In one of several challenging periods early in his Old Trafford role, Ed Woodward publicized to various CEOs and presidents of major European clubs on how important he thought the manager’s role was.
E wanted to know what they thought was the ratio between the influence of the sports team and the coach.
Most went closer to 40 or 50 percent for the manager. Real Madrid, to Woodward’s modest amusement, went up to just 10 percent.
The approach reflects the studiousness and diligence that earned Woodward his role as executive vice president at Manchester United, and often made him a shining example in terms of pure business – competing financially in a world of state clubs and elites. Able.
It also shows a lack of instinct for pure football, clearly, sometimes making them a laughing stock among the top clubs. Woodward was essentially channeling his lack of expertise.
This is the only possible assessment of the seven-and-a-half years in his role that has now come to an end, which is part of the problem. It had two sides.
The business side can be considered broadly positive, especially with the human element of the club’s response to the pandemic and the refusal of employees to take leave or stop making contingent payments. it’s important.
This only football side is naturally the most important side for a real football club, and it was a failure. It is understood that Woodward himself acknowledged this. It even seemed as though the club was too big for him, whatever the role was about.
The story about campaigning Europe for opinion is so instructive, because it shows how much Woodward was adoring the man who should know more about football than anyone else at a club: the manager.
His time came to an end, with United still looking for another Sir Alex Ferguson; Still looking for a football identity; a culture. Woodward has been known to admit that all talk of reboots and “climbing the mountain” is now meaningless.
It must be emphasized that Ferguson’s retirement immediately left him with a sinister hand to deal with. Its scale really should not be underestimated. It was one of the most important moments in football history, and Woodward continues to describe it – often with an exclamation – as the greatest moment at United.
He has often found himself wondering what it would have been like if he had gotten even a year under Ferguson.
It’s not too much of a stretch to argue that the football team is still in the same place as it was in every period between managers, with no real progress. They are not close to a title. There is confusion in the squad. Questions are still being raised about its exact quality.
It still looks like a squad made for several different models. They are constantly seeking to improve recruitment to their credit, but the current state of personnel shows that it needs more work.
Ironically, it needs to look beyond any manager.
It was one of Woodward’s main failures, which made his lack of instinct for the game – he became known as a rugby man – so important.
He always completely bought out whatever manager he appointed. It would be fine if they were of a similar ideology or point of view and the club had some guiding football principles, but they were not. They were all very different and failed in different ways.
It was once put to Woodward why he didn’t try to replicate the best in the world at Manchester City and Liverpool and tried to articulate a holistic football ideology that made everything flow. He said it would be very harsh.
United instead found themselves restricted by repeated decisions, usually at the wrong time.
Ultimately, Woodward never got the biggest call right.
Two of the permanent managers had exceeded their best, the other two were never close to their best.
The ill-fitting Jose Mourinho could have made sense in 2013 if United were to ever hire him, and he certainly should have gone before Christmas 2018.
However, as disruptive as the Portuguese was, Woodward found Louis van Gaal to be an even greater challenge. The truth was that he really couldn’t handle it. It was so conducive to what was to come, ensuring that every single decision was mostly a response to the final decision, and not guided by over-thinking.
It reached its nadir with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feeling that what really defined the entire Woodward era was the way United eventually invested in him. He was also such a softer person than Van Gaal and Mourinho. It was not so much the last throw of the dice as the inevitable point the club was building.
An institution whose main interest seemed to be to monetize its history, deviated from the path of real football, and relied too much on just the ailing club veteran for the sake of the reality of the job.
Solskjaer’s first few months were pretty intoxicating, especially in a win against Paris Saint-Germain in the French capital, but the overriding feeling was still that it was better to wait on a permanent decision until the 2018/19 season ended. Woodward instead just went with the wave and gave the Norwegian a permanent job in March, on the belief that “something special” was happening.
What happened was that United immediately tanked as pace and luck ran out, compounding a series of problems for a manager who might not have had the skills to deal with them.
Woodward then refused to sack Solskjaer at various points when it made sense and when better options were available, all on the wrong assumption – no, insistence – that he could be another Ferguson. It was again that the lack of football knowledge and all-around expertise became very influential.
The image of Woodward and Solskjaer being primarily responsible for running the biggest club in the world now seems staggering, and there’s ample explanation for where they are now.
some football statistics Independent This affected how United did business. While most actually speak well of Woodward personally, more than a few sources say he sometimes gets the sense that he and Matt Judge find themselves better negotiators in football than anyone else. admit.
Sources say that the issue was that they did not understand various issues such as paucity of talks and time in football. There are often stories about how they would carry out this approach of making an offer for a target, but then remaining silent in a sell-out club for weeks on end, pretending as if indifferent. It’s okay if no one else wants the player. “Try it with Erling Haaland,” laughed one source. Many believe it cost them some top-notch names, or better-value deals.
A similar approach may also cost them managers.
The line reported to Jurgen Klopp about Woodward trying to sell the vision of an “adult version of Disneyland” now serves to sum up almost all, though not in the way intended. It was not something that a serious football man had fascinated everyone with.
It felt like it came from outside the game, as happened with much of Woodward’s thinking. This probably says even more about how the Glazer owners viewed the club.
What follows is a humiliating defeat for the Super League.
Woodward has been telling people that this is the reason he resigned, that he couldn’t stomach it, especially after talking to friends who support West Ham United.
That is noble. It still leaves the question.
Although the two sides discussed refusing the Super League, why was Woodward in Downing Street to meet No. 10 Chief of Staff Dan Rosenfield – and, in short, the Prime Minister – a few days before the launch? Why did the news of his resignation come only after the project failed? Why did UEFA President Alexander Ceferin specifically refer to Woodward as “Snake” at that press conference the morning after the launch?
It would still be a grossly inappropriate way to summarize Woodward after seven and a half years in the job, especially given the way he is most talked about as a person. It was really tough not to like meeting her.
This spoke a lot about his commercial success.
As for the football side, well, maybe it’s better to frame it in the context of the kind of question that Woodward asked so many teammates.
The sports side is ultimately far more important than the business in terms of perception and performance.
As Woodward now admits privately, it is very hard to say that it was a success.
United has a lot of similar issues, if a lot of money.