Manchester United’s mess is the fault of one man, and that one man is chief executive Ed Woodward.
At the moment, Manchester United are going through one of the worst spells in the club's history. The Red Devil’s haven’t won since the second week of November and failed to beat Aston Villa at Old Trafford this weekend.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær
In retrospect, Ole Gunnar Solskjær should never have been given the United managerial job full time. Woodward is putting his faith in a manager with a 27% win rate since becoming permanant boss and a relegation on his CV to rebuild one of the biggest clubs in the world. If he wasn’t a United legend, he wouldn’t be anywhere near the job.
It all started when Woodward replaced David Gill when he decided to step down as chief executive in 2013, and since then, it’s hard to think of anything that has gone right.
The struggle of signing players
Obviously he isn’t responsible for the likes squad choices and starting lineups, but he does play a huge role in the players available for selection.
Speaking to fanzine United we Stand, the chief executive tries to justify why the likes of Phil Jones and Ashley Young have all been given new contracts and why the club aren’t replacing outgoing players.
"Decisions are made at different points in time when there are many factors considered," said Woodward.
"It's a multi-year squad evolution analysis. It's hard enough to get three players done [in a transfer window] to get six or seven players done in a transfer window is extremely difficult if you're getting proper talent.
"We did it one year, but if you choose to churn every player because they're not good enough, because you're not extending contracts, you're putting yourself at risk of execution.”
Realistically, nobody is expecting six or seven world class players in one transfer window, but it would be nice to sign one every once in a while. Our so called noisy neighbours Manchester City won the league with 100 points in 2018 and our response to that was Diogo Dalot, Fred and Lee Grant. No wonder José Mourinho got frustrated.
Summer signing Harry Maguire is an improvement on what we already had, but for £80 million, we could have signed near enough any centre back in the world. Of course Solskjaer had an input on the signing but surely as a businessman there are question marks over the decision to go for him instead of Koulibaily.
Contracts and sales
In terms of contract extensions, there's a difference between “putting yourself at risk of execution” and keeping players that simply are not good enough. Chris Smalling was arguably the clubs second best defender last season and Woodward loaned him out to save money on his wages whilst Phil Jones, who has been at the club for ten years, gets a new contract.
The sale of our only out and out striker Romelu Lukaku and the loan of Alexis Sanchez, both to Inter Milan are two other questionable decisions, this time from the manager, who shouldn’t be in a job by the end of the week with Mauricio Pochettino available.
The glory days are gone
The path back to Premier League success is going to be a long one and Solskjaer is not the one to do it. The only reason the Norweigian still in his job is because Ed Woodward doesn’t want to admit that he’s appointed four failed managers in six years and his time at Manchester United should come to an end.
There is no immediate solution to problem, but the fear is how bad can it get if this spiralling downfall is to continue?