (excellent) mix of sling and arrows on matters Manchester United. Player X was awful, the manager is an embarrassment etc… My point is how did this great club end up here, and why has it looked so directionless on the pitch? Since SAF retired, the lack of a Sporting Director has become even more obvious. Not only in regards to squad development, but the lack of playing identity. Players have been signed either because the manager knew them (Fellaini, Matic), signed as ‘marquee’ names (di Maria, Falcao… Pogba?), or for no obvious reason (Mkhitaryan, Sanchez). Whereas massive holes have been overlooked (x2 32yo first-choice fullbacks – FFS!). Going back to Sanchez; I’ve not written him off completely, but his signing smacks of finding a disregarded frying pan on the street. You already have lots of nice pans, you’ve no space for this one in your kitchen, you’ll spend a fortune on Brasso… but it’s that fancy brand, plus it’s ‘free’. A proper SD would have asked; where is he going to play? What problems will he solve? Is he a 400k/wk upgrade on what we already have? Basic diligence…But as Woodward is a Yes man, we’re stuck with a team who look like a group of strangers who’ve never met. And for all the talk of progress this year, more often than not watching United has been as enjoyable as chewing on cold sick. And this lack of a playing style is even more pronounced due to our domestic rivals having distinct identities on the pitch. Again a SD would have a long-term plan (genuine wing play perhaps), would be looking at our youth teams, identifying targets to improve the team outside from the regular names in the gossip column. It wouldn’t solve all problems (though hopefully it would stop this insidious relationship with Raiola), but when the club is as directionless as it is, it much be given consideration. Sure, the manager takes the largest slice of blame for last night…but it’s a big pie. I’m not bothered if he stays or goes; either way the football matters of the club have become too much to be looked after by one man. RedBen   …I think it’s time to end the experiment where United buy Woodward’s fantasy players and big names (on ridiculous salaries). Buying marquee players is the sign of a small club mentality and it’s clearly hurting the balance and confidence of the team. Sanchez and Pogba don’t help the team but they are making far more money than more useful players they are keeping out of it and force Jose into formations he isn’t confortable with and the team don’t seem capable of pulling off. Sell them in the summer to anyone stupid enough to pay money for them. Bring in the right winger the team actuallly needs and start trusting Martial and Rashford to take the team forwards. I’ve long held the belief that any player making 200 grand or more loses the incentive to keep pushing themselves and play to the best of their ability (I know the blue side of Manchester has a few that prove me wrong, but I give Pep full credit for that). Get rid and take a page out of Spurs’ book (but with a slightly higher pay structure). There are enough young, talented players in the squad to keep United competitive in the league for the rest of the season and Jose can spend the summer signing players who fit what the team needs, instead of players to sell shirts and noodles. I’m sure Pogba and Sanchez would come good somewhere else and everyone would enjoy pointing and laughing at United for selling them, but they don’t work in this team. Cut our losses and build the team properly. Kirk...


Published By: Fottball 365 - Wednesday, 14 March, 2018

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