Manchester United are in very poor condition. The various changes that have been made since Sir Alex Ferguson retired did not work out as they should. They need massive changes, starting from their management.
The absence of sustainable planning really put a significant impact at Old Trafford. It is easy to claim that a coach failed just because of everything Sir Alex achieved. In fact, United have been running on the spot since appointing David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, and Jose Mourinho.
David Moyes received the squad that was exactly the same as Sir Alex’s last season legacy. The question is, why did the management want to appoint Moyes whose playing style on Everton was far different from what Sir Alex offered?
The club eventually retained all the senior pillars. Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Ryan Giggs, and Wayne Rooney were still there. However, Moyes’s approach was never good enough for a club as big as the United. It showed the club’s initial failure in future planning. The players were too scared for whoever their enemies were.
Moyes was fired after the club realized he would not display beautiful and prestigious football for fans.
Under Louis van Gaal, fans certainly expected a better football match. They did get it, but Van Gaal’s obsession with possession made The United look slow and blunt instead. There were too many sideways baits. The detailed instructions from the coach which was called “Tulip Iron” made players appeared without freedom and looked stiff in the final third of the field. The players were bounded by a chain when attacking and carrying a ball.
Of course, the tendency to dominate the ball excessively made the opposing team unable to approach United’s goal. Van Gaal’s style was not only beautiful, but many of his policies were considered to be very suitable with what United should do. Giving trust in young players, for example. Under Van Gaal, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Paddy McNair, Tyler Blackett, Donald Love, Guillermo Varela, and Timothy Fosu Mensah felt their debuts. He also dared to recruit green talents such as Anthony Martial or Luke Shaw.
He preferred to develop young players instead of complaining about being injured. Outside the field, he also dared to face the press, just like Sir Alex. However, in the end, he was fired because United never appeared sharp. Too many goalless draws. This decision was right if only United did not appoint a replacement named Jose Mourinho.
This Portugal coach has an opposite profile with the ideal manager’s personification of United. Mourinho failed to find the right pattern, even though he was at the club longer than Moyes and Van Gaal.
The problem that occurs now is not only that Mourinho failed to optimize the potential of players. Under the Mou, there are no players leveling up. Jesse Lingard did well last season but was unable to repeat it this season. Rashford performed well for England in the Nations League but was sluggish at the club. Lukaku routinely scored goals with Belgium but continued to be bullied by fans for being inconsistent. Paul Pogba won the World Cup, but at United, he was busy fighting with Mou.
In terms of player’s recruitment, Mourinho is the most wasteful. He spent more than 400 million pounds. The moment when Moyes, who was unlucky to be appointed right after Sir Alex retired, the players were afraid to go to Manchester. He only recruited three players: Fellaini, Varela, and Juan Mata. Fellaini and Mata proved to be Mou’s mainstay in the future.
Meanwhile, Van Gaal might be out of luck in the transfer market. He brought Angel di Maria, but the player did not feel at home. Falcao also stayed only for a season at United. Daley Blind, despite appearing good for him, refused to play as soon as Mou entered. Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger were unable to displace Michael Carrick who was about to retire. Memphis Depay was also considered a futile recruit.
Still, he has legacies in the form of Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw, and Marcos Rojo, as well as a number of young players such as Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.
What could Jose Mourinho do? He continued to complain even though he had spent more than 400 million pounds. He also often highlighted his achievements in the past.
He is clearly not the right architect if United wanted to seriously build the foundation of success.