The first head officially rolled in the middle of the rain around the European Super League.
Ed Woodward announced his resignation as Manchester United’s chief executive on Tuesday night, while the club confirmed their withdrawal, along with five other separate Premier League clubs.
This draws the curtain on the reign that began in 2013 when David Gill stepped down – and many fans will forever see Woodward’s tenure as synonymous with the failures of the post-Ferguson era.
The 49-year-old oversaw the transfer costs of over £ 1bn but failed to deliver the title, despite hiring four different permanent managers.
United only recently relented with bringing in a football director and, true, has long been desperately needed.
When Woodward was responsible for incoming and outgoing events, his decisions were often deeply unpopular. Looking back at his few dozen signatures, it’s easy to see why.
GIVEMESPORT has been touring United’s revolving door since 2013, and while some of their jobs have been decent – like the free signatures of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani – other arrivals have been split, expensive or simply awful. Here’s how to measure order:
A complete joke
Falcao, meanwhile, has scored just four goals, mostly because he has never recovered from an injury in the ACL. The less they talk about Sanchez, the better, with just five goals in two years.
Not the level of Man Utd
Angel Di Maria
We are 13 players who fall into this category. To be honest with Fellaini, he did a job at Everton – but his fighting, physical style made him unusual, in many ways, at Old Trafford. The Belgian even ended up being booed by the fans. Signing a statement by David Moyes, but one that ultimately determined Woodward’s failure to support the Scot and send him a one-way road to failure.
Memphis Depay impressed Lyon, but during his stay at United he failed to score and mocked claims that he would justify the famous shirt number 7. Di Maria is also, of course, one of the brightest European strikers, but failed to settle in England.
Fred had his moments in the midfield, though he lacked discipline. Blind and Darmian were not regular starters, and Matic’s best years were behind him when he left Chelsea.
We’re not talking bad signatures, but £ 80 million for Maguire and £ 89 million for Pogba still raises eyebrows. Martial scored 78 goals for the club; it’s a shame he blows hot and cold too often, and Lindelof, similarly, is able to prove himself as a solid partner for Maguire, but makes too many slips.
Donny van de Beek
Milinkovic-Savic never even got a work permit. Diallo looked very impressive in the limited moments we’ve seen from him so far – and speaking of untapped potential, we need to remind Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that Van de Beek was sitting there on the bench.
Lukaku’s price is 75 million pounds could they put him in an overpriced category and he got a sizeable stake in United – but we think that’s unfair. The striker scored 42 goals in just 96 games, and at Inter Milan he showed that he is still one of the best European strikers. In fact, like Ibrahimović, who didn’t cost a penny, and he scored more than a goal every other game.
Cavani is another steal in the free transfer, and some of his teammates have also helped the club regenerate under Solskjaer – not least Fernandes, probably the Premier League player of the season. Shaw is finally returning to his early level and while he was a right-back, Wan-Bissaka was an expensive addition from Crystal Palace, a player of his quality will never cost less than £ 50 million in the current market.
History will no doubt remember Woodward unkindly at Old Trafford. The European Super League will play a big role in defining its legacy, but not even the seven and a half years that preceded it will be forgotten.
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