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Long-form rant: Manchester United and their so-called “cultural reboot”

Under the reign of the club’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, Manchester United have had sacked three managers to date.

One of them was David Moyes, ‘the chosen one’ of Sir Alex Ferguson, 13-time Premeir League winning gaffer with Manchester United.

The other was Louis van Gaal, and the recent to get the sack was Jose Mourinho.

Then, they turned their back against those flamboyant names and handed the club’s former striker and legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the sceptre to lead the Mancunian reds back to the zenith of European football.

Ever since Ed Woodward hired the club legend, there is a phrase used by both parties not once but many times over the last few months — ‘cultural reboot’.

So what actually is this ‘cultural reboot’?

While asked to Ed Woodward, the chief replied with a slight grin on his face,

“Ole has brought a lot of the discipline back. Whatever manager we have has to buy into that philosophy and Ole is a walking, talking version of that. Let’s play this out with Ole in terms of the cultural reboot.

“It [appointing Solskjaer permanently] wasn’t pivotal to it [finishing top four] one way or another. I want to take a long-term view — Ole was hired with the long-term view that he will be successful.”

So, now we know that this so-called ‘cultural reboot’ is nothing but a long-term plan that would provide the club with long-term stability.

But we need to stop right here to think about the advancement the club has made since Solskjaer’s appointment and ask a question — “has the club of Manchester United’s stature really made a step forward?”

You might find glimpses of joy, some memorable come-backs and some unforgettable nights here and there.

But has the club seen the real improvement yet?

Having heard Ed Woodward, now we would like to hear what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said about the ‘cultural reboot’ undergoing at Manchester United.

“It is natural to me to manage this way, but it all comes down to being moulded and learning all of my management skills from the gaffer [Sir Alex],” Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke out. 

“I love giving young players a chance and I love being direct, and going forward when the possibility is there. Yep, we need to be better with controlling and dominating games, but that will come with experience.”

By the look of the things, we can all agree on the fact that both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ed Woodward want to see a United team full of youthfulness, hunger and desire to perform on the pitch. 

But when we take a look at their recent records regarding recruitments, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his management have not had always stuck by their norms of building a team for the future.

In the last January transfer window, Manchester United were struggling to cope with the pressure enforced by the congested fixture list. In addition, Marcus Rashford was sidelined with an apparent season-ending back injury. 

On the transfer deadline day of the January transfer window, United went on to sign Odion Ighalo on loan from Shanghai Greenland Shenhua after failing in their pursuit of Josh King, Danny Ings and others.

Although the start to Ighalo’s new life at Manchester was jaw-dropping, United might feel now that they have made a big mistake by extending his stay at the club until next January.

The Nigerian has had scored only five goals and provided one assist so far from 22 appearances for the Red Devils. 

Everyone enthusiastic about United’s progress as a club would have thought that a deal like that of Ighalo should never happen again for the betterment of the football club.

But then came the rumours of Edinson Cavani making his summer move to Manchester United. 

The Ighalo signing was certainly a panic buy, and so is the deal for Edinson Cavani.

The club has replaced a 31-year-old centre-forward with a 33-year-old striker, who has not even touched the ball for over seven months. 

Furthermore, according to the report from The Telegraph, Solskjaer wanted Jadon Sancho. The club has failed to strike a deal with Dortmund. Instead, they might end up signing someone else to fill the void, which is now expected to be a season-long loan deal. 

It would be a sign of conspiracy if we don’t mention this: United have signed not one but two wingers in this summer transfer window.

They have seemingly agreed on the deals for Amad Traore from Atalanta BC and Facundo Pellistri from Penarol. But both of them are 18 years old and have not played in the Premier League before.

They are talented kids, but they are for the future of the club. And in order to glorify the future, the management has taken a huge risk with the present existence of the club.

Solskjaer wanted the board to back him up with the signing of a centre-back, but that looks highly unlikely now at the fading stage of the transfer window. 

Every club has gone through the financial perplexity brought upon by the outbreak of coronavirus. But everyone, or almost everyone, has fulfilled their requirements to a certain extent. 

The only exception here is Manchester United. 

After what has been a shambolic transfer window for Manchester United and their fans, there would be much to argue about whether the club has been relying on the vague ‘cultural reboot’ to regain their lost esteem or not.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Sax

    6 October 2020 at 16:04

    do you remember SAF how he started ??? there will be ups and downs and rights and wrongs ….. nothing is perfect. Most important aspect is learn and move on.

  2. Stewart

    6 October 2020 at 16:15

    This was the transfer window that could have set Utd up for years to come. OGS was right when he said that the current situation meant Utd could exploit the market, but they haven’t. Instead Utd have gone backwards. I can’t really believe that Woodward is so hopelessly useless as to get it so wrong. The only realistic explanation is the Utd hierarchy never had any intention of spending big and making the team into contenders. It’s been said countless times that while Utd’s parasitic owners, the Glazers remain in charge, the team will always come a very poor second best, and this is backed up by ex players and pundits alike pointing out a repeating pattern of just enough being spent to get european football but afterwards successive managers not being backed further. The pattern will undoubtedly be repeated further later this year when I fully expect OGS to be made scapegoat for the boards failings. Judging by the performances of the team this situation is something that the players are also feeling and it’s having a seriously negative effect. The recruitment of young players seems to be on the surface a good thing for the future, but I get the feeling they have been bought, not for what they will bring the team but how much they can be sold for in 2/3 years. There is only one word to describe what the Glazers and their entourage have done to Utd, and that is criminal, or at least it should be.

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