Manchester United has been in rebuilding mode ever since Sir Alex left the club back in 2013. Six years later the club still can’t find its way back to its former glory. The problems that United are experiencing should of been resolved years ago by United’s management. Ed Woodward and the United board are the ones to mostly blame for the current crisis that the club finds itself in. So let’s look the problems that’s facing the club presently.
Firstly, there is a lack of planning and preparation and no proper leadership. United still to this day has no Sporting Director. The Sporting Director is the one that’s responsible for negotiating the buying and selling of players. He or she acts as the liaison between the club’s board and the manager. He or she is usually an executive board member. Ed Woodward is the executive vice-chairman of Manchester United. He is a former investment banker and accountant.
Many of the players that he brought into the club like Anthony Martial, Angel Di Maria, Alexis Sanchez, and Memphis Depay hasn’t worked out. That’s just the names of a few players that turned out to be failures at United. Most of them aren’t at the club anymore and some are still United players such as Fred and Anthony Martial. Many of the players that Woodward brought in didn’t stay for long periods either. So his track record is quite poor.
Secondly, we don’t have a recognized striker right now. Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and young Mason Greenwood has a tonsilitis problem. So we don’t have any strikers right now. Ed Woodward should have brought in one or two strikers that have experience and are of good quality to replace Romelu Lukaku. Anthony Martial in the last few years had injury and form issues from time to time. So even though he returns soon, he never had shown any kind of consistency even when he has played in some games in a row. Then Rashford hasn’t been consistent whenever he starts also. So none of these strikers are reliable and have shown the potential to score 20 to 25 goals a season.
Then there is the issues of not having reliable defensive midfielders that can help to shield the back four. Woodward never replaced Maruoane Fellaini and Ander Herrera who left in January and July respectively. When Fellaini was here he did a decent job of winning some aerial balls and he tackled, and tried to close down players. Even though we know he had many subpar performances. At least he showed some effort to do those things. With Ander Herrera he started counter attacks, was energetic, moved the ball forward quickly, and showed some creativity with his diagonal and defense splitting passes. The Spaniard also kept the ball well also so that we can place consistent pressure on opposing teams.
Unfortunately for United Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira or Jesse Lingard doesn’t really have those attributes. McTominay shows effort and tries to stop or slow down attacks by other teams but gets over run by opposing teams that attack with pace and in numbers. While Lingard looks lost and is in poor form, and Pereira looks over whelmed and lacks experience at the Premier league level. Nemanja Matic lacks the pace and the motivation that he used to have. There is also Paul Pogba who continues to be an enigma. He’ll provide us with some great performances, but would disappear in games at other times.
So you can never depend on him to help out with the defensive duties in deep midfield either. He needs to help McTominay sometimes when it’s needed. But you really don’t see him doing that. We still aren’t moving the ball quickly enough, and our passing is still too slow to trouble well-organized and compact defenses. Defensively we’re suffering partly because McTominay and Pogba isn’t doing a good enough job of shielding our back four, and this adds extra pressure on the defense when other teams attack. Obviously Maguire, Lindelof, Wan-Bissaka and Young get caught out of position especially on counter-attacks and we can’t run back in time and organize the defense to slow down or stop attacks.
This is where I blame Solksjaer and his staff for not doing enough to fix all these on field issues. So some of these issues are the fault of the United board, Woodward and Solksjaer. So there is plenty of blame to go around. If I was Woodward I would try to bring in one or two strikers if it’s possible. Because we all know that few teams sell their players in January unless they are surplus to requirements or that player and coach doesn’t get along, or that player was released from his contract. But we also need to get a quality striker that can score a certain amount of goals consistently.
Even though we were to get one or two good strikers it only partially solves our problems. These are problems that will take at least two more seasons to fully resolve.