As critics in England have claimed that Cristiano Ronaldo’s late goals save Ola Gunnar Solskjaer even though he does not deserve it, and delay the necessary change at Manchester United, it can also be argued that Solchiar “hit” his way at the club by actually opening strong. The temporary appointment in December 2018 became fixed thanks to 14 wins in the first 17 games, and the matchmaking became official.
It was a deceptive opening. Yesterday the Norwegian was sacked after three years in office, following the 4-1 defeat at Watford, without leaving a mark and with bad taste in the mouths of all involved. This is about what can be said about United since the summer of 2013.
Unless you’re excited about winning the Europa League four and a half years ago, a trophy and two Community Defenders (and you are not), United have been a disgraceful failure since the retirement of Alex Ferguson, and the fact that even the touching touch of Cristiano Ronaldo has not improved the situation indicates the depth of the crisis. And here’s the incredible number that illustrates the magnitude of the failure: Since the departure of Fergie United, they have invested € 1.35 billion in acquisition players over nine seasons and this has brought Old Trafford zero championships.
Now she’s starting all over again, but the problem is far beyond “the legendary manager left a pit too big to fill.” United have simply made every possible mistake since the last championship in 2012/13.
The first, and one major, problem is that once Ferguson left, CEO Ed Woodward became the face of the club – and not in a good way. .
The coaches and the stars alternate, and he remains the center of the universe that collapses into himself as the one who makes the decisions. Here are some of the hits: While Mauricio Pochettino was still at Tottenham and United signed him, Woodward decided to continue with Solskjaer as permanent manager; The team awarded a new and prestigious contract two years ago to dried-up brakeman Phil Jones, who has become a symbol of poor choices; And in the transfer market, Woodward effortlessly gave up on Memphis Depay and instead fought for the signing of Alexis Sanchez who was a huge flop on the team.
He also hated himself on the audience. In the country, unfortunately, we are well aware of the phenomenon – but in England they were shocked two years ago when a group of fans attacked the CEO’s house, shouting “We will kill you”. Followed by.
Over time, more and more anger is also directed at the owners themselves, the Glazer family. The fans are boiling over the entry into the failed debts and investments, and a huge rift was created between the parties during the Super League affair, which illustrated to a large part of the audience the detachment of the bosses from the field. The Glazers have spoken publicly about the desire to rebuild this relationship and involve the fans in decisions, but it is not certain that this bridge can already be repaired.
Get the band “Too”. David Moyes was too inexperienced on the big stages; Lewis van Gaal was too old-fashioned; Jose Mourinho was too defensive and tough; What is being said now about Soleshiar is that he was too nice a guy, who lacked the spearhead.
The last two tell the story of a group looking for itself. It was not only the United crowd that hated Mourinho’s football, but also the management. This is also the reason why the team did not attack Antonio Conte when he was now available in the market (he finally signed for Tottenham) – Old Trafford has an ambition for an attractive game. Solchiar was supposed to regain that dimension, but he never found a method that worked for him over time. His confusion is evidenced by the fact that he promised this summer to Jesse Lingard, who has returned from a wonderful loan spell at West Ham, to play a significant role on the team. United have turned down a high bid for him, Lingard has returned and barely sees grass, and has now refused a new contract and will leave cheaply in January or for free in the summer.
Who’s supposed to come now? There is disagreement between several forces at the club – the management, the influential Ronaldo and Ferguson who is still helping with the behind-the-scenes decisions. The management is very interested in Eric Tan, the brother from Ajax. Ronaldo wants to see Spain national team coach Luis Enrique arrive at the club, but the coach replied: “Today April 1st?” When asked about it, and intends to concentrate on preparations for the World Cup.
Fergie still holds very much of Pochettino, and is willing to continue with a substitute team until the end of the season (Michael Carrick has been appointed interim manager) and then try to bring in PSG coach in the summer. This is a difficult decision, because on the one hand the top candidates are busy, and on the other hand it is impossible to give up the rest of the season.
Since Solshiar was appointed to the position of United, it has spent around € 350 million in the transfer market (the computer index of player acquisitions and sales) – the first in England by a considerable margin. In those three years, Manchester City, for example, is ranked only fifth with about 200 million, and Liverpool has come out on top thanks to the right investment and good deals. Fulfilled if this amount would have led to somewhere, but how far it is from the truth.
The 10 most expensive transfers in the club’s history have been made since Fergie left, including Paul Pogba’s unsuccessful return from Juventus (100 million), the insane amount paid for troubled stopper Harry Maguire (90 million), and players who do not promote the club such as Fred and Aron van Bisaka. And these are just names that are still on the roster – we did not mention a big failure in the form of Angel Di Maria for example.
The problem is that coaches get shiny players and do not know what to do with them. In 2020, after breaking into Ajax, United fought for Donny van de Bike and paid about 40 million euros for it. Solskjaer did not find a role for him, and the Dutchman became an off target player looking to escape from the team. Jadon Sancho was acquired this summer from Dortmund after United chased after him for more than a year (85 million), and between the fluctuations in his position and the instability in the squad he has yet to conquer or cook.
From seventh place in the league, just before a critical away game against Villarreal tomorrow in the Champions League, Manchester United is a shadow of a luxury club.