Column: Woodwards plans not working for Manchester United
Published: Monday, September 16, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 16, 2013 22:09
Let’s be honest, half of you haven’t a clue who Ed Woodward is. Woodward is a financial planner at Manchester United. United is owned by the Glazer family, which is not a popular family in Manchester these days. Woodward worked alongside Malcolm Glazer in 2005 and advised the family to takeover the world’s biggest club. Since then, numerous supporters have indicated how disastrous the times have been.
After the summer transfer window, it seems as though nearly every soccer fan has come to recognize the name. The 40-year-old University of Bristol graduate, now the executive vice-chairman of United, struggled to spend.
Can we have Cesc Fabregas? No, three times. Ander Herrera? We’ve left that much too late in the deadline. Thiago Alcantara? Complete waste. Leighton Baines? Who needs him? Marouane Fellaini for an extra $6 million in the dying moments of the window? Sure, why not.
Maybe Woodward isn’t the one to pit the blame against. Could it be the media’s fault for stepping on the toes of potential transfers, or the ludicrous tabloids reading Ronaldo will return to United? Realistically, United were much closer to signing Mesut Özil than Ronaldo, and even closer to Ronaldo’s new teammate, Gareth Bale.
For six or seven years, Manchester United has been in search of a trophy midfielder that it has not had since Roy Keane’s departure. With Paul Scholes in retirement, and Michael Carrick featuring as more of a passive midfield presence, the Belgian will hopefully make Woodward look like a genius. Granted, Fellaini is not the most skilled player in the world, but his work rate is excellent. And the Red Devils could certainly do with a towering presence in attack to get on the end of services into the box from Patrice Evra, Ashley Young and Danny Welbeck.
The Glazer family – which also own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – and Woodward failed to spend when United may have needed to the most. It appeared that those in charge were so tight that they’d peel an orange in their pockets.
It’s been anything but smooth sailing for David Moyes and United since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement. Even more concerning matters now rest with United’s replacement for David Gill - Woodward. As indicated by The Mirror, the newly appointed chief felt this window was disastrous, but after all it’s Moyes who may have saved the day.
Upsetting as it may sound, the Fergie factor seems to no longer be in play. As Sir Alex brought in some of the most coveted names: Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani, Wayne Rooney and most recently, Robin van Persie. It seemed as though nearly every player wanted to play for Ferguson. While Ferguson properly supported and likely picked Moyes himself to succeed him at Old Trafford, Moyes’ managerial career is not yet trophy laden. For Moyes, the best is yet to come. While getting to the platform that Ferguson held for nearly 27 years may not come for another five years, it will be soothing to see the Glazer’s back him, as they backed Fergie. That type of support needs to include funds to purchase top-class players.
After all, United kept a hold of Rooney so that’s a plus, right? While the lad sorts his hair plugs after his recent training accident with Phil Jones, Moyes has to be the winner throughout Europe. From Özil to Arsenal, Cavani to PSG, Neymar to Barca, Kaka to AC Milan, a list which could go on for days. But United kept Rooney, a man who apparently handed in two transfer requests in a span of three years.
Well played, Woodward. You may have won, but you haven’t fooled me.