Ever since entering the post Fergie transition era, United have been investing enormous funds in order to regain their success of the past. The Red Devils have attracted huge names to the theatre of dreams and broken various transfer records in the process, but all that money hasn’t yet meant success for the 20-time league winners. Undoubtedly, there has been an improvement from the days of Moyes and a solid backbone has been built for the future. But spending even more money is not the answer to Manchester United‘s problems.
Money Not the Answer to Manchester United’s Problems
Too Many Egos in the Dressing Room
Old Trafford is already home to some of the biggest names in world football. The most expensive transfer of his time, Paul Pogba. Belgium’s top scorer at just 24 years old, Romelu Lukaku, and many other stars call United their home.
Despite the big names in the dressing room, the atmosphere in United’s camp feels fairly pleasant and there is no real vibe of hostility between the players. However, there is no guarantee that even more superstars in the dressing room won’t disrupt the equilibrium.
Addition of even more young millionaires will just increase the probability of a fallout in the United camp. A prime example of this is the case of PSG. The Paris club have been spending huge sums for a while now and broke the world record transfer fee to land Neymar in the summer. This, along with poor man management, has led to a clash of egos and subsequently led to their premature departure from the Champions League, a competition they looked set to conquer.
Even though it has been five years since the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, United still haven’t completed their transition phase. Part of the answer to Manchester United’s problems is stability.
This has been due to the appointment of momentary minded managers ever since Sir Alex’s departure. First, Moyes, who never looked the part. Then, Van Gaal, whose football was never going to be popular with the Old Trafford faithful. Now Mourinho, who has never spent more than three years at a club.
Mourinho offers sure success but was never a long-term solution of the Red Devils. It may look unlikely at the moment, but Mourinho will surely taste success with United. Yet, regardless of his performance, his departure is highly probable at the end of his contract in 2021.
When he does leave, his successor will come in with a completely new transfer policy and an agenda of his own. As a result, United will have to transition again and again until they find a long-term leader who will stick with his signings.
The Psychological Problem
The majority of people think that the root of United’s problem lies in their personnel. But, United may have more of a mentality issue rather than a recruitment one.
When you look at United’s lineup, you see players with an immense amount of potential. Lukaku, Pogba, Rashford, Bailly, Jones, Martial. These are all players who can be world class, but they just aren’t there yet. The reason behind that has to be the lack of a winning mentality.
United have seen Sir Alex dominate England with the likes of Anderson and Cleverly at the heart of his teams. Sure, they are decent players, but are they better than what the current United squad has? The reason United was able to succeed with such mediocre players in the past was the mentality the likes of Sir Alex and some of the older players like Giggs, Scholes, Rooney, etc injected into the entire side. But when you look at today’s United squad, the absence of such leaders and winners is terribly noticeable.
The Red Devils have a lot of amazing footballers. Footballers who have the potential to be the best in the world, but they don’t have any Keane-esque players with a desire to win at any cost. If this United squad were to succeed, they will need to change their mentality towards winning. Instead of breaking any more transfer records, United now need their players to show the desire to win. The desire to play for the badge and the desire to stand up to the standards set by their predecessors who donned the prestigious red shirt.
Since Sir Alex’s departure, United have invested heavily but not exactly successfully. The answer to Manchester United’s problems is not breaking any more transfer records but changing the mentality of their players. Spending more in the transfer market can result in poisoning the dressing room’s atmosphere. Additionally, not getting value out of United’s heavy expenditure due to managerial changes is also a risk.
That being said some areas of the squad do need strengthening. For example, the left back position and possibly someone to replace an underwhelming Ander Herrera. But these signings have to be smart rather than another void filled with money.
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