In the aftermath of Manchester United’s pitiful performance against West Ham, the club have taken the unusual step of publically defending their recruitment process.
Since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, Manchester United‘s approach to virtually everything could be pretty much described as ‘scattergun’, with managers, and subsequently, players being recruited with seemingly little thought about the sides desired playing style or general direction.
From Moyes to Van Gaal, from Mourinho to Solskjaer, none of United’s managerial appointments have been similar to any another, with Mourinho signing quality, experienced players, while Solskjaer is keen to recruit young, British talent, with the two coaches also sharing wildly differing ideas on their tactical approaches.
The Norwegian started a summer rebuild by clearing out a number of players, while bringing in Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire and Dan James, although a number of United fans were left concerned about the depth of the squad, especially in attacking and midfield areas.
Those fears are already being justified, with Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw already on the treatment table, with the Red Devils, winning two, drawing two and losing two of their opening six Premier League games, looking thoroughly unconvincing in the process.
However, in a move that stinks of Ed Woodward trying to relieve some pressure on himself – the executive vice-chairman still yet to have appointed a Director of Football despite 12 months of searching – the Old Trafford outfit today released the following statement.
“Everyone at the club, from the owners down, is focused on competing for and winning trophies at the highest level. To do that we have invested heavily in the playing squad and will continue to do so,” the statement reads.
“At the same time, the exciting pool of talent coming through from our youth and academy sections is a result of increased investment in this area over the last five years. It’s important to note that while our successful commercial operation helps drive that investment, the priority is the focus on achieving success on the pitch.
“Similarly, it is worth noting that we are not looking at or buying players based on their commercial appeal. We agree that recruitment is critical. We are committed to getting this right and there has been huge investment in this area to put our recruitment department into a position to be able to deliver the manager the players he wants. This process is significantly more effective than four or five years ago.”