Ed Woodward Is A Business Genius

Date published: Thursday 1st January 1970 12:00

Ed Woodward Is A Business Genius

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I’d Like To Buy Your House
Hi Football365,
I know you are a football website and my email has nothing to do with football but I wanted to get your readers thoughts anyway.

I recently moved to Oxford where the property market is insane. Houses in the area I am looking in sell for the best part of a million. I still wanted to buy however so I took a walk around, found a house I liked the look off and knocked on the door.The owner answered. His name was John and his house was made of Stones.

“Hello” I said, “I’d like to buy your house. I will pay you 300k. I know the going rate is closer to a million but I think materials and labour to build your house are only about 250k so I think my offer is fair. An inflated property market is not my fault after all”. I’m sorry he replied “My house is not for sale”. Ah I thought, he said it was not for sale but he didn’t say it wasn’t for sale ever.

Encouraged I started a bit of a campaign. I went around the next day but rather than knock on his door I simply shouted from the street “I’d like to buy your house. I’ll give you 500k.” Passers buy stared and a few of the neighbours curtains twitched but that’s OK I thought.

Eventually John came to the door. He seemed a bit annoyed. “I already told you my house is not for sale” he said. I was a little frustrated but I wasn’t giving up. I’m pretty good at DIY and stuff so it would actually be better for the house to be under my ownership. Therefore, for the past view days I have continued to go round and shout new offers from the street.

I’ve acted really confident so the old guy knows I’m boss but he is just refusing to see things from my point of view. I fact if anything my attitude seems to be strengthening his resolve. My last offer was not actually that far off the market rate but he is still refusing to sell. What is this guys problem?
Pete, Oxford

United Trying to Flex Their Muscles
I think the whole De Gea/Ramos debacle is all about United attempting to increase their perceived power in the football world and to show that far from giving in to the clubs based in lovely European cities they will also attack them and go after their players. Unfortunately it seems Woodward is not in the elite league of football’s political players and most of his attempts to demonstrate power end up proving the exact opposite. I read somewhere that the Benzema to Arsenal rumour was instigated by Real themselves as a way of demonstrating that they can keep hold of their players.

The top levels of football have managed to make the business and politics of the game more interesting to the general public than the game itself and I find it quite depressing. With the amounts of money involved I guess it was always inevitable but hopefully there are still some people out there who are more interested in the football. I have a Tottenham supporting friend who asks me if Bolasie is worth £25m or £10m or whatever, the answer is no, to whatever amount because I enjoy watching him play for my club. He is erratic and unpredictable and I’d rather have fun watching football even if it means the long term financial future of my club is slightly less stable.

The recent mails around tactics are refreshing to read and Football365 does a great job of covering football rather than the pound signs so please don’t get dragged down in to it!

P.S. Remember when Schweinsteiger was a winger, only just occurred to me today.
Ant, CPFC

Dragovic A Target For United?
Now that the Otamendi and Pedro sagas have concluded and Utd continue to be lined with unobtainable targets; I’ve been wondering who should or could they actually get.

Most people agree that Utd need a commanding and experience Centre Back. Hummels, Ramos and Otamendi have been linked but were either not available or passed on. This morning someone mentioned Utd need to find another Vidic and it feels like that is the case. Obviously, he was an exceptional player but the sentiment is correct.

Targets who are maybe under the radar of your average newspaper pundit can be signed for a decent price and could be developed into better players. Someone around the age of 24-25 from European league who could step up to the premier league as he hits his peak. The name that springs to my mind it Alexsandar Dragovic. I admit to not having seen a lot of him but he was linked last January and is known as tough tackling and plays international football with Austria.

The other one to look at would be Benedikt Howedes. He’s right footed but played left back at the world cup for Germany so is comfortable on either side. Schalke seem to be open for business with the way they’ve talked about Draxler and at 26 seems the right age for a step up at club level.

In attack it was disappointing to miss out on Pedro. Neymar, Bale and Muller are fantasy signings. I do believe we’ve got a chance at Bale next year though. With his wife and kid back living in the UK he may decide that 3 years at Real is enough for him. However, it looks to me that Utd could do with a right winger and a backup striker. De Bruyne looks set for City and prefers the no10 position anyway. After that I am really struggling to think of a suitable target to play wide right. Would a punt on Antonio Candreva at Lazio be worth it? He is experienced and could see Darmian lineup with his international colleague.

Another striker seems tricky. Rooney is captain and LVG has put his faith in him. Therefore, a ‘marquee’ name is unlikely to come in. Hernandez is the sort of good character to have as he doesn’t cause any fuss but if Rooney was out for a while is he good enough. Wilson has bags of potential and you don’t want to stifle his development. I’d like to see a move for Alexandre Lacazette. Maybe Hernandez could go the other way as part exchange. Lacazette is pacey and scored a lot of goals last season. He could act as backup to Rooney or go up top with Rooney at 10. Wilson stays 3rd choice.

So for me Dragovic/Howedes, Candreva and Lacazette with Hernandez leaving would give Utd a far stronger squad without stupid money being paid out. Those three are all at the right age to make the next step up but if they don’t quite develop to World Class level then they would still be useful squad players.
Mark, MUFC

We’ve Played Five Games And We’re Unbeaten
I honestly cringe reading the missives from some United fans, WTF more do they want? We have played a total of 5 games this season we are unbeaten letting in 1 fluke own goal, we have 7 points in the League and have qualified comfortably for the Champions League proper yet they only want to come on here and complain. Oooh Rooney is crap, we need this we need that, play him, drop him, buy him, how about you all SHUT THE FU*K UP and support your team? You never know you might enjoy it a tad more.

I’ve said it before but the spoilt little s**** who have only known the good times under Sir Alex need to take a step back and chill out, us older fans remember the real rubbish of the Sexton era as well as dropping down a division when our keeper Alex Stepney was our 2nd highest goal scorer.

So be careful what you wish for because the way you are all on LvG’s back asking for his head we may just end up with another Moyes or Sexton.

That pass by Schweinsteiger though football porn.
Paul Murphy, Manchester

A Defence Of LVG
Reading through this morning’s mailbox I was struck Fadida, Australia’s extraordinarily patronising missive regarding LVG being a complete womble who is pretending to know things about football. Because all of those trophies he won are clearly junk and getting a pretty average Dutch team to the Semis of the most recent World Cup is actually quite easy.

Some of the stuff in his mail is hilariously arrogant – he essentially accuses LVG of having less footballing knowledge than an Australian C licence level coach. I must be missing something but how many Australian coaches are there at the top of World football?

His ire at footballing ignorance is not reserved for LVG however, us mailboxers cop for it as well – “The amazed response in the recent mailboxes to the existence of “triggers” for pressing suggests a serious lack of knowledge from the average football fan. This perhaps explains why people are in awe of Van Gaal. Again triggers for pressing are covered in lowish level coaching courses. 10 year old’s know them.”

Though I wouldn’t exactly call myself ‘amazed’ at the triggers mail, I did find it very interesting. I am a football fan rather and casual 5-a-sider, not a professional coach – I know the square-root of f*** all about the finer points of pressing tactics and I am surprised that Fadida expects all fans to have this kind of knowledge. Clearly Australia has become a beacon of progressive footballing philosophies and we should be watching out for those 10 year olds.

Finally, Fadida snootily dismisses LVG’s hoof it up to the big man tactics, as many other mailboxers seem to have done. The hoof tactic is a plan B when our pretty passing isn’t working, it has also proved to be rather effective. It seems as though a plan B isn’t considered worthy unless you play false wing-backs and invert your goalkeeper.

If hoofing it up to Fellaini wins three points, then it’s worked. It may not be pretty but it can be effective considering it is a complete change to United’s passing game that the opposition defence would have been facing previously. To casually dismiss it because it doesn’t fit in with your idea of good football management is just plain stupid.
Smyth, MUFC

Mario Has Gone, I Might Crack Open A Beer
So Balotelli is officially back at Milan (for a season at least) and I’m actually so happy I might crack a beer open after work.

I won’t be a hypocrite, I was excited when we signed him & was quite vocal about it. I was promised a misunderstood prodigy, a talented rebel & a massive ****head all in one bundle. How could I resist such a golden haul. Sure, he wasn’t Suarez but who is?

How wrong I was. To say that the best reaction he got from me was turning to my mates in the pub & declaring my astonishment that he’d actually FINALLY scored against Spurs is a measure of the man. I celebrated the win but I wasn’t celebrating Mario.

Stories now emerge of him being a complete dick to his team-mates and coaches and grabbing a crafty cig or two in Melwood, as well as stories about how “the formations didn’t suit him” and it’s all Rodgers’ fault. I know who I’m backing here, soz Mario.

And now he’s gone & we didn’t even get the fun side of Mario, which might be my biggest lament in all of this. His time here was no fun, no use & there were certainly no fireworks.
Kris, LFC, Manchester

United’s Woodward Is A Shrewdie
Football has a massive ego problem. We all know about footballers and their ridiculous ego, but it seems that this problem has crept into football writers and football fans. As much you would like to think that this the biggest sport in the world and that is a massive money making industry, it really isn’t.

Let’s get some perspective here. According to the Deloitte Money List, Real Madrid have been the biggest football club for the last 10 years. Real Madrid’s revenue last year? €550 million. Manyoo was second at £433 million. For you peasants, that sounds like a shed load of money, but in the corporate world, the two biggest football clubs in the world are nowhere near the Forbes Fortune 500 list.

And now, my point.

Ed Woodward has been made out to be the easy fall guy. Paying £4mil extra for Fellaini? Ed’s fault. Fake Spanish lawyers? Ed’s fault. Not getting Pedro, being linked to Sergio Ramos? All Ed’s fault. That bumbling fool is clearly incompetent and can’t negotiate a deal to save his lfe! Poor Ed, being taken to the cleaners by high powered football agents and blood sucking lawyers!

But everybody conveniently forgets that this was a man who, as Manyoo’s commercial director, somehow managed to con DHL (revenue €56 BILLION) into sponsoring Manyoo’s training kit for £40mil. While everybody was compromising their brand by selling naming rights to the stadium, this man managed to convince AON (revenue $12 BILLION) into paying £160million for naming rights to the freaking training ground! And this on top of his other recent achievements such as the world record £750mil deal with Adidas (revenue €15 BILLION) and £350mil deal with Chevrolet.

If you thought Jorge Mendes was a slimy creature at the negotiation table, you clearly have not met an American lawyer! The commercial guys at General Motors (Chevy’s parent company – revenue $155 BILLION) and Adidas eat people like Jorge Mendes for breakfast!

The point is, this man clearly knows what he is doing. If he can handle the negotiations with those massive global conglomerates, I am sure he can handle small time football agents. If there was something stupid happening, it’s because the club have never responded to rumours, allowing the football press and agents to run amok with crazy stories and rumours about transfer deals.

The truth, about all those transfer rumours, if it was to come out, I am afraid will be much more boring that what you read in the papers.
Vincent Hantubola

More Tactical Nuggets
Long time reader, first time…etc, etc

Inspired to write in on the matter of tactical nuggets. I was speaking with an Arsenal insider once who described how one of the measures Wenger looks at when directing his scouts and, I assume, trains his players in, is their “gate”. This is the angle in which their feet are pointing in when ready to receive a pass. For example, if you’re feet are pointing in the 10 to 2 position you have a wider gate (as opposed to both feet pointing to 12) which means you will have more options when the ball arrives and be able to execute one of those options quicker.

Also discussed the issue of long-ball football with a lower league coach whose team were accused of being too direct. He explained that they train defenders to play long, flat balls (ooh er) with backspin to go just beyond a defender and attacker. This means a defender will either not be able to head it and be forced to play the ball with his back towards his goal once the ball has gone over his head. Alternatively he will head it but whilst running backwards and whilst being challenged by an attacker and therefore the header should be quite weak. This is the trigger for the midfield to press high up and win the second ball.
JR, (is Big Sam actually a tactical genius?) London

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