Woodward is excellent at his job, that’s the problem for Man Utd

Date published: Tuesday 11th June 2019 2:30

Ed Woodward Jose Mourinho Manchester United

Send your thoughts to theeditor@football365.com…


Noodles and football
Ed Woodward is excellent at his job, and that’s a problem for Manchester United.

His performance will be measured by the commercial revenue he brings in. If that means there’s an official noodle of Man U, an official tractor, an official colostomy bag, great.

He has excelled at this, bringing in a lot more money than more successful football teams have. It’s fair to say the commercial revenue has far, far outperformed the football side of the business.

This is what has caused the problem.

Man U are run as a business, someone needs to sign off on the nine figure player budget. If you’re in charge of that budget, do you give more weight to the successful part of the business that brings in all the revenue, or more weight to the unsuccessful money pit that risks sinking the whole thing?

Who negotiated the angry birds deal for Everton? I’ve no idea, because he or she isn’t involved in the football side of things, and I’m a football fan, not a fan of creating shareholder value.

Woodward’s success has made him influential across Man U, making him a big voice in bringing in transfers. I’m reminded of a recent article on Valve, who effectively gave up on developing innovative, critically acclaimed computer games they were famous for to be a dodgy online shop.

From a football viewpoint it’s totally backwards, but this type of thing happens in business all the time. The tail wagging the dog because a secondary part of the company starts bringing in more revenue.
Adam Shenton


Every team has its fair share
A quick response to Andy (MUFC) I actually said “stick to what you are good at Ed” So in respect I agree with you Ed is very good on the commercial side of things, the football things on the other hand……..He wants Trippier rather than Wan Bissaka which tells you all you need to know about his footballing acumen.

Shane the LFC fan regarding Karius, he received death threats from Liverpool fans across the globe, I think that is what he was alluding to not the fact the players didn’t immediately run to him to console him.

The Liverpool thing in general, you have banners stating you are not English you are Scouse, you tell everyone “it means more” you recite History as though no other team has ever won anything before Liverpool, lastly the European thing you do realise Liverpool wouldn’t of even been able to enter said competition if it wasn’t for Matt Busby taking on the FA who threatened to throw United out of the league if they even thought about joining a European competition. So yeah you can be rather annoying but lets face it every team has it’s fair share of irritating fans it just seems you have more of a monopoly than most.
Paul Murphy, Manchester


Chelsea’s next manager…
With it becoming increasingly clear that Sarri is leaving and that the transfer ban will stand, I’ve been thinking about who should be next in line to manage the team.

Clearly it is going to need to be someone who can ‘make do’ with a now weaker squad without Hazard. Someone who is tactically astute, can be flexible and find a system which fits what players he has. Someone who can improve what he has, to the point of making Victor Moses a world beater.

That man, is Antonio Conte.

What do you mean he’s at Inter now?

Yeh. The board really has burnt its bridges with quite a few decent coaches. What’s Hiddink’s number again?!
Gez Errico


So in the past week I have seen Chelsea linked with former managers such as Jose Mourinho and today Rafa Benitez, both managers likely to be free agents this summer and without a penny to pay in compensation, it makes you wonder if we will be linked with Claudio Ranieri, he is a title winner and wont cost a penny since he just left Roma.

But let’s be realistic, it will be Frank Lampard won’t it? Or Ruud Gullit.
Mikey, CFC


Growing up as a football fanatic in a rugby-mad country was tough.

Following football here meant BBC Radio broadcasts at 3am.

But, in my opinion, there are three things rugby (loved the “egg-chasing” analogy yesterday) does better than football.

The first, is that only the team captain can address, or question the referee.

The sin bin, for minor infractions, is the second.

And the third is rugby’s use of VAR.

The referee notifies the video ref, who examines the footage and then reports his findings back.

None of this referee-trotting-off-the-pitch nonsense.

Most rugby VAR decisions take 10-20 seconds.

Why can’t footy do the same thing?

It’s a team game…
Nige. AFC. NZ


VAR =£££
To be honest I’m torn on VAR. Whereas I understand the merits of technology, it absolutely does ruin the flow and poetry of the game.

Which is what leads me to my biggest fear, that VAR is a backdoor to “Americanising” the game we love. How long before they show us one replay, and in the time taken to deliberate cut to more adverts featuring Ray Winstone’s humongous head? How long before they start offering instant in-match betting options on decisions that are being reviewed?

Let’s face it, whereas VAR allows a second/third/fourth viewing, the final decision is still subjective. It’s clear from the handball shenanigans throughout this season’s Champions League, that there is a lack of understanding even between pundits/ex-players and referees about what the correct decision should be. Even if the governing bodies do attempt to clarify the rules (I know I know, hilarious), it will be almost impossible to remove the subjectivity of the decision, because every situation is unique.

So, why not monetise it? Make the most of the situation. More controversy, more money for TV stations/FA’s, more ways to get viewers to empty their pockets.

If I remember correct, there was only one replay shown of Lingard’s disallowed goal last week. Is this the precedent they’re setting for the future?
IP (Always a cynic when it comes to FIFA/UEFA)


It’s a conversation which is going to run and run. VAR. We’ve had it drip fed to us so far, but with the Premier League adopting it next season, it’s going to dominate the agenda. We all have to accept that like it or not, we’re never going back. VAR is part of football now. There’s lots of suggestions, so here’s my thoughts and ideas of my own.

1) Some have argued for the use of challenges, like in cricket but this wouldn’t work for football. In cricket, the bowler, and wicketkeeper will always have a good view of the situation and can make a call based on what they see. If they refer a decision that is close, i.e umpires call, they get to keep the referral. This means that if you lose your referrals, its your fault. Football is totally different. Take Man City v Spurs. Hardly anyone knew that the final goal was offside, so would it even have been challenged? I think this is one thing that works well with VAR. The video team checks and lets the ref know if they need to take a look.

2) Another concept suggested from football and rugby is the “too close to call” aspect and staying with the referees decision. Again, I don’t think this works or is needed. In cricket and rugby, when they stick with the onfield decision it is because we cannot be certain. Was it a try? Too many players in the way, can’t tell. Would it have hit the stumps? Too close to call? That isn’t true with offside. We can tell. VAR works here. Whether you are offside by a toe or a leg doesn’t matter, you are offside. The concept of giving attackers the benefit of the doubt only existed because linesmen could not tell with certainty what had happened. Now we can. To me, the Lingard decision was a perfect example of VAR working. The reason this wouldn’t work in terms on penalties is because in football it is the referee themselves that checks VAR, they are not being overruled by a 3rd party. The ref is checking their own decision.

3) So how to fix it? The biggest issue for me is not VAR itself, but the rule for which it seems to cause the most controversial moments: Handball. The World Cup final, the Champions League final, United v PSG, Scotland v England on Sunday. All had handball incidents for which a penalty was awarded. Now, I would accept that all those incidents, under the current laws of the game, were penalties. But I don’t think any of them should have been. The rule is not a good one. Take the most recent one, Scotland v England as an example. The ball is crossed in, no more than a couple of feet from the defender. Her arm is slightly out, but not in a deliberate attempt to block the ball. She has no time to move her arm out the way, so the ball strikes it and a penalty is given. The problem for me is that the punishment is so severe compared to the crime. The vast majority of times, a cross does not result in a goal, so why should a cross that is blocked by a hand be rewarded with a goal for the attacking team? Change the rule back to deliberate hand ball only and VAR will be a lot more effective.

4) The other big one for me is replays. Fans in the stadium and at home should be seeing the same footage as the VAR team or the ref. For fans at home, we should hear the discussion miked up as you get with cricket and rugby. At the moment, fans are clueless as to what is happening. This needs to be sorted. Part of the problem with VAR is fans feeling isolated from the game and this would address that.

5) Find ways to speed it up. Why can’t the replay be shown on the big screen, instead of the ref having to jog over? This happens in rugby sometimes, the ref will look at the relay and make a decision or help make a decision. Maybe a time limit is needed too. This is perhaps the hardest one but I’m sure something can be done.

Honestly, sort those last 3 and I think VAR would be far better received. If it helps to make the right decisions, it should be for the good of the game. At the moment though, it isn’t actually doing that.
Mike, LFC, London


Kepa > De Gea
I’ve noticed that Kepa has been starting over De Gea for Spain recently.

Considering the commonly used argument for Alisson being better than Ederson, is that he starts at international level. Does this mean Kepa is better than De Gea?

I think that Kepa may be in better form but cannot be argued that he is the better keeper overall (for now).

What are the greatest examples of excellent players being ignored as international starters currently?
Adam (Saw a Kepa penalty save compilation this morning, maybe he had a point?), Midlands.


Liverpool supporter ‘pashun’
To wade in fashionably late on this whole Liverpool support issue, I have owned and run what is called a “football viewing centre”, (with a capacity of over 120 persons) in Nigeria for the past 3 seasons.Due to the high costs of cable subscriptions especially in a student environment (mine is located in a University), you often find people patronising such spots to get their football fix.

The point I want to make is that I have had the privilege of observing how different sets of fans support their club, and although being a Manchester United fan myself, I have to admit that the Liverpool fans, although significantly fewer in number than some others (Chelsea, United and Barcelona have the most fans in Nigeria), have the most passionate support.

I know it might not mean much so some, but I have never seen United or Chelsea fans break down in tears when their team wins or loses an important game. But I’ve seen this from Liverpool fans time and again.

I really am of the opinion that there is more to their support than meets the eye.


More Related Articles