It was like Groundhog Day at Manchester United yesterday as Ed Woodward promised to try and restore the club to former glories.
Like usual, Woodward pointed to the next transfer window as the one where United’s fortunes can change.
It is important first before digging into his comments, to note the setting in which they were made.
The comments were made at a quarterly fan forum meeting. But as the Evening Standard notes, Woodward was not even in attendance – the pre-prepared statement was read out in his absence.
What did he say?
Woodward’s comments were more of the usual. The same spiel supporters have heard before.
As the club website reported, Woodward said: “Our recruitment process focuses on analysis and selection of players over the course of a season, with a view to the following summer transfer window. As part of the rebuild we see this coming summer as an important opportunity.
“We had consistently taken the view that – because January is not an optimal time in terms of availability of players – we would only buy in January if players we had already targeted for the summer became available and we were pleased that this strategy played out with the signing of Bruno Fernandes.”
Just like we have heard since 2013 with United and Woodward, it’s always ‘next summer’.
After seven years of failure, seeing is believing, and the Fernandes deal is hardly worth boasting about in January considering it should have been concluded last summer.
Woodward went on to praise the £200 million United had invested in players under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
But as we noted yesterday, the true figure is not that high, and it does not take into account player sales.
United’s Premier League position is eighth and we are on track for our lowest ever points total in Woodward’s tenure.
He is speaking like a man who knows the pressure is on, and while that may finally prompt the club to be aggressive in the transfer market this summer, seeing is believing.
Leave it to somebody else
Calls for Woodward to go have been getting louder over the past few months. They aren’t loud enough yet and deserve to be amplified.
If United are serious about rebuilding, they would take it out of Woodward’s hands and give the task to somebody else.
Here is a look at how fans sceptically reacted to Woodward’s comments…
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