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…
Speaking at the club’s annual all-staff meeting, Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has launched a stunning defence of the recruitment strategy in place at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils made just three permanent signings in the summer transfer window, bringing in Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were linked with a whole host of other players, including the likes of Paulo Dybala and Christian Eriksen, but neither ended up joining before the end of the deadline.
The Manchester side have since come under criticism for their lack of replacements for the departed Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, and their miserable start to the current campaign has simply added to the scrutiny on the work being done off-the-pitch.
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However, Woodward vehemently defended the Red Devils’ approach to the transfer market, insisting they have the best available people working together.
He said (as quoted by BBC Sport): “There is a myth that we have non-football people making football decisions. I think that is insulting to the brilliant people who work on the football side in this club. We’ve expanded our recruitment department in recent years and we believe this now runs in an efficient and productive way.
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“Player recommendations and decisions are worked on by this department and by the first-team manager and his staff, not by senior management.”
Attempting to defend his colleagues is understandable, but Woodward’s unbelievably brash attempts at insisting the club are making the right decisions when it comes to the transfer market is mind-boggling. The Red Devils left themselves short on attacking cover this summer, and it has already started to have a major detrimental effect to their side’s performances on the pitch – they have scored just nine times in eight Premier League games.
What is truly “insulting” is for Woodward to deflect the criticism away from himself, and onto nameless groups of individuals. The United chief showed no sign of holding his hand up for the club’s failures in recent years, and his latest comments have simply served to under-line why there is such a feeling of resentment towards him.