Ed Woodward – Executive Vice Chairman of Manchester United must be a very intelligent man – I have no doubt. He advised the Glazers when they were looking to buy the club, was then brought into the fold and has secured outstanding commercial deals for the Red Devils, culminating in a 750million pound kit deal with Adidas – he obviously can negotiate. However since David Gill left in 2013 he has taken on the additional responsibility of securing transfer targets and let’s just say he is not very good at it!!!!!!! His seeming reluctance to actually pay a buyout clause has cost them another target in the last week, the Spanish international and a Barcelona trophy hog, Pedro, who has now signed for Chelsea and actually scored for them on his debut too!!!!!!! Ander Herrera (eventually bought a year later) and Marouane Fellaini (bought for 4.5 million more than the buyout after its deadline passed) were others that ‘Our Eddie’ has tried to get on the cheap, when a set price was in place.
SUCCESSFUL EARLY RAIDS
To be fair to Mr Woodward he is capable of wrapping up deals early in the transfer window – last summer Luke Shaw and the aforementioned Ander Herrera were purchased early and this summer, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin, Matteo Darmian and Memphis Depay were secured so credit where credits due. However the fact United seem to lose out on a lot of their so called top tier signings, especially so publically, questions have to be asked about whether he knows what he is actually doing when it comes to transfers. He did get Angel Di Maria to the club but that did not work out on the pitch and even I accept you cannot blame him personally for this.
Man United have had a fallow period since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, but their transfer business is seemingly now public knowledge (and their failures) and lets be honest there has only been one constant in all of this time – yes you have guessed it Ed Woodward. I personally think Manchester United are now a laughing stock in the transfer market and seen as a soft touch. It makes me laugh that the press / media like ‘Our Eddie’ as he is much more personable and willing to chat than his predecessor – what a surprise that is NOT!!!!!!! My advice for Edward is to become like his TV namesake from the show The Equalizer – keep quiet, hide in the shadows and when you have something to announce or do – THEN STRIKE. Hopefully for United fans sake this will happen before the transfer deadline on September 1st. I would expect movement if they qualify for the group stages of the Champions League (they are 3-1 up heading to Bruges for the second leg) a huge match as Champions League football is a must if you want to attract the highest calibre of player. If not then the talk from the manager about him being happy with his current squad may come back to bite him on the backside sooner than he thinks especially with league games at Swansea and Southampton coming up either side of a visit from Liverpool. The philosophy will be tested to the max then.
Ashes are done now for the progression
Observations post my previous blog on the Ashes :-
Adam Lyth will join the succession of openers to fail in their attempts to partner up with Alastair Cook , along with Nick Compton, Michael Carberry and Sam Robson (I suspect the last two would have loved to have been given the opportunities afforded to the Yorkshireman). Who’s next, well talk of Moeen Ali moving up the order or maybe Alex Hales who has had a consistent season of scoring in the County Championship.
After a great summer as captain, Alastair Cook will not be overly be pleased with his performances with the bat throughout the Ashes series. He should have got a century at Lords and probably at the Oval – but his other scores of 20, 12, 11, 34, 7, 43 and 22 will disappoint him – especially with those starts in some innings. However one thing is for sure he is seemingly getting back to his best after a couple of torrid years previous to 2015. With over 9000 runs already accumulated (as England’s highest ever run scorer in tests) the opportunity is there to pile on the runs in the next few years as undoubtedly England number one opening batsmen.
After another capital thrashing at the Oval it at least hits home that this England team is a work in progress – if there was any complacency coming into the final test with the Ashes secured it has been washed away. Trevor Bayliss has a sound basis but he more than anyone now knows work needs to be done for England to progress, he may well have learnt some new things about his charges during the Oval debacle. So celebrations will be had now (its deserved) but the hard work begins when they head to the UAE for the tests with Pakistan in October before South Africa in December / January.
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