The problems with Manchester United


As the poor results continue to role in, Manchester United are looking more and more like a club lacking ambition and direction.

After last Wednesday’s dire penalty shoot-out win against 18th place League One side Rochdale, fans are growing more and more tiresome of the mediocrity of the team.

United’s last five results in the Premier League include just one win, which came in the form of a 1-0 scrape against former Premier League champions Leicester City.

United currently sit in 11th in the league and many fans are wondering where the blame lays and where the issues can be traced back to.

The Manager 

Manchester United have had four different managers the helm since 2013, all of which failed to retain the role for anymore than two full seasons.

Filling the boots of Sir Alex Ferguson was never going to be an easy transition for the former Premier League titans. Moyes’ 2013 appointment seemed a calculated decision at the time, due to his consistency at the upper-mid region of the Premier League. However, a string of poor results saw Moyes exit before the end of the 2013/14 season.

Van Gaal and Mourinho’s appointments saw trophies brought back to the club, but similar styles of football which wasn’t favoured by the fans.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is one of the clubs all time most beloved players, scoring a total of 91 goals in his 235 club appearances. His legendary status almost romanticised the concept of him taking United out of the slump they have found themselves in. However, a managerial track record of managing FC Molde on two separate occasions and Cardiff City means he is arguably the least qualified of all the previous managers before him.

Image result for ole gunnar solskjaer sad

Photo: ManUtd Times

The club hardly want to part ways with another manager, which leads to suggest that Ole will be given time to get the club on the right path. However, growing frustration and mediocre results could mean Ole being shown the door earlier than expected.

The Board

On the 2nd of March 2003, the Glazer family began the two year process of acquiring the shares of Manchester United. By 2005, they acquired ownership of the club as part of a £790 million takeover. They have been the owners of the club ever since.

Since then the Glazer family have been heavily criticised for their lack of care in the running of the club and treating it far too much like a business focused solely on profit rather than a football team.

A director of football role is something many fans want to see established at the club and filled with someone who knows exactly what they are doing. The role would oversee the different tiers of football at the club as well as the transfer dealings.

Ed Woodward is the current Executive Vice-Chairman  who oversees the running of the club. He has come under fire arguably more than the manager, especially with hid handling of transfers at the club.

Potential names which have been suggested for the role have been ex-player Rio Ferdinand, former player and current Ajax director of football Edwin Van Der Sar and current RB Leipzig Head of Recruitment ,and former Southampton and Tottenham Head of Recruitment, Paul Mitchell.


Club legend and former French International player Patrice Evra published this cryptic tweet online earlier this month in regards to the situation at the club.

Poor Transfers

Manchester United had a somewhat fruitful summer where they saw improvements made to the back-line in  full back, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and world record fee centre back Harry Maguire. Daniel James was also added to the squad to bolster attacking options.

With a long list of departures including former regular first team starters such as Ander Herrera and Romelu Lukaku, keen fans noticed holes in the team starting to become more apparent. With ageing players and players who have been consistently under performing, many wanted more of a clear out in the summer to make way for new talent.

Recently, a positive to take from the squad is the inclusion of academy graduates such as Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong and 17-year-old goal scorer Mason Greenwood who was the difference maker against FC Astana in the 1-0 in the Europa League.

A struggling midfield could have been bolstered by the Tottenham Hotspur summer signing Tanguy N’Dombele, a player Manchester United were linked with extensively. Alternatively, the seemingly never ending saga of Portuguese superstar Bruno Fernandes to the club would have been of great delight to the fans.

With a total spend of £143.10 million on three players and income of£62.5 million, United’s net spend equated to £80.55 million.

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Photo: Daily Express


The famous quote of Rome wasn’t built in a day comes to mind when assessing the situation at Manchester United. Patience is key when a rebuild is happening and with Manchester United the argument that time is needed to get back to where the club should be.

With constant managerial changes, affecting game tactics and signings, a level of constancy is needed at the club which backing the current manager can bring. If Ole is given time perhaps we will see a fruitful January window with reinforcements brought in to aid the club.


In Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Q&A yesterday, he was quoted saying,


“We have a saying in Norway. You trust yourself, back yourself, and you do it your way. As a player, was I good enough? Someone else has to say. As a manager, will I be good enough? I trust myself to keep doing it the way I’m doing things.”

Source Sky Sports

With all predecessors not having massive amounts of time in the role, Jose Mourinho being the longest with two and a half seasons at the club, the manager realistically cannot be expected to fix all the issues at the club in a short amount of time.

The club face eighth place Arsenal on Monday night in what promises to be an interesting game.




About Author

I am an avid football fan and lover of all things media, as well as a student at the University of Worcester completing my degree in the field of Journalism.

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