Manchester United banter 92711


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01 Nov 2023 08:57:22
Not a popular opinion I know but I still say Ralf R. leaving and not going upstairs was a loss to the club.

He should never have been manager it was like a headmaster from a top private school being asked to cover the Biology teachers maternity leave -not his forte but he spoke sense and had a great vision for the future of the club top to bottom.

Agree12 Disagree0

01 Nov 2023 09:31:23
I think Ten Hag should probably doing that role now.

01 Nov 2023 09:58:32
I agree that he should have been given the DoF job or similar. He was a good manager but not a great one during his career, but he really excelled when working as the overarching guy bringing everything together.

I don't think there was a problem with him being the interim manager, ultimately we were never going to get a top class manager to take up the role for 6 months. The problem was how it was implemented in my opinion. He was tasked with bringing the squad into line but totally undermined. If the squad knew he was coming in to manage them for 6 months then he'd be going upstairs and would have their futures in his hands then I suspect the players would have stepped in line and followed his instructions. Certainly the ones who wanted to have a future at the club would have.

He'd have been able to really get a look at the players, work out who needed to go and who could stay, then stepped back with all that knowledge and start running the football side of things properly.

But that would have been the sensible thing to do, that would have been common sense. Unfortunately those are things the current people pulling the strings cannot abide. So it was never going to actually happen that way.

The biggest issue I think the club has is that we have too many people in many undefined roles, or roles that aren't clearly defined. When Sir Alex and David Gill left there was a power vacuum and there are too many people with their fingers in the pie, unqualified or ill-suited to the role they have.

Look at Darren Fletcher for example, he spent nearly 18 months at the club without a clearly defined job title until they made one up for him. He was everywhere, full access to the coaching set up, the boardroom, the offices. If I didn't know better I'd say he was just there to spy on everyone, gather information and feed it back to someone. Or maybe it was just a job for one of the boys. A little bit of cronyism.

I like Fletcher, he was a great servant to the club during his playing career and he seems like a nice guy. Has had his health challenges and worked to overcome them. I'm sure he's a stand up guy, but I'm not sure what his role was or how he could possibly be qualified to do, whatever it was he was doing.

I mean was his voice one that influenced signings, staff changes, structural changes? Who knows. He seemed to be everywhere doing nothing.

He's just the most high profile example of people behind the scenes with undefined roles that seem to overlap with others.

The whole thing needs clearing out. I wouldn't be surprised to see a much more streamlined structure once SJR gets a hold of it. With many people being let go and hopefully a few better suited people being brought in.

01 Nov 2023 12:01:25
But that was the plan Shappy, he was announced as the interim manager and told he would be staying on as a consultant for a further 2 years. The players still didn't give a toss.

These players just aren't worth the money and wages being paid to them. We still reward players with high wages on long contracts for having a purple patch. Behind the scenes we are an absolute shambles.

I lauded praise on Ten Hag last year as I thought he deserved it, this season between his signings and his decision making, he is slowly drowning. We talk about players not being able to cope with the pressure of Old Trafford but I think the manager is feeling it now.

We desperately need a proper DOF. Someone who can identify quality players and also someone who can challenge the manager so he doesn't continue to make bizarre decisions in the transfer market.

Rangniak oversaw some of the worst performances iv ever seen. I know he was coming in talking about open heart surgery for the club (which of course he is right) I doubt anyone around the club liked that. He was too honest and even if Ten Hag would have accepted him as DOF, I don't think the club would have hired him.

As for where we are now, we're yoyoing like we always do. If it was my decision I'd keep Ten Hag over any players, simply because I don't think any manager could turn these lads around long term, but he will be sacked soon if he can't right this ship.

1 goal from our forward line so far. We had 4 or 5 breakaway chances against City and made the wrong decision every time. We're a team of overpaid pretenders.

It's weird now as a fan, I'm obviously upset after results like Sunday but I'm really starting not to care. As long as we have owners who not care, players who don't care, next up is the fans.

01 Nov 2023 12:32:35
He's not slowly drowning. The players and the media are going after him. They want a sacking and fans are too blind to see that backing him and seeing this through is the best cause for the club.

Players who don't fit the system have to leave. Players who don't play are going to be unhappy, that is why you remove them quickly. The club is chaos above EtH and they should be strongly backing him.

Arteta, Pep, Klopp all got rid of players that were popular when they came in to build a team that they wanted. Back the guy and stop giving power to these players.

01 Nov 2023 12:39:02
I think that was ETH’s biggest mistake. He should’ve seen what the alternatives were before vetoing the decision, if indeed that is what happened as was widely reported.

01 Nov 2023 12:50:19
Dodgy, I'm a huge fan of Ten Hag but he's making some very peculiar decisions lately. His marquee signing of Mount can't find his way into the team. His reluctance to drop underperformering players like Rashford or play players out of position like Bruno is having a severely negative impact on the team.

Playing Evans over Varane as a tactical decision against City is ludicrous. 10 games into the season and you're playing McTominay and Maguire, two players he was trying to shift because they weren't good enough is ludicrous.

Playing Hannibal for two games, praising him and then dropping him doesn't send the right message.

As I said, I'd keep the manager and start getting rid of everyone, but he's not doing himself any favours with some of the things he does.

Playing Lindelof LB against City was a necessity due to injuries. But our plan to play it short to Onana from a goal kick and then straight to Lindelof was suicide. We did it the entire match and we couldn't get out once.

In game management is also an issue. We finish games formationally disjointed and out of balance. I just think the cool methodical Ten Hag of last year isn't around this year hence why he may be drowning a bit.

01 Nov 2023 13:39:42
Mumbles, the consultant role was a typical half-assed approach from the club. It wasn't a real role or position with any sort of power or influence.

Basically told he'd be paid a retainer fee for the club to ask his opinion on things then ignore it because they don't like it.

That's not a real role or position. It's not even a half measure.

The players are a shambles, most of them need slinging out the door. If it was down to me their feet wouldn't touch the floor.

EtH in my opinion has had to manage a number of frankly ridiculous number of issues, none of them of his own making. For that reason I think he is the right man for the job, I just think he doesn't have the support to hold it all together and the freedom to do what is required to move the club forward.

I think he wants to build a team for the long term, most of his signings and the players he has pursued are 24 or younger. He's clearly trying to build something that can last.

The club on the other hand seem to be thinking far more short term, looking at players who they can signed to have an immediate impact and get the club into the top four.

Casemiro is the most obvious example. He is not even close to a similar player to FdJ who the manager wanted. He is also 6 years older than the Dutchman. He was a player the club were offered and they took up the option. Apparently the player EtH considered as an alternative to FdJ was Rabiot. Now while we might have some concerns over his attitude or his disruptive mother, he is a much more similar player to FdJ than Casemiro and is 4 years younger than the Brazilian. He'd have also been significantly cheaper than the Brazilian and would have left more funds available to potentially strengthen in other areas. Maybe signing Rabiot would have meant that when Ronaldo threw his toys out the pram that there was budget enough to get a better replacement than Weghorst on loan. Who knows.

The issue though is that the money spent on a short term option like Casemiro has tied up 70m in transfer fees and 72m in wages over his 4 year deal. That's 150m tied up in one player who is now showing signs of decline. These sort of deals are restricting the managers ability to build a team for the future. They restrict the ability to bring in players further down the line. We've signed 4 players on loan last season and 2 on loan this season. That's 6 loan signings in 12 months. Sir Alex made something like 5 loan signings in 26 years. We've also signed two players on free transfers not because they were premium options available on a Bosman, but because the clubs hands were tied and they were the best value options available to the club.

These are the restrictions the manager is having to work with, restrictions placed on him because the club values getting top four as more important than building a league winning side.

The only signing I think was entirely down to EtH and was a mistake and needed challenging was Antony. I said a the time that we were paying 85m for a 40m player. There were better players available for much less. Players like Yeremi Pino, Moussa Diaby, Nico Williams or even Jarrod Bowen would have been cheaper options that are also more talented. That's a situation where our poor structure and bad reputation for scouting/ signing players probably lead to signing a player that the manager wanted rather than have a clear plan/ structure for recruitment.

However the real issue is that we don't have any sort of consistency in our recruitment. You need to have one of two approaches to transfers to have any chance of building a cohesive side. You either have a club strategy, where you have a set criteria for signings, an age profile, a type of player, players who have proven themselves in a similar style to how your team plays etc. You then hire managers to fit the club vision and he will be able to work with the signings as there is a shared view in how a side should play and the types of players needed to do so. This is the better way of doing it. The other is to completely back your manager, get the signings he wants, the positions, the players etc. Everything. This way can work, but you probably get a few more misses. It also leaves you in a situation of having a squad moulded to a specific manager and style when it comes times to part ways with the manager. The other issue is most managers are concerned with the here and now. They don't care about having a player who'll peak and be a club great after that manager leaves the club. They want players that will help them win right now.

Both ways can work, both have potential drawbacks. The key is consistency though, you commit to one way and you stick to it.

At United the problem is that there is no consistency to our transfer policy, sometimes we buy a player for a manager, sometimes we buy a player the club wants, be that for brand appeal and marketing, or because they are focused on a player to get us UCL or whether its a player for the future (This happened with Martial, LvG came out and said it was a signing for the next manager and not him) . Either way its a scattergun approach with no clear idea about what sort of squad you are creating. This has been further compounded by regularly sacking managers and still having no clear approach to recruitment either player or manager. Hiring managers who have vastly different ideas and approaches to football, then allowing that manager to dictate some signings changing the shape of the squad.

This has lead to a squad that bar a few probably all need moving on and totally rebuilding. There is no cohesion, no rhyme or reason to our squad, players who actually play very different styles of football, a lopsided age profile. Just a real life interpretation of Frankenstein's monster, made up of parts from vastly different bodies.

We can see this in that no manager has been able to fully impart how they want to get the side to play. While any style gets thrown out the window when key players get injured or are unavailable as the players stepping in just cannot play the same way.

The closest we have come to a coherent style has been when we have played by defending deep in numbers and hit teams on the counter. This is because it is the most simplistic way of playing and most players can play this way to varying degrees. It masks players with lower technical ability because teammates are closer and less demands are placed on individuals. Attacking is simple, play it over the top for someone to chase. Defending is easier with more teammates closer together, less space to cover and less likely to get isolated.

Most managers despite their preferred style or ideologies have ended up playing this way as its the only way to eek out a result with a incoherent squad. Then we hit some poor form and the manager is sacked and the cycle starts again.

We need to break that cycle. The only way to do that is to have a consistent recruitment strategy and stick to it. Bring in players who suit a specific way of playing, and keep going. Give the manager the freedom to finish mid-table until the squad is coherent and capable of playing the preferred style consistently. Stop putting demands to finish in the top four on the manager. That demand forces them to change tact and fall into the same trap as their predecessors. It forces the club to step in and make inconsistent transfers to try and focus on a short term aim. Become performance focused rather than results focused. Good performances will always lead to good results if you can keep improving. Focusing on results means to compromise everything else in chasing a short term aim.

This sort of vision/ planning needs to come from a competent DoF who understands football, someone who measures success in performances and trophies and not on how healthy the spreadsheet looks.

Ultimately a team that succeeds in their football aims will earn money, one that fails with its football aims will eventually struggle to make money.

People want to see good football, they want success. That leads to sponsors wanting to be connected to your club and have access to that market. The more successful you are on the pitch the more coverage you get and the bigger a market you offer to sponsors. While success on the pitch means you are in more competitions for longer, more prize money, more TV money.

It doesn't even make financial sense to focus on short term aims such as UCL qualification over building a successful team.

01 Nov 2023 14:27:07
RR was gone before Ten Hag was going before ten hag was interviewed. He slated the club seniors and they didn't like it. don't believe he didn't want him.

01 Nov 2023 14:57:29
RR staying and going had nothing to do with ETH. He does not make those decision. ETH job does not involve picking DOF. RR and murtagh was never going to work. No other club has that structure. leave it to us to screw up the simplest stuff.

01 Nov 2023 15:22:20
Although I don't think it will have been as personal as 'I don't want to work with RR' I would be surprised if the focus of many of ten Hag's interviews didn't circulate around his preference not to work with someone in that capacity, ie insisting he had control over specific things. Which makes you wonder how he'll interact with the new one, should Sir Jim bring one in.

01 Nov 2023 15:48:31
Spenno, I'd expect SJR to slimline the structure and make sure roles are clearly defined.

I'd imagine if he brings someone in to oversee the day to day running of the club it would be at Murtagh's expense. Whether they have another role for Murtagh or he leaves entirely who knows.

The rumours are that Paul Mitchell has been lined up to become the DoF. What that means for EtH is that instead of working with Murtagh he'd be working with Mitchell. Another name that's been bounded about is Dan Ashworth, who would be a phenomenal appointment as well. Although those rumours seem far more speculative.

That will have both benefits and drawbacks from EtH's perspective. It might mean he has less autonomy over some things I'd expect, although he might gain more in other ways. He'd also get to work with someone who has a proven track record and is considered a top candidate in that role.

It all depends how things shake out. However, he is currently working with Murtagh and he previously worked with Overmars. So it's not like he doesn't have experience of working with others or that he is some kind of dictator who needs total control over everything.

I'd imagine like most of us he will know when he's working with someone who is great at their job or not. Just like the rest of us, he's probably less keen to rely on those he knows aren't up to scratch.

I'd be very sceptical for example of the potential options the club come up with as possible transfer targets. Purely based on their shocking record.
Would you trust the opinion of the guy who scouted 804 RB's and came up with AWB as the best available? Or the guy who suggested Maguire? Or Fred?

The club need to start recruiting the best in class both on and off the pitch. Poor employees produce poor work, average employees produce average work, great employees produce great work. It's that simple.

01 Nov 2023 16:51:18
The entire scouting operation needs looking at. I have no idea how many scouts the club has across multiple continents - a few, dozens? - but it says a lot if the manager isn't happy with any of their recommendations (and there will be numerous players of all ages/ valuations being looked at) and insists on (largely) players he's had direct experience with. I see the benefits of that, he'll know their characters as well as their abilities. But overall I feel he's been given too much control in this area, and very little of it has paid off so far.

01 Nov 2023 17:49:05
Spenno, I tend to agree, I think he has had too much control. But I can also totally understand why he has been sceptical of trusting the people who have built this god awful squad. Especially as he knows it'll be his head on the chopping block.

I don't know about you, but I'd rather be sacked because a player I signed didn't work out than be sacked because I'm taking the blame for a player someone else has signed hasn't worked out.

I do think with a better recruitment structure in place with a clear and unified recruitment plan in place that we would be far more successful. I think it'll actually be beneficial for the manager to have such a structure in place. It'll provide them with better players more consistently, as well as freeing up more time for them to spend on other duties at the club.

Like during his first summer in charge, a better structure and plan to recruitment wouldn't have spent the entire summer chasing FdJ when it was clear he didn't want to leave. Would have identified a better alternative than Casemiro, probably for significantly less money. They would have found a better and much cheaper alternative to Antony and with the money saved would have probably brought in either a CB, CM, RB or ST to add more quality in depth across the squad.

01 Nov 2023 18:39:28
Mumbles - not read your take on the current situation, EtH meltdown, since the Derby defeat (or maybe I’ve just missed it) but always an insightful read, agree with almost every word about from the not caring! We all still care pal but I know where your coming from!

01 Nov 2023 19:45:33
Shappy, it took me long enough to read your reply and I have to agree with most of it. Always a good read!

DLIB, I havnt been posting too much. I still care obviously and will be tuning in in 30 minutes to watch us hopefully get a result. When I say I'm stopping caring, just means it takes me less time to get over a bad result.

We're normally on the same wavelength with things pal, i think we'll turn the corner anyways, hopefully sooner rather than later.

01 Nov 2023 19:47:14
Eth meltdown dlib? What meltdown?



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