In a summer which has been characterized as one of transition for the first time in 26 years, Sir Alex Ferguson will not be getting Manchester United ready for the upcoming season. Now, with David Moyes in charge of the team on the field, it was clear that the transition away from the legendary manager to Moyes would be a unique one.
As if stepping in and taking over for a legend was not hard enough, Moyes has seen his job in his first year in charge of the Old Trafford club become complicated because of issues in recruiting players during the summer transfer window, in particular midfielders. Manchester United first missed out on signing Thiago Alcantatra from FC Barcelona despite having been heavily linked with the player and supposedly very close to acquiring him.
After having lost out on Alcantatra, who went on to join former coach Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, Moyes and Manchester United turned their attention to another Barcelona midfielder in Cesc Fabregas. After logging three bids with no real interest to negotiate on the part of Barcelona or any real want on the part of Fabregas of wanting to leave Barcelona for Manchester United, the Red Devils have been forced to look elsewhere.
Now Manchester United will make, or supposedly have already made, an offer to Real Madrid to acquire Luka Modric by offering £25 million for the Croatian midfielder. It is very likely that this offer will be rejected and that Real Madrid will not be inclined to sell Modric, especially given that at this point that any potential deal for Gareth Bale by Real Madrid looks dead.
The inability to have already signed and brought in a midfielder or any player for that matter since Moyes took over on July 1 shows a complete and utter failure on the part of Manchester United’s owners and club management, especially executive vice chairman Ed Woodward, to help Moyes be able to hit the ground running. Now Moyes finds himself chasing his main Premier League rivals as far as assembling a squad for the 2013-14 season.
From the time that the club knew of Ferguson’s plans to retire at the end of the 2012-13 season until the time Moyes would take over on July 1, the club and its executives had plenty of time to work with Moyes in compiling a list of desired transfer targets and preparing to bid and pursue said targets. And when David Gill stepped down as chief executive of the club, it became imperative for Woodward to do everything necessary to help Moyes bring in the players he desired.
Ferguson alone used to close deals and convince a player to sign with the club just because he was the one who wanted the player. With those days now gone, the efforts and support of club executives to work hard in pursuing transfer targets took on increased importance. So far they have let down Moyes as the club have looked like they lack a clear strategy or idea of who Moyes wants to bring in with their scatter and reactionary approach to this summer’s transfer window.
As a result of Moyes being let down by club executives in bringing in players during this summer’s transfer window, this has reflected in the play of the club during their summer preseason games, as it has now looked sharped at all or appeared like a team that is building up to something worth getting excited about for the upcoming season. That’s not to say it won’t be contenders in the league but it is hard to say they will repeat as league champions.
Last year, Manchester United won the league when it acquired Robin van Persie from league rivals Arsenal, beating out their noisy neighbor Manchester City to the player both wanted. Yet in this summer window, Manchester United are letting down Moyes by not having done enough to help him have a smooth start replacing a legend and fending off league rivals heading into the season.