If I were Ole Gunner Solskjaer, I would be particularly annoyed to see Michael Carrick, part of the Norwegian’s coaching staff, being appointed manager of Manchester United, in a role that was mine, and talking about a newfound positivity and winning mentality just days after my embarrassing dismissal.
Let’s not whitewash over the fact that the affable Ole was turfed out on his ear whilst the same coaching staff and players continue to steal a living with little or no shame. Manchester United’s problems go far deeper than their former manager. It starts with average players afflicted with poor mentally and a lack of desire. The decay cascades all the way up to a disjointed and clueless boardroom that have spent upwards of £1bn since Alex Ferguson left.
At the top of the pile is Ed Woodward, a man who should have departed long before Solskjaer. All right, he’s supposedly leaving soon, but he’s made a fortune for being inept since 2012. Some sources claim that he’s managed to con the Premier League colossus out of £21m for his non-services. Breathe deep before you read on with rage.
Woodward is another investment banker type who somehow bluffed his way to the position of executive vice-chairman at one of the biggest clubs on the planet and someone who was inexplicably given the task of overseeing the entire operation at Manchester United F.C.
Effectively, Woodward was given free rein to run the club by another inexperienced clueless owner who avoids responsibility by simply endorsing the transfer fees. These two components have resulted in United’s demise with a succession of poor recruitment decisions including the post of manager which have downgraded Manchester United to the stature of a Championship side, but one which trades on its illustrious history and back catalogue of success.
Believe me when I say that the next managerial appointment is crucial to the future of the club. They can’t afford another mistake in the top job. It requires a real football man, a great communicator and someone who endorses expansive football and for me, that’s Mauricio Pochettino.
The Argentinian was only deprived of success by a behind the scenes issue that split the dressing room straight down the middle. Whoever takes up the role of manager of Manchester United, will need to perform major surgery from the academy through to the coaching staff. He will also have to cut away the fat from a distinctly ordinary squad that has too many passengers on board.
The bottom line is that United have a few decent players but that’s all, it’s time to shift Pogba out of the side and stop allowing him to earn money under false pretences. However, the Frenchman isn’t the only one, Maguire continues to be the most overrated defender on the planet, yet he’s the club captain and a regular feature in Gareth Southgate’s England side.
It’s staggering that a player with so little pace and positional awareness is rewarded to such a degree, it’s simply phenomenal, beyond belief even. If Southgate can’t find a better central defender, then his reign as England manager will continue to be a trophy-less affair.
United need a completely new track, new ideas and a new direction. Other clubs in the Premier League are having to rethink their whole plan and approach in the same vein as Arsenal. Tragically, each managerial appointment has proved to be another setback and it’s cost United around £38m in severance pay. Worse still is that it could be five years before they get close to challenging for honours in the Premier League.
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Big questions need to be asked of those left behind in their comfortable jobs. Who thought it was a good idea to appoint Van Gaal, Mourinho and Solskjaer? Who sanctioned the £80m transfer of Harry Maguire? Why is Darren Fletcher technical director of Manchester United and on what merit?
I dare say United fans have far more questions and they are completely entitled to feel frustrated and aggrieved but having failed to stop the rot on previous occasions, how can those in charge be trusted to take the club forward this time around.