This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
As quoted by Sky Sports, Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has revealed the club have a “clear vision” in regards to their recruitment and philosophy.
Since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson back in the summer of 2013, the Red Devils have lurched from one manager to the other, and have seen a huge turnover in the playing staff too. Their start to the current campaign has been disappointing, finding themselves in seventh place in the Premier League and nine points off the final Champions League qualifying spot.
Speaking after the club’s posting of their latest financial figures which saw their net debt increase by almost £140m, Woodward launched a staunch defence of the Red Devils’ current approach and insisted it is already “beginning to bear fruit”.
He said: “We have a clear vision in terms of football philosophy and recruitment. The significant investments that we have made in recent years in areas such as transfers, recruitment infrastructure, analytics and our academy are already beginning to bear fruit.
“We are very proud to be shortly approaching a milestone 4,000th game featuring an academy player, and we are particularly optimistic regarding the considerable young talent currently coming through. Our ultimate goal is to win trophies by playing exciting football with a team that fuses graduates from our academy with world-class acquisitions.”
Woodward’s almost proud verdict of United’s current state arguably sums it all up really. The Manchester side have been in dire straits since Ferguson’s exit, and there has been no sense of real leadership or direction. The executive vice-chairman’s role in that has turned up the heat on his own work, and it’s fair to say he hasn’t quite delivered on expectations.
Fans have staged protests against both him and the Glazers, and continuing to try and pull the wool over their eyes with statements like these only serves to infuriate them more. It speaks to a man who is more fussed about the PR side of things, then really coming out with the honesty that supporters desperately want. Woodward can talk all he wants about how the club’s “ultimate goal is to win trophies”, but until he puts his words into actions, then that is all it will be – talk.