Naive United conned once more


Thiago and GuardiolaLet me start off by saying two things. First off, I am totally gutted that we look set to lose out in the Thiago Alcantara sweepstakes. Secondly, I told you so a few weeks ago that we wouldn’t get our man. Having said that however, doesn’t numb the pain from not just losing out on Thiago but this escapade adding to a series of serious bruises inflicted on our collective ego’s when it comes to luring top ranked young talent to Old Trafford.

For those who are aware, the revelation that United are leaving an oily trail of failure in the transfer market these past few years is nothing new. In fact our failure to secure the signature of great young world-class talent can date back to the disastrous attempt that was the Ronaldinho affair.

Since then United have lost out on many a great young talent who either chose not to sign for us or just plain toyed with us, lied to us and then chose another. Names like Ronaldinho, Alex Sanchez, Michael Ballack, Lucas Moura, Eden Hazard and Mesut Ozil instantly come to mind. Young foreign players who toyed with our affections only to snub us for another.

In most past cases we always seemed to lose players to the allure and seductive trappingsof the Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona. They with their charm, spicy food, warm sun, seductive ways and greasy charm. That was bad enough but what has really upset the apple cart in recent years is the unexpected hit United are taking to their brand and stature by losing out on hot prospects to the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and lowly PSG. At the risk of disrespecting these clubs, I will say that we should never lose out on a target we really want to clubs like these. They don’t have an ounce of the history, pedigree or allure that Manchester United has worldwide.

Samir NasriSo why then do players like David Silva, Samir Nasri and Kun Aguero choose a club like City over our club? Why does a Michael Ballack, Jon Obi Mikel or Eden Hazard snub Sir Alex Ferguson for Chlesea? And how in God’s name can a talent like Lucas Moura choose PSG and the lowly French League over United and Premier League football? I will give my take on this and although my opinions are mine, I really feel that Manchester United and it’s dead between the ears hierarchy need to wake the frak up and smell the bloody coffee.

First off let me say that many will blame the lack of pedigree and tactical coaching style that David Moyes brings as a reason why we failed to sign Thiago. While I think that argument has merit, I really do not feel it is the main reason for this most recent failure in the transfer market. I feel there is a number of serious factors at work here and there needs to be a complete overhaul in corporate culture within Manchester United in order for us to succeed once again in the transfer market. I will list these points first and discuss each one below.

1. Hubris
2. Living in the past
3. Arrogance
4. Lacking the aggressive approach (killer instinct)
5. Going after unrealistic targets
6. Procrastinating and not having a clue on how to close the deal
7. The Manager
8. Lack of salesmanship
9. The Glazer’s
10. Northern England as opposed to warm sunny Spain
11. Naiveté when it comes to agent tactics

First and foremost, we must let go of the hubris that has defined our club and our policies when it comes to signing players. Sir Alex always walked with pride and hubris and he made it seem that anyone who didn’t sign with us was daft to not do so. After all, we are Manchester United. This means a lot in the UK and in a lot of parts of the world, but believe me when I say that the name Manchester United is definitely back in the pack when you speak of Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Argentina to followers of the game in Spanish or Portuguese speaking countries. Oh they have all heard of us and even followed the club but believe me when I say that in 98% of the time, the clubs that consume these cultures hearts and minds are Real Madrid and Barcelona. Our brand is popular but with these cultures it falls as flat as British cuisine.

For years now United have been selling their brand based on their history. Fortunately for all of us our success is not just something in the distant past. But we seem to be stuck in a pattern of expecting players to sign with United just because of this rich history and what it means to be a Manchester United player. United need to realize that historically, they have had most of their success using mostly UK born players. Yes we have had the Cantona’s, Stam’s, van Nistelrooy’s and Veron’s show up and play for us but in the overall big picture, we just haven’t had as many foreign players play for us as have played for clubs in Spain or in Italy for example.

Di Stefano with PuskasThose countries had open door policies allowing more foreigners for much longer than England has and even if that were not the case, England really did not welcome many foreign players let alone world class foreigners until the creation of the Premier League. Spain on the other hand had player like Puskas, Di Stefano, Netzer, Kempes and Maradona way before England opened up her doors. Those players created an aura of success and their fellow countrymen followed their careers in those countries. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico, Juventus, AC Milan, Inter all became household names in these countries. Meanwhile back in England clubs were cashing in on Scots, Welshmen and Irish. In Germany clubs were sticking with home grown talent with the odd Eastern European jumping borders. The game had a territorial essence to it based on cultural compatibility.

Cultural compatibility is a very serious element to what is presently going on in the transfer market. Yes money occasionally defies that element but most of the time players like to sign with clubs where there is a cultural compatibility or familiar faces that can make the change easier. For Brazilians, Argentines and other South Americans, moving to countries like Spain, Portugal and Italy have greater appeal due to factors like the language, cultural trappings, cuisine and weather. For United to think that getting players to come to play for the club based on history and pedigree is all that’s required is just the height of arrogance and stupidity. Sorry but that’s just not good enough. It wasn’t good enough under Sir Alex Ferguson and it certainly is not going to cut the mustard under an unproven David Moyes.

United is stuck with this attitude that because of it’s successfully marketed world brand and history, they should be able to get whatever player they covet and that fits within their budgetary restraints and guidelines. If it was only that easy. Lucas Moura never chose PSG for the money, despite what many will think. Neither did Ronaldinho choose Barca for that reason alone. Yes the money was appealing but the players just felt that culturally, those clubs suited them better. Paris is not as warm as Spain but the food and cultural trappings are second to none. Add to that the guarantees many of these clubs will offer players and one can start to get a better picture as to why United are losing out.

United have for a while now been hampered greatly by financial factors that must also be considered. Yes United may be the largest revenue gathering club in the world but we all would have to be considered idiots if we felt that a strong portion of those revenues were going to player development. Our player wage structure is strong but it still does not compare with Chelsea’s, City’s or the elite of the continental clubs. Perhaps if we had more money to offer some of these players, maybe, just maybe they would forego all the trappings of others and sign for us just for the greed. We lost Eden Hazard and Michael Ballack as well as David Silva and Samir Nasri on money alone. It seems that guaranteed starting status means nothing also.

People need to realize that as long as the Glazer’s run this club, we will not be able to compete with other “rich” clubs who also have other more alluring factors in their favour. I have nothing against the city of Manchester or Northern England. In fact culturally, I’d love to live there but I can say that the region hasn’t the allure for many others who do not have a cultural or ethnic tie to the region.

Da Silva TwinsOnly cold hard cash and player friendly, tactically strong foreign managers can solve the problem we are presently experiencing when it comes to signing attractive Latin based players. Lets not counter with the argument that we have the Twins, Chicharito, Luis Valencia and David De Gea. Instead lets come to the realization that Chicharito was a bargain bin purchase, the twins were relative unknowns when they signed, even in Brazil, Valencia was not deemed good enough by the big clubs in Spain and David De Gea had Iker Casillas and Victor Valdes blocking his way to the Spanish giants. Fact is we have been feeding off sloppy seconds.

The money it takes to bring in a world-class player under the age of 25 is way more than the Glazer’s will sanction. So we have had to adapt and go for “Plan B” signings like Ashley Young, Shinji Kagawa etc. Nothing against those players but the reason we went for them was they were cheaper and there was less serious competition for their signatures. You can bet your bottom dollar that as soon as Barcelona or Real Madrid show interest in a player we are targeting, we have automatically lost out on that player. One of the main reasons Fergie adopted a policy for buying older players like Berbatov and RVP was their willingness to play for a winner and stay in a league they were comfortable in.

Look at what has happened to the once proud Liverpool FC. Once they were the beacon of English football and a standard bearer in Europe. Once financial hard times hit however, players bolted and even worse, top talent stopped coming to Anfield. Now they are rummaging through the trash bins of world football bargain bins looking for players who will sign for them. Are we headed in the same direction, but perhaps a little more slowly? I hope not but then again I look around and I cannot say with certainty any longer that our position at the top of the English game is insured like it was under Fergie. Fact is David Moyes is relatively unproven as a manager of a top tier world club. Even worse is the fact many players around the world know this too be the truth too. They may like United as a Plan B, but we are not the first choice. And if foreign players come to play in England, would they feel more secure playing for a Jose Mourinho, a Manuel Pelligrini or even an Arsene Wenger or and Andres Villas-Boas instead of Moyes?

I have said from day one and even before it was announced that David Moyes was the wrong choice as manager for this club. I personally like the man and I really do feel he is a fine manager but my reasoning has more to do with world perception than actual skill set and qualifications. Part of what makes a club successful and alluring to mercenary minded players today is the man in charge and the success and tactical flair he utilizes to get the job done. Fergie had enough of that to convince young prospects like Ronaldo, Anderson, Nani, RVN, Veron and others to choose United. Despite having lost out on many we still had those successes. Also, Fergie never had a problem buying older more accomplished players with Premier League experience like Cantona, Berbatov or van Persie. But David Moyes has built a reputation on buying from the bargain bins and not carrying the pedigree of his contemporaries at Chelsea, City or Arsenal. I really worry that unless he has instant success that as time goes by Manchester United will lose more and more of it’s drawing power when it comes to elite talent. For that reason alone, I wanted Jose Mourinho to be our next manager. I really believe that Fergie was caught in an old mindset when he selected Moyes. He would have been a great choice in 1986 or evening the 90’s, but not today as the game has become much more universal and the English League has opened it’s doors to foreigners in such a major way. Excluding Fergie, there is not a great deal of faith or respect in UK born managers by high priced foreign talent.

Some other factors that need to be looked at are United’s lack of aggressive tactics in negotiations with clubs and with agents and not having the killer instinct to wrap up a deal quickly. Instead they dilly dally around, sit back, go on vacation and naively expect the player to choose them at the end of the day. Again for the umpteenth time I say to Manchester United, wake up and smell the bloody coffee. You snooze, you lose, and that’s the bottom line. A proactive aggressive approach that requires dirty tactics and money needs to be incorporated here. Barcelona and Madrid are masters at this. They constantly tap up players, seduce them, have team ambassador’s wine and dine them and above all, they know how to talk and blow sweet kisses in the ear of player agents. United on the other hand have had a terrible and very tempestuous relationship with player agents. Fergie had come out on numerous occasions bad mouthing agents and vilifying them as nothing less than the scum of the earth. Well he was right of course but wrong in feeling that this tactic was going to win him player signings. Agents want their cut and they want only what is best for their client as it pertains to their percentage in commissions and royalties. United never play’s ball with agents and often tries to negotiate around them. Like I said, naïve.

United need to understand that today’s professional sports environment is run and controlled by player agents. The Glazer’s themselves could tell horror stories of their dealings with agents representing NFL players. Agents like Scott Boras have become billionaires and are known for their cutthroat approach in negotiating for their clients.
Only the rich survive and again, those who snooze, loose. United need to act quicker, and attract a player and then sign him before other clubs even get a sniff at his availability. Bayern Munich pulled of the coup of this transfer season at the end of last season when they saw the opening to go after Mario Goetze and took it before others even got a sniff. They did the same the season before in buying Xherdan Shaqiri also.

Javier MartinezOf course those player’s agents tipped them off. Their history is littered with proactive deals that happened under the noses of clubs waiting for transfer season to start or vacation time to end. Ballack, Gomez, Javi Martinez, Ribery, Robben, and many others have been bought early and with an aggressive approach. Whatever it takes within reason. Now they have a Catalan influence, which is added drawing power for them. Smart move. If they weren’t successful already, they just ensured themselves dominance over Europe for years to come. Pep Guardiola has the drawing power that David Moyes doesn’t have, not to mention the coaching pedigree. That is why we lost out on Thiago Alcantara. Pep was his mentor, but Pep offered him cultural stability, and a footballing style Thiago was comfortable and familiar with. Moyes offered 4-4-2 and not much else.

I’m sorry if this rant has been hard on many of you. Like I said when I started, I am really gutted over this latest loss in the transfer roller coaster. I am also very frustrated and fed up with the same factors coming into play year in and year out. Lack of money, a clueless approach, lack of aggressiveness and little to offer culturally has left us staring at the dirt in front of us and kicking it in disgust. The fact is we need to stop going after players that are 1000/1 shots at signing. We need to be looking at countries where cultures and football style is more compatible to us. We need to look to regions of the world where Barcelona and Madrid are not kings in scouting and creating recruitment networks, but where Manchester United carries the same strength and allure if not more.

Ask yourself why in the rich history of this club have we never signed one top notch German player? Germany is not exactly a minnow. They are a football giant and are a factory for great young technically gifted talent. Italy and Spain have always pilfered many of the greats in German football so the excuse cannot be made that German players do not leave Germany. Culturally there are differences with England but not as great as those with Spanish or Portuguese speaking players. Cuisine is more similar, weather factors are similar and the passion and style of play is more similar. Yet we continue to ignore this country’s talents like the plague. Sure we have half-heartedly tried for players like Ballack and Ozil but over the past five or six decades that seems like an awful small sample to base an argument against my point.

Croatia, Serbia, Russia, other former Eastern Block nations as well as countries like The Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, France etc should be places we should be concentrating our searches and efforts in finding the best talent available and signing them. Real Madrid and Barcelona already have a saturated net on South America. Our success rate there will be small and of the Plan B variety whereas we could really create a presence Eastern and Northern Europe and perhaps Africa and Asia. I do not feel that bypassing Spain, Italy, Brazil and Argentina means we are searching for second tier talent. I personally would take a German or Dutch talent over a Brazilian or Argentine anyway. It’s a personal preference in style and discipline. At least for United I would. Countries, which made up the former Yugoslavia have always been fertile football factories to pilfer from among others. We need to broaden our search engine and stop thinking that football talent only exists in Brazil and Spain.

I really could go on and on because I am so pissed off with the status quo. For those of you who aren’t aware, I am also a fanatically loyal Bayern Munich supporter. Having said that, I am absolutely gutted and pissed off that United lost out on Thiago. You see Bayern don’t really need him. They are already on paper and on the field maybe one of the greatest clubs of all time talent wise. I love United as much or even more than Bayern and so it really hurts to see that our policies and clueless naiveté have robbed us again of another super talent. At least this time we never lost the player to Madrid and Barcelona. But even more disturbing now is that we are losing players to the likes of Bayern and PSG.

We are falling farther down the pecking order and like Liverpool, I am very concerned about our eventual destination. A Jose Mourinho would have guaranteed us a strong chance in signing any player regardless of all the other factors I mentioned. Instead United went with the safe choice who would not make unrealistic demands of the owners and who would just put up with the Glazer’s status quo, which is to parade our selves throughout the world with delusions of grandeur based on our past accomplishments through Fergie, our licensing agreements and sponsors . A sad state of affairs and if I were a Mancunian I’d be in front of Old Trafford calling for heads.

I am sick and bloody tired of this club knowing how to make money but having no clue how and where to spend it in a manner that benefits the fans for a change. And by the way, good luck in getting Ronaldo or Gareth Bale. Is it the targeted players and their agents who are conning us and having fun at our expense? All we have become to the Thiago’s and Ronaldo’s of the world is a leverage mechanism to ensure a better deal elsewhere or a pay raise.

Or how about this theory, I feel it is our ownership who know that certain targets carry a low percentage of capture and the reason we go after them is because the financial risk is low and the appearance conveys that United are a serious player trying to sign the very best, when in fact all they are doing is kicking tires at the local Ferrari dealership while they have money in their wallet for Vauxhall. I personally think the fans are being used and conned by both targeted player and club, and I for one have had enough. How long do we put up with that many obstacles in our way to success? Tier 2 talent and players closing in on the age of 30 is what we have to look forward to in the future. Pretty grim I think.

That is the way it is in Glazerville.

I may be proven wrong with 50 days of the transfer window remaining, but this isn’t a knee jerk reaction to one alledged failure, it’s a reaction to an uncomfortable all-too-familiar pattern.



  1. Honestly, you need to calm down and not believe what the newspapers say. Sky Italy has retracted most of their statements about Thiago joining Bayern.

    Why do you all believe what’s in the paper, wait until Thiago is actually shaking either Moye’s or Pep’s hand, then go on like it’s a done deal.

    • @Simon: So after he signs with Bayern, what will you have to say? The point of my article is that my gripe is not just about the Thiago affair but the many other lost opportunities of the past five or so years. Thiago, Sneijder, Ronaldinho, Ozil, Ballack, Moura, Hazard, Obi Mikel, Sanchez, Aguero, Nasri, Silva etc, is a long list of failures. I take issue with the cumulative failure of the club to secure the signatures of many of these players. In the case of those players other than Hazard and Ozil, they all clearly expressed a desire to play for us. At the end the chose another club. We need to find out why United are failing at capturing big name players under 25? Thiago is just the rotten cherry on top of the melted sundae.

      • @Grognard: Time for you to get on another team’s bandwagon. I respect your opinion but I see you are totally at the beck and call of the tabloids.

        First of all you have no idea what any negotiations comprised, nor have you any idea of who was actually in United’s transfer profile.

        If you honestly believe that spending 50 million quid for an untried teen(Moura) makes sense there is nothing that you can say that will make me believe you have anything important or relevant to say.

        • At last someone with sense. We haven’t even made an offer for Thiago and the rest of the names he’s mentioned are just part of the media agenda.

      • “Thiago, Sneijder, Ronaldinho, Ozil, Ballack, Moura, Hazard, Obi Mikel, Sanchez, Aguero, Nasri, Silva etc, is a long list of failures. I take issue with the cumulative failure of the club to secure the signatures of many of these players. In the case of those players other than Hazard and Ozil, they all clearly expressed a desire to play for us”

        Firstly where have they expressed a desire to play for us? Most players, will say if linked with a half decent club, it would be an honour blah blah.
        Second how many of those have the club actually bid for?
        Sounds more like your wish list to me.

  2. Well, that doesn’t surprise me. As an avid Manchester United, I’m bitterly disappointed. The FACTS are that United has time and again showed

    itself to be a lousy, worse, bad negotiator. Very close many times BUT never closing. PROOF? Luca Moura, last day, was supposed to be a done deal.

    Other last minute reversals? GARETH BALE, Aaron Ramsey, Fabien Delph, Ronaldinho. Losing our on Hazard, Lewandowski, Strootman. And the list goes

    on. Given Thiago’s class and situation, let alone the measly fee instead of the original one, plus interests from others. United should have

    CLOSED FAST a LONG TIME ago. Instead, it seems a lot of dilly-dallying. Boy, WORST NEGOTIATOR, wheeler-dealer ever. Must be this Woodward guy,

    David Gill’s replacement, as he is in charge of transfer buys. Typical accountant mentality, bean counter! Then talk about Ronaldo, Bale – ha ha

    ha! JOKERS! United will be left overpaying wanna-nes as Berbatov. Veron, etc OR chasing leftovers, or buying second class fcotballers (Young,

    Valencia), besides losing great talents (Pogba, Morrison. Daehl, etc. DARK TIMES AHEAD, IF the United hierarachy don’t ger their act together!

    • @barrywho: I think what is most disturbing about this trend is that in all that time we have won many league titles and the Champions League in 2007/08. Unlike Liverpool, Arsenal and other top English clubs we have backed our intent with championship silverware and still, we can’t get our man. This has me believing that the main culprit in our failures is the Glazer’s and their transfer and financial policies. They are hindering our chances to not only improve, but maintain our current standing. As long as we had a godly manager like Sir Alex around, we got away with this obvious and apparent weakness in our business model. But now I’m just not sure anymore. I look at the sad state of Liverpool since Benitez left and I wonder if we are heading in that same direction, not just on the field but off.

      • With the impact of FFP it will be practically impossible to fall out of the Top 4.

  3. I agree that the problem is complex but also transparent in some respects.
    Firstly, the problem is Manchester – (versus London and just about every where else), unless the rewards are such that the dull location can be tolerated for a while (Tevez, Nasri, Aguero, Toure etc)
    Secondly, United are hampered to a degree by ethics and corporate governance, in respect of how payments are made to players. (Difficult to say more but you get the gist).
    Thirdly, United is not the best platform for prima donnas – whose arrogance needs to be accepted and egos massaged
    Will things change under Moyes? Unfortunately the answer is NO.

    • @oggiemeister: Great points. Perhaps we need to change our corporate model and adapt to the new millennium and the modern player. Our model is outdated and far too corporate to attract young, vibrant, passionate and basically uneducated players into such an oppressive club climate.

  4. Good piece. I think you’ve just about said it all. Utd need to change their transfer philosophy, they need to target players that can adapt and thrive in the EPL. Skill doesn’t always transfer itself across countries or continents. There are players out there, still, who could come in and do a real good job for Utd. They have sold themselves, they let their skill do the talking. Now Utd has to sell itself to them, it’s naive to think the name alone is enough. Utd really do need to get their act together.

    • @red astair: Great points and to add one more thing to that. By choosing other countries for talent as opposed to Brazil, Spain Argentina and Italy, you also save money because the best talent in other countries other than Germany generally come at a lower price most of the time. That doesn’t mean they are tier 2 players, just that they don’t carry the same media notoriety of players from the real hot soccer factories.

  5. Absolutely fantastic article. Thank you Grog. Cannot add anything more.

    • @Moscow: Your welcome mate. Somebody had to say it. I just wish all of us who are in agreement could meet out in front of Old Trafford with picket signs and scream our frustration and disgust at Team Glazer. 😀

    • @Moscow: Your welcome mate. Somebody had to say it. I just wish all of us who are in agreement could meet out in front of Old Trafford with picket signs and scream our frustration and disgust at Team Glazer. 😀

  6. This Thiago situation reminds me a bit of City last summer. They seemed to be in pole position to sign RVP, possibly De Rossi and who knows who else but Marwood faffed about, dillied and dallied and they ended up scraping the bottom of the barrel for the likes of Sinclair and Rodwell. Look how that turned out for them! I have a bad feeling that our summer transfer business, and consequently our title defence, is going to suffer a similar fate. Watch us end up paying over the odds for the likes of Baines, Fellaini and that McCarthy lad from Wigan. All solid Premier League performers no doubt, but United is one of the elite clubs in world football and we should be signing the same type of players as Bayern, Barca and Real Madrid instead of being their bitches.

    • @The Truth: The truth however was that I always believed we would get RVP because of the same factors that allowed us to get Berbatov. Fergie took a proactive approach in the negotiations, RVP had already expressed that his preference was United and because of his age, it was clear he wanted to go to club where he would be the number one guy and on a team with proven pedigree and hunger. City were defending champs but a one trick pony stacked with world class strikers. Older more established players don’t like to take risks and in that case we hold an advantage over Johnny come lately clubs like City and PSG. Hell we would have signed Sneijder too except United never wanted to pay him what he wanted. An amount that by the way, he was worth.

  7. I definately agree with you on this:

    “I feel it is our ownership who know that certain targets carry a low percentage of capture and the reason we go after them is because the financial risk is low and the appearance conveys that United are a serious player trying to sign the very best, when in fact all they are doing is kicking tires at the local Ferrari dealership while they have money in their wallet for Vauxhall.”

    I don’t think there’s ever been any intention to sign Thiago or else it would have been wrapped up long ago. There’s been reports for weeks now that united were to sign him “imminently” every weekend for the past 4 or 5 weeks it’s been the same story “United to wrap up Thiago deal by the end of the week” and it’s all BS. If United were so close for so long it would have happened by now, United would have payed the fee and he’d be a United player by now. Just look at Bayern, only really came in to the picture this week and there are reports today that they’ve payed the fee already and more than likely it’ll be announced over the weekend. Coincidentally it’s all gone a lot quicker for Bayern than United to get the deal done.

    • @Ste: Yes, it’s puzzling how Bayern managed to do it so quickly. Saying that I don’t think Thiago has helped the situation, it’ll be interesting how quickly he makes his decision now.
      I agree that some of the players we’re linked to is more about convenience than intent on Utd’s behalf, but even the Glazers must know that it’s a no lose situation with Thiago, they could sell him for twice the price next year.

      • @red astair: Not so puzzling when you consider that Thiago knows Pep very well, that Pep’s own brother is Thiago’s agent, that Bayern currently have a much better squad and manager than United, and that Bayern don’t fuck about when they want to sign a top player, unlike penny-pinching United.

        • Thiago’s agent is his dad, Marzinho, Peps brother is Suarez’s agent….

        • Wrong again Jonathan, Mazinho merely acts as an advisor to his son. Thiago’s agent is none other than Pere Guardiola, look it up.

        • @The Truth: Well said. And thanks about the info about Thiago’s agent. I was not aware that he was Pep’s brother. Makes me realize that we were definitely being duped all along as Pep’s brother was always going to assist his brother first over anyone.

    • @Ste: I’m glad you agree with that section as I believe it to be 100% true. However, in the case of Thiago, I think they really did want him because lets face it, his buyout clause was a bargain. The player in my estimation is worth every penny Mario Goetze is worth.

  8. I would rather see the likes of Nick Powell, Adnan Januzaj and Jesse Lingard given a chance than spending money on players who have no real interest in playing for United. Also less chance of another Pogba/Morrison scenario occuring again if they get some proper game time.

    • @Rick: Yes I would like to see these kids get chance, especially Powell and Januzaj.

      I’m disappointed that Powell has been left out of the tour he must be injured.

      But realy will these coaching guys (Moyes’ boys) recognize and appreciate such quality?

      I almost want to send Januzaj to Dortmund to train with their first team for half a season. Just to help him grow. But then he might want to stay there.

      United need to upgrade their coaching. We have to start playing like the Germans and Spaniards.

      I’m hearing rumours that Barca are interested in signing young Adnan Januzaj.

      I have no idea what Pogba is doing at Juventus. But I could totally understand what Januzaj would want at Barca.

    • @Rick: Then I have to be honest and assume that you are content with third or fourth place. Mediocrity is not a trait of Manchester United and most our reserves reek of mediocrity. The one that didn’t reek we sold back to Solksjaer last week.

  9. The simple fact of the matter is that Moyes has the pulling power of an 18 stone bald man in Tiger Tiger on a Saturday night.

    • Have to disagree on this whole premise. When Pep took over at Barca, he’d been youth coach, no one had heard of him, his replacement was his old assistant, who no one had heard of. How many of us had heard of Kloop 18 months ago? I think the pulling power of the manager is down to how well he can interact with players, people skills basically, and by all accounts Moyes is very good at this. Lets judge him at the end of the window rather than 11 days after he officially started the job….

      • @Jonathan Frodsham: No-one had heard of Pep Guardiola, Barcelona legend? That’s like saying no-one has heard of Paul Scholes. If Scholes was our new manager he would be more appealing to potential signings because of his legendary status at the club and in the game, same as Giggs or Solskjaer. They haven’t achieved anything as coaches but the prospect of working with a legendary figure is exciting.

        You have to remember that the average footballer today is very shallow and superficial. They want the most expensive cars and watches and they want to play for the “coolest” managers. I know it sounds silly but you have to appreciate the mindset of a modern footballer. A choice between working with Moyes or working with Mourinho or Guardiola is no choice at all. And you can bet their people skills are just as good if not a lot better than those of Moyes, especially Mourinho who was revered as some sort of demigod by his Chelsea players. He made them feel ten feet tall by all accounts. In fact, your Mourinhos and Guardiolas are multilingual, which gives them yet another leg up on Moyes – and let’s not even start on their trophy hauls!

        • @The Truth: Moyes had better not think he is a Ferguson or a Mourinho.

          He has never won anything in his entire life (apart from a second division title this one time) and therefore he needs to buy quality players.

          He had better not think that he can wing it like Ferguson.

          Sir Alex could get away with not buying midfield players. Moyes had better not think he’s that good. If he was that good Everton would have won something.

          Didn’t Ferguson win the European cup (champion’s league equivalent) with Aberdeen? Different era yes. But still. Topping Europe with a bunch of unknowns from lowly Scotland is no mean feat.

        • @The_Philosopher:

          No mean feat at all, but it was the Cup Winners’ Cup, not the European Cup, beating Real Madrid in the final no less. Ferguson’s success with Aberdeen was incredible, breaking the hegemony of Rangers & Celtic to make Aberdeen the dominant force in Scottish football, he won three Championships, four Scottish Cups, a Scottish League Cup, the Cup Winners’ Cup and the UEFA Super Cup!

          So apart from them both being Scottish, there isn’t much of a parallel to be drawn between Ferguson and Moyes (as much as some people will try to.)

      • @Jonathan Frodsham: If you are an international manager who has won major silverware, your stock skyrockets in value. If you are relatively unknown you have to pay your dues and make your bones as they say. Nothing against that unless you are a major brand name that needs to hold on to it’s position and attract the best talent.

  10. Very sad state of affairs indeed. And yes money spent at United is seldom spent for the benefit of the fans.

    A Bayern and a United fan. Thats like having two wives. How do you do it?

    Which is your first love?

    We have indeed been feeding off sloppy seconds. Second tier players and old men looking for a glorious final chapter to their careers.

    And through the eyes of a world class elite player we are a conveniet plan B. Agreed.

    Japanese players look up to United a lot more now that Shinji is in the squad.

    I think the situation in Germany is really more that the English game is no where near as technical and as intelligent as the German game. Far from it. Its chalk and cheese. In Germany the focus is on intelligent football where as the English game is still barbarically physical. Thats another reason England is being left behind on the international stage, struggling just to qualify for the world cup let alone win it.

    The average English player has very litte in their locker (technique wise) compared to the average German or Spanish player. They have very little in their heads as well with regard to intelligent passing and moving. The England squad is a bunch of unsophisticated neanderthals by comparison. Brazil, Spain and Germany leave them in the dust.

    I would have liked Mourinho to manage United more than Moyes because with Mourinho you’re guaranteed success. Mourinho would stay a couple years and then we could install a more experienced and seasoned Jurgen Klopp as a more permanent measure once the Mourinho fire had fizzled as we could surely have expected it would.

    And Moyes getting rid of our coaching staff only to replace them with his world renowned staff from mighty Everton is also a step backwards.

    Jurgen Klopp, Zeljko Buvac and Peter Krawietz are a coaching crew I would love to get in.

    I love your comparison of the chalk and cheese decision that Thiago faced between coming to play under Pep (sophisticated cutting edge football) vs Moyes (4-4-2 and grinding hard work).

    And I love your suggestion about where we should be expanding our scouting work. We seem to have done a lot of scouting work in South America.

    Chelsea have had a lot of recruiting of African players. Why don’t we focus on african players as well. Japan and Asia is also another relatively untapped market. The Netherlands is definately a place where you wanna keep close tabs on as well in my very humble opinion.

    Great rant Grog. Thou art legendary.

    • @The_Philosopher: Oh yes, spot on pal. I’ve just made a post on a similar train of thought over at another blog: After seeing us lose out on Thiago I’ve started to wonder if the continuity thing might have been the wrong way to go. An old school no-nonsense British manager bringing with him his old school no-nonsense British backroom staff and no doubt looking to bring in a type of hardworking British based player might just find himself getting left behind by cultured, progressive foreign managers next season, especially as they’ll have squads of technically adept foreign players at their disposal while United “go British”.

      Bottom line, we should have took a punt on Klopp imo. A charismatic, exciting young manager, tactically adept, who has unearthed many gems on a small budget and above all his teams play fantastic football. He would have rejuvenated the squad, whereas more than a few of our players must be feeling nervous for the future as they’re put through their paces by Gollum Moyes and Jimmy fucking Lumsden.

      • @The Truth: It is hard not to agree, football is an organic game and we are being left in the dark ages. Moyes style of football was at best direct, at worst long ball. That is also part of my worry about Baines, he gets to the halfway line punts the ball into the box.
        Moyes was always going to be Fergies choice, he is very provincial and having a fellow Jock taking over from him is another “job for the boys” move. Moyes hasn’t for me got a great tactical brain, he has hardly competed in Europe and has never won a trophy, so why was it such an obvious decision for him to take over?
        We will be still playing 4-4-2 with an vastly inferior manager, going backwards even further.

      • @The Truth: We can’t expect to attract the best talent in the world if we don’t play the best football in the world.

        I can’t shake the thought that Shinji Kagawa would have grown a lot more had he spent last season at Dortmund than at United.

        Our playing style is dull compared to Dortmund’s.

        RVP has 9 years of Arsenal training in him so he is good enough to play for us without losing the technique. . .

        Januzaj should go on loan at Arsenal. Just to get some insight into how to pass.

      • @The Truth: Klopp is an incredible manager but he is also a man who has honor and he vows to fulfill his contract at Dortmund before he looks elsewhere. He has mentioned in interviews that England and Manchester United would be great destinations for him. Who knows, in two years if the David Moyes experiment fails, the Glazer ass clowns may finally see the light and choose a manager like him instead of protecting the bottom line which has always been the filtering of United profits into their personal bank accounts.

    • @The_Philosopher: Absolutely right. The problem with bringing in a top class manager is that he would have expected a decent transfer budget. Moyes is obviously the cheap option and this it seems reflects Utd’s transfer philosophy of late.

    • @The_Philosopher: Thanks for the kudos mate. Our minds seem linked to be sure. To answer your question about dual love affair with both United and Bayern let me first state that I was Bayern supporter (1972) before I became a United supporter (1976).
      I live in Canada and back in the 70’s the only consistent exposure to football was a weekly show called “Soccer Made in Germany”. It would show a condensed one hour version of the previous week’s game of the week. Suffice it to say that back in the 70’s Bayern Munich and Borussia Moenchgladbach matches were the ones most often telecast. Add to that the 1970 and 1974 World Cups and I got very familiar with all the great German players. I especially fell in love with Gerd Mueller, Franz Beckenbauer and Sepp Maier. So Bayern were the only club for me until Candian tv started televising some English League games as well as FA Cup finals and semi-finals in the mid 70’s. United grabbed my attention and affection when they beat European Champion Liverpool in the 1977 FA Cup final. I loved their attacking ways with players like Whiteside, Robson, Muhren etc, and always followed them as much as possible. Then when the Premier League was formed, we started to get weekly matches telecast all the time. I fell in love with the man called Cantona and others like Keane, Sparky Hughes and Peter Schmeichel became gods to me. From that point on my love for United doubled and kind overtook Bayern as my number one. And it has been like that ever since although Bayern have been working their asses off to win me back these past few years with outstanding play, lots of silverware and brilliant attacking football. Above all, they always seem to go out and sign players I covet. For me Neuer, Shaqiri and Goetze were at the top of my most wanted list and Bayern, not United went out and got them. It’s like my favorite player of all time Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is tapped into my head and he goes after all the players I love. I am not a big fan of Spain or Spanish football but I have always liked Thiago. So what happens, Rummenigge goes out and gets him too. The only problem with that is that although I love Bayern, I also love United and even more so. I wanted Thiago for Manchester United. Frankly Bayern do not need him because their squad is already over saturated with world class brilliance. United on the other hand are in desperate need for a play making midfield general. So although I am happy Thiago chose Bayern as my Plan B, I am disappointed because my Plan A failed.

      I love both clubs but sometimes it gets difficult. 1999, 2001 and two years ago was tough when both clubs met but I fully admit to pulling for United in all three ties, but not as enthusiastically as I do when they play anyone else. Yes sometimes I feel like a Mormon with multiple wives but even they have a true favorites amongst their women. 😀

  11. tres grognon de la part de grognard…
    Though i agree with most of this really well written article, i doubt Thiago would have found Mourinho appealing.
    I also seriously doubt we will fall like loserpool. The glazers know that the the only way to attract sponsors and make united a profitable business(just really wrong and sad) is through success… that said i really hope they gonna splash some cash to make 1 or 2 marquee signings to try to compensate the loss of SAF.
    Still excited to see next season’s post-Fergie united, Moyes will certainly be really motivated to prove his doubters wrong. And hopefully he will make some good signings sooner rather than later.
    Time will tell…

    • @sean: Mourinho is not everyone’s cup of tea. Just ask Ronaldo and Iker Casillas. But the majority of players out there, especially the ones who have played for him absolutely love him. Players were in tears when he left Chelsea and Inter. He also has the ability to attract many Latin based players because culturally, Portuguese is similar. It’s not just about Thiago, it’s about the future and the dozens and dozens of other targets we will lose out on because of the Glazer’s approach and David Moyes as manager. How many world elite players are choosing to play for Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers? Regardless of his value, he is seen as a British manager who “probably” is technically and tactically naive by many world class players. I was no fan of Rafa Benitez but at least he had the drawing power to get a Fernado Torres, Pepe Reina or Xabi Alonso. Rodgers can only interest bottom of the barrel foreign prospects and tier 2 UK talent. This is the direction United is heading without the aura and presence of Fergie to help secure deals.

      • @Grognard: We need to get Jurgen Klopp to sign an agreement that when he’s done with his current Dortmund deal he needs to come to united.

        And then we pay Moyes out for his remaining years. Because he doesn’t strike me as anywhere near as technically gifted as Jurgen Klopp.

  12. United as a club also overates itself in the market. We believe the brand is a massive pull. But foreign players want to live in London, if not want to sign for the most money.
    Our real trump card was Fergie, now he has gone we have David Moyes. Thiago probably has never heard of him and really why would he want to sign for a manager who has won nothing in 10 years of managing a Premier League club?

    • @Stephen: Fergie wasn’t that much of a trump card outside of the PL. How many top players have we missed out on in the last 3 years alone, many of whom went on to sign for mediocre clubs and managers.
      I think having a top class manager obviously plays a part, but for most players out there its definitely a lot lower than you think on the list of reasons for signing for a club.

      • @tonymontanna4united: It was he that signed RvP.
        Nasri went for the money and Hazard obviously was drawn to London.
        At least Fergie had a draw and an appeal, Moyes has nothing.
        Also Fergie alone was worth 10 points a season, now what do we have??? Only RvP, hence we need Rooney.

        • @Stephen: The more I think about Moyes the more I realise we have a major problem. As you say, he has no appeal whatsoever to your top player who has his pick of clubs. The only thing that can rectify this is if he wins the Premier League or the Champions League this season! If he fails on both fronts (which is likely) it will cement the perception of him in the eyes of the average foreign player as a second-rate loser and an unappealing coach to play for.

          Wow, it’s finally sinking in. What have United done??? 🙁

        • @Stephen: Calm down Stephen, I wasn’t having a pop at fergie, I was merely saying that to players OUTSIDE of the PL he didn’t seem to be that big a draw to foreign players despite being pretty much unanimously considered the greatest manager of all time.
          Shit loads of players turned down the chance to work with fergie, despite that tag.
          In the last 3/4 years alone I can think of Benzema, Ramsey, Sanchez, Varane, Villa, Hazard, Lucas and Sneijder and if you want to go even further back you can count the likes of Robben, Essien, Mahmdou Diarra, Drogba, Ballack, Shearer, Batistuta, Mikel etc etc.
          My point is that whilst having a manager with the world wide appeal of a mourinho or pep has its advantages, I think on the whole there are atleast 3/4 different conditions that are placed higher on a players checklist, then the manager of the club hes going to sign for.
          Anyway, im not Moyes’ chief spokesman here, as personally he wasn’t my choice either, and I do wish we had brought in someone with a little more appeal.
          But he is the manager at the end of the day, and I’ll give him atleast to the end of the transfer window to show us what he can do.

        • Actually I know exactly what United have done: gone for the cheapest option, some numpty who is experienced in managing on a shoe string budget and squeezing the best out of crap players. Oh yes the future’s looking bright at Old Trafford. Best of all he won’t complain about it and they only have to pay him a fraction of what the top managers (SAF, Mourinho, Pep) earn. The Glazers will be laughing all the way to the bank while us mugs are watching Leighton Baines hoof balls up to Fellaini, meanwhile Chelsea and City hoover up all the trophies. Brilliant.

      • @tonymontanna4united: For me the ultimate kick in the head was Lucas Moura choosing johnny come lately PSG over us. What the FRAK is a PSG and what business do they and Monaco have in trying to sell themselves as players in the transfer game? Bottom line is both clubs signed attractive managers and sold themselves as building projects for the future and guaranteed Champions League participants. Well we are already there so what gives? Money, lower taxes, manager and romantic entertaining location.

  13. Agree with every word of that Grog (well except for the bit about kagawa who I personally really rate), but other than that excellent.
    At the end of the day, the brunt of all these problems comes down to the bloody leeches we have in charge slowly draining everything out of this club.
    They have, are and always will be a fucking cancer to this club of ours and the sooner they are gone, the bloody better (not that I think that’s something that is soon coming more’s the pity).

    • @tonymontanna4united: Not until they have drained every last drop of blood from the Utd stone. But fuck them, we’ve been down before and come back even better and we will again

      • @red astair: With the increased TV deals coming in and the re-negotiation of the Nike deal in a few years they aint going anywhere. Sickening to read that business analysts reckon we could get as much £1bn from that, the majority of which will no doubt be going straight into Glazers greedy deep pockets.
        Makes me fucking sick.
        Your right though. Whatever happens this club will never die.

    • @tonymontanna4united: I’ve been crying about the Glazer cancer for years but not until now do I really fear for the club and it’s future. As long as Fergie was manager I felt he could overcome most of the obstacles and hindrances placed in our path, and he did. I have no such faith in Moyes. Moyes is a good manager and a fine man, but he can’t hold Mourinho’s jockstrap. And that for me says it all.

  14. I totally agree with this and we are headed for a big Trouble ahead if measures are not taken.


    You can make more $$$$ in Germany or Spain, and lots more at Chelsea, Citeh or Monaco. Hell, you can make tons more in Russia too, if you’re willing to put up with pretty fucky living conditions.

    If you think players are playing for anything but the name on the BACK, you’re daft.


  16. You’re buying into all the media hype – As we discussed before the media will continue to link us with every half decent player.

    As far as I’m aware no bid was actually made for Thiago. Therefore there is no snub etc.

    The rest it has always been thus. Madrd and Barca will always be the priority for players. London will hold more sway than Manchester.

    How can you be fanatical about both Bayern and Manchester? Who do you want to win the CL?! Shall I just support Barca as well?

  17. great article. agree with everything you say. best we can ‘hope’ for in midfield is Fellaini (please no… long ball football!). Just one other point about failing to attract top players .. don’t underestimate WAGS influence on players choice of club. Shopping, clubbing, sunbathing etc is far more attractive in Spain, Italy, France, even Germany and London rather than grey wet Manchester!

    • @pete: I’m sure wags play a big part in convincing many pussy whipped players where to go. Sad really. 😆 😆

  18. first about moyes ,sir alex had 1500 games of football ,he has seen a lot of managers and a lot of mind sets ,if he say moyes is the man i have 120% of trust in his decision…i dont know how mourinho or pep would manage everton i could only guess..i have the absolut trust in moyes and the things he achieved with everton i really respect a give the man a chance please… mourinho has had good achievments ,but as sir bobby said he has something in his past what wasnt so pure…
    i agree with united loosing on some good players in the past like silva..i dont understand players like lucas choosing psg ,but what to for alcantara if he chooses bayern ,i can understand it cos bayern is on the same level like united with achievments and history even ,i think its more higher..but i think we should have much more intensity in the pursuit of alcantara cos he is a rare talent..
    it also depends on a player what mentality he has ,is he a real fighter and wants to prove himself in united or maybe he wants to go to barcelona or bayern or real with their star players and let himself be driven a bit by the strenght of others..,i prefer the first one`s
    i am against to buy his attitude with money ,the nasris hazards and similar can play somewhere else..

    • @toshe: Vince Lombardi was the greatest coach in the history of the NFL and when he retired from the Green Bay Packers he insisted the club select Phil Benkston as his replacement because Vince felt the man would do well. The Packers went on two have over 20 years of losing and Benkston got sacked after a few seasons. My point is that as great as Lombardi was as a manager, he was not perfect and his judgment could be clouded. Who is to say Fergie has perfect judgment. Christ I’ve heard from his own mouth the many mistakes and regrets he has had over moves he made and didn’t make. And still I really feel his selection of Moyes was always prodded by the Glazer’s who insisted on a yes man as a replacement and not a boat rocker demanding exorbitant transfer kitty’s

      • @Grognard: Lombardi could kiss Bill Walsh’s arse till his tongue stopped wagging (which VL was the very best at). 😀 😀

        • @Redrich: The Super Bowl Trophy is called the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The truth is I loved Bill Walsh. He was an innovator and tactician like Guardiola whereas Lombardi was a motivator, man manager and head games specialist like Fergie.

  19. Moyes has his first game tomorrow, his 1st game…deeming him a failure because of his ‘draw’ or whatever the eff that means before his first game for me is just plain silly…after a season of failure yes, but now? in pre-season? A joke

      • @Redrich: I’m all for giving him a chance but my complaint and that of millions of other United fans is he has taken a job with high expectations where his hands are already tied financially and culturally. It’s not his fault he is British born and not the trendy choice for manager but if you want to scout Brazil, Spain Argentina etc, then don’t be upset when players from there choose to play elsewhere where the manger is more to their tactical and cultural liking and where the money flows freely to the players and not to the owners. I honestly wish Moyes well but I really feel he will be in the same hole a year from now that Brandan Rodgers finds himself. A decent manager with no real money to spend and big name players interested in coming to play for his club.

      • @Redrich: Yeah, I don’t remember Fergie’s exact words but his tone was clear: there’ll be some dark times ahead but you have to get behind Davey Moyes. Fills you with confidence doesn’t it? 🙄

  20. Grog,
    Very nice write up mate. Comprehensive and wide ranging, covering the whole gamut. I agree with almost everything you say especially the Glazer cancer bit.

    Don’t you think, though, that most clubs face the same challenges securing new talent as well? I mean, the pool for WC talent is not that big and so there always must be a strategy to how you approach it. The dive right in, aggressive style would perhaps, lead to a bidding war, the throw your money at the best talent, could, perhaps leave you with an unbalanced team, and maybe, appeasing the pressure from the fan base could take control of the club away from those that actually….. control it? What you think??

    Also do you think Pep has damaged his pursuit of Thiago with his comments to his old club, to the point where Sandro Rosell will nix the whole deal and leave him with (Thiago) only 2 options?

    • @Redrich: Anything is possible Red. I think that Pep has a lot of power and respect within the game and I hear that the Barca hierarchy are getting a lot of grief for their statements within Spain. If Thiago wants to go there Barca really cannot force him to go elsewhere. The player has final say where he goes at the end of the day. Even Barca would not force him to stay the way we seem to be forcing Rooney to.

      I actually feel that the whole EPL is suffering a bit when it comes to capturing the creme de la creme of world football. I think many do not like the kind of football being played in England. Culturally, there are negatives for some but London wins big for it’s night life compared to Northern England I guess. But lets face it, most of these South American or Mediterranean based players prefer the warm weather and cultural familiarity Spain offers. Monaco is beautiful and pays big so a Falcao snubs all the big clubs and goes there. PSG offers Paris and all her cultural trappings and Bayern is a super team in the best run league in all the world and lets face it, now they have Pep. Trust me, if Pep was not in Bayern, evenwith their treble I seriously doubt Thiago would have gone there. Bayern were smart though. They hired a man of the world as opposed to a man of the region. It’s all about sales and marketing. United call themselves a team of the world but they have never had a foreign manager. Hell, it seems all their managers come from Scotland. That just doesn’t cut in today’s globally motivated melting pot mentality.

  21. We all seem very hungry right now. Hungry for some news, some information about our new manager, some clarification of issues on our mind.
    It’s all understandable – living in the dark is not well received in this information friendly age and United could do a better job in informing their devotees of their intentions.
    However, the covert ops which include transfer negotiations, are not, and should not be public knowledge.
    We are all blabber mouths (and of course by that, I mean the press) and news of our impending desires will turn every effort to improve the club into a very thin slice of swiss cheese. We don’t want that. do we? (or do we)?

    But the biggest thirst is quenched by those that revel in our failings. Nothing like a good fuck-up to get the troops marching, flares lit, thumbs tucked in their lapels and told-you-so smirks on their faces.

    What better way to titillate the unsatiated. Drink up, ’cause for you, the well will soon be dry.

    • @Redrich: You are right but lets face it, when it comes to fuck ups in the transfer market, United hasn’t just had a few. They are becoming a joke or parody and the redundancy of their failure has become epidemic. My concern is not losing Thiago. My concern is losing Thiago. Moura, Sneijder, Aguero, Silva, Nasri, Ozil, Ballack, Hazard, Ronaldinho etc etc. And all the major transfer failures we have had other than say Alan Shearer have happened under the Glazer regime. Things that make you go hmmmm!!!!!! 🙂

  22. If only the club put half as much effort into attracting the best players as they do signing up sponsors we wouldn’t be having this discussion. How many people travelled to Thailand from the club? Did I read 180 or something like that?!? It’s certainly not players since many of the first team were left at home injured – so just who is this entourage??

    To my mind the commercial side has got way too big, which might be tolerable if it was being invested back into the club/squad. But we all know that most of that money is heading elsewhere… However, in the not so long run, if they fail to invest in the best talent they won’t be in a position to attract the same sponsorship money, because we’ll not be winning things. That’s the hard reality.

    This obviously was going on under Fergie for the last 5 years or so but it’s getting more and more overt & distasteful to me. However, it’s not fair to judge Moyes yet given what he has inherited, especially after 12 days in charge before a ball has been kicked. Fergie has not left him with a bed of roses squad wise – an aging central defence, threadbare midfield, under-performing wide players, very little talent coming through the youth system (our biggest long term problem) and then the Rooney saga. Moyes is an easy scapegoat, but there is some serious work needed that will take more than a few weeks (or even a season) to remedy.

    I also think Moyes deserves time to judge for himself the players he has inherited and we’ll have a much better idea of where the club is headed under Moyes 6 months or a year from now. We’re an inpatient bunch, but for me at least, that’s in large part because there has been long-standing neglect of key positions that we have witnessed from up close for 3 or 4 seasons now. Moyes has been there 12 days, so I say we should give him a chance and not expect miracles this season. Even Fergie would struggle to win anything with the current squad in the year ahead.

    • @ForeverRed: Your first paragraph could be paraphrased like this:

      “It would be so much better if me and my wife didn’t have to go out to work so we could spend more quality time raising our children”

      Unrealistic for most families, as it is with the one you and I share, mate. 😉

    • @ForeverRed: What a great point. “If only the club put half as much effort into attracting the best players as they do signing up sponsors we wouldn’t be having this discussion” – See more at:

      I loved that comment. The bottom line is that is indicates what is important to the owners of the club. Making money for themselves. They have no concern about what the fans want or even what the manager wants. It’s about branding, marketing and licensing which bring millions of dollars to the ownership. Problem down the line however for Team Glazer is if they do not in fact invest in the on field product the club will begin to lose and then their market strength and universal brand status will collapse around them because worldwide fans are fickle. They do not have the allegiance of a born and raised Mancunian. They will jump off the bandwagon when things get tough and the club enters a period of losing and mediocrity. All this branding and licensing only works if you are an elite team constantly winning. Their cheap negligent attitude to building a powerful squad will come back to bite them in the ass because I am a believer in he old and highly successful adage that you only make money if you spend it. And once the team really starts to lose and the money dries up internationally, then we all will get our wish and United will be sold. But not before the damage has been done.

    • @ForeverRed: Now that David Moyes is hired I personally would insist that we all give him a good chance to prove himself despite the fact he wasn’t my first choice. Despite the fact he doesn’t have that alluring international man of mystery pedigree that Mourinho and Pep have, he still is a fine manager and I am looking forward to see how he manages a talented team compared to a more pedestrian bunch like he had at Everton. I fully expect him to adapt and change a lot of his proven tactical philosophies. Or should I say he better. Fergie said give him a chance and I will. But will the Glazer’s give him the chance by providing him the cash it will take to stay competitive against the likes of Mourinho and Pelligrini?

  23. I think there’s a lotta contradictions with this whole money, Glazers,manager appeal etc. First, let’s look at the ownership. I’m not pro-Glazers nor am I anti-Glazers. But the one sided view seems a lil dangerous and misleading. I know noone likes them and that’s fine but are they the real reason we are not acquiring central midfielders. I seriously doubt that. How many central midfielders of real quality has United ever bought since 1992? I’m thinking Keane,possibly Ince,Veron who else. We have a serious inherent problem with our Whoever Buys Players dept. Before the Glazers came in we were converting the likes of Alan Smith to midfielders. We had players like Kleberson, Djemba Djemba,Liam Miller,Quinton Fortune, John O’Shea. All this in eras were players like,Guardiola mid-90s,Edgar Davids,Laudrup,Dunga through to guys like Deschamps,Gatusso, were dominating games on the world stage. Why didn’t we go for these players? We were however, always keen to splash the cash in other areas particularly strikers,wingers and attack minded players. Mark Hughes,we tried Shearer,Andy Cole,Cantona,Kanchelskis, RvN,Alan Smith,Saha,Sheringham,Rooney, Ronaldo,for several years we tried Torres and we nearly signed Ronaldinho, the obscure South American striker didn’t start with Chicharito. It was Diego Forlan. This trend continued when the Americans took over. Berbatov,RvP,Chicharito,Tevez,we’ve flirted with Benzema,Dzeko,. Strikers, wingers, defenders. Young, Valencia,Nani,Kagawa,Zaha we’ve tried Nasri,Hazard,Bale,Ramsey, were quite close to getting Ribery 3 years ago. As long as it’s not a central midfielder, we are interested. Nothing new. Shows me that as far as the football side of things is concerned, the Glazers have not interfered or tried to change. Their influence seems to be heavily commercial. If they were only interested in profiting always, we wouldn’t have sold the likes of Pique,Rossi,Heinze,RvN for little money. They wouldn’t have sanctioned the exorbitant fees paid for Phil Jones, Young and definitely wouldn’t be involved in authorising the ridiculously priced Bebe transfer. Makes no economic sense if you’re dealing with strictly profit minded people. Our transfer policy seems not to have changed much, and it’s factually clear that the Glazers simply changed the title deeds and have taken a completely hands off approach. The ppl in charge of transfers are still the same. Look at the ridiculous amount we got for Beckham. Same trend. The almost moments like, Ronaldinho are continuing with the likes of Hazard and Lucas. In short, the solution is hiring and firing some incompetent oldheads.

    When it comes to manager appeal, the issue is being overrated. Players these days want money. It’s simple. I think money has always been a factor, but these days it’s THE factor. Why else would Radamel Falcao join The Monaco Project as The Philosopher once asked? Noone took notice but he had a point. Why did Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva join PSG? Why is one of the planet’s most wanted forward on the verge of joining them too? Money dummies. They offer serious amounts of money. I personally would join them. Money talks louder in this age. Not the potential of trophies. Certainly not history. Not culture. Why else would players move to the very nasty climates that England and Russia have to offer? Not Mourinho. Those are just bonuses. Noone cares if a monkey is appointed manager at PSG,as long as I’m super rich. And let’s not dare judge. Us hypocrites who play the lottery religiously. If a proposal was made this very minute, that whoever kisses a dog’s behind just once is guaranteed £200k every week on a 4 year contract with a £60m buy out clause,all of ur pets would be filing sexual harassment suits against you all within this hour. All decency, moral code, ethics, dignity and honor would be assassinated within 3 nano seconds. But let’s hang professional football players who make their living on the sport, for buying into the Monaco Project and getting rich doing what they love. Greedy, unethical bastards. We need to get real with that. Rooney and Thiago,both want better contracts. Simple. Everyone knows Manchester United is one of the very top clubs in world football. European football is guaranteed. The possibility of winning one of the most coveted and the most expensive domestic league trophies, is a yearly high. The media attention and hero worship is unprecedented. Only difference is Madrid and Barcelona have a higher appeal. It’s not the appointment of Mourinho that’ll change that. It’s what it is. Always has been. But both clubs can’t contain all of the very best footballers in the world. Also,different circumstances may push a player in our direction. Not all players are stupid. If they feel chances will be limited, they won’t go to Madrid. Getting players on the market is a dirty game which the Manchester United staff are poor at. Simple

    • @Jay Wire: Cheers mate.

      And the sad thing about our club right now is that the only person we’re throwing money at is Wayne freaking useless Rooney!

    • @Jay Wire: Sorry but your rant reminds me an awful lot of the Warren Commission’s “Single Bullet Theory”. There are many factors coming into play today when it comes to what team players choose. Money is big, Champions League play is bigger. Manager familiarity or compatibility does play a factor too. Ibrahimovic wanted money, guaranteed Champions League play and a manger like Ancelotti who would nurture him and guarantee his playing time. Nobody else wanted to pay the money for a 30 year old and nobody else was guarantee playing time or could guarantee CL time.

      Thiago has not chosen the money. I seriously doubt Bayern will pay him that much more than he would have got from United. The security of Pep Guardiola and the urging of his manager Pere Guardiola was the key element there. Falcao chose Monaco for money, for lifestyle but also because he had said playing in England did not appeal to him and both of the Spanish giants never aggressively pursued him for different reasons. Real had a pact with Atletico to not tamper with him and Barca just felt he never fir in to their system.

      As for the Glazer’s not interfering, who said they were. All they do is place a financial blockade on the manager with salary limitations and a small and very uncompetitive yearly transfer kitty which can attract major players over 28 years old, UK based players, and tier 2 international players. Lets not add names like Veron, RVN, Keane, Rio, Ronaldo and others who showed up before the Glazer ownership started. My beef is with the Glazer’s not the ownership before them. And I am more than aware of Fergie’s historic neglect of the midfield. The article was not about neglecting the midfield but about our terrible and naive transfer policies and tactics since the Glazer’s took over, regardless of the player or position.

      Finally I’d like to add that all though I respect your points as they are well thought out, I have a difficult time with anyone who can tolerate the ownership regime presently destroying this club. That does not mean that I am an anarchist or a fascist nor do I celebrate Guy Fawkes Day. I just hate these owners because I know what they are about. I know all about their dirty dealings within the United States and their terrible ownership of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who have by far the lowest salary structure in the league. Their track record in property buyouts and closures is that of personal greed and their attitude towards fans and communities they hold hostage is despicable. They are corporate monsters and any kind of tolerance of them can not be tolerated. Not being for them or against them sounds like a fence sitter to me. Fence sitters never really take a stance on anything and never really have a perspective on anything. You have to be one or the other. I may not like the fact you whether anyone is a Glazer supporter but I would respect their decision to choose. But being indifferent to both sides just makes no sense to me mate, I’m sorry.

      I see all the money that the club makes in big part to the brilliance of the Glazer marketing machine but then I see that United are nothing more than a marketing vessel that is being used for making money for one group, the Glazer family. The money clearly does not go into player development and buying players. Therefore the money does not go towards appeasing the millions of die hard United supporters that feel rightly so, that they should compete financially on the field with Bayern, Barca Madrid, PSG, Monaco, Chelsea and Man City. Anything less is tantamount to mutiny. They are stealing from our club and we the fans suffer for it by watching our club slowly but surely lose their dominance. As long as we had the genius known as Fergie around he could slow down the bleeding and keep us competitive, if not so much in Europe. But now he is gone. Blind ignorance to the Glazer cancer will not solve the on field recession this club is facing in it’s future.

    • @Jay Wire: Jay, I actually really like you as a poster, but when it comes to the glazers and your indifference towards them (at times it almost comes across as slight support) I will never understand you. If you cant see how these bastards are hampering us then well im not going to try.

      PS- I agree with that about managerial appeal. Whilst I personally would have preferred Klopp or atleast someone with a bit more appeal than Moyes, I do think that will come a little lower on a players list of priorities than people expect, most likely below that of how much wages he is likely to get each week, and the clubs standing in europe.
      As were not all that highly placed on either, having a mourinho as manager would obviously be a benefit, but then with the penny pinching ways of this club and the lower wages on offer in comparison to other clubs, for a lot of players the chance to play under mourinho still isn’t going to be enough.

  24. Hey guys – been a while since I’ve posted on here, just like to say that if the deal for Thiago to join Bayern has been agreed then all I can say is we have missed out on a player that could have really solved our midfield issues.

    I would have hoped that the one good thing coming out of SAF’s departure with the club is that we could have seen a renaissance of sorts, at least in our playing staff and an evolution of our style of play, this is starting to seem more and more unlikely, maybe i’m jumping the gun and should reserve some of my thoughts until we actually start the season, but these are just some of my worries as it seems we are stuck in status quo and never actually willing to go that extra mile to bag the top talent around anymore (at least in the midfield)

  25. You may be correct in all you say, But the fact is Manchester United is one one the greatests football teams in the World, and David Moyes is here on a six year contract, so lets get behind him and give him the support he deserves until he is proven to be the wrong choice,

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