English Premier League giants, Manchester United, dominated their domestic league and performed well in Europe since the early 1990s. However, there has been a steady decline since 2013 and supporters are wondering if their beloved team will even finish in the top 4 of the log.
By most accounts, Manchester United are the biggest club in world football.
Aside from being the richest club on the planet, their global popularity is perhaps only rivalled by Real Madrid.
Sir Alex Ferguson built an empire during his tenure as manager but the Red Devils are far from the force they were under his guidance.
Despite investing lavishly in marquee signings and acquiring some of the most decorated managers, things aren’t well at Old Trafford.
Briefly.co.za looks at 3 key reasons why Manchester United may not even reach the top 4 on the domestic log.
Many pundits questioned Mourinho’s appointment to the Old Trafford hot seat.
Granted, he boasted the best win rate in the EPL but his style of football conflicted with the demands of United fans.
Under Sir Alex, United were known for their cavalier, attacking approach whereas Mourinho excels with a more conservative, pragmatic style.
It’s no wonder that supporters have remained unimpressed even when results were in the team’s favour.
This season, his woes have been compounded as star players, such as Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial, have apparently been ostracised.
Mourinho can no longer dismiss the criticism of his dour tactics as results have been mediocre as well this season.
Executive leadership/ Hierarchy flaws
It’s never a good sign when club executives are in the media as much as the players.
Executive Vice Chairman, Ed Woodward, has not been the type of exec that is quietly able to go about his business.
Of late, every transfer decision has been strictly scrutinised and Woodward has received much of the criticism for failed ones.
Gary Neville made the point on Sky News’ debate that there are serious problems within the club’s hierarchy and that the manager is not the issue.
When one considers the number of high-profile signings that have flopped and the club’s current league position, the former United left-back may have a point.
Woodward has been hailed as a financial and marketing guru but footballing expertise doesn’t seem his strong suit.
Many have thus called for the club to appoint a sporting director to focus on football-related matters to free up Woodward to focus purely on the commercial side.
In seasons gone by, the Red Devils may have got away with this level of performance and still achieved success.
However, the competition is greater than ever before.
Manchester City have achieved record levels under Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino has forged Tottenham into a formidable and consistent team, while Jurgen Klopp has transformed his Liverpool side to being genuine title contenders.
Even new boys, Mauricio Sarri and Unai Emery, have done wonders at Chelsea and Arsenal respectively.
At this rate, even achieving a top 4 finish will require a Herculean effort from Mourinho’s men.
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