Manchester United’s abject performance in Athens last night reminded me of Karl Pilkington’s Idiots Abroad series. People who should know better, trying foolish things in front of the locals – which makes them laugh and you come worse off. How could United fall so far, so fast?
The root-cause of most accidents is the coming together of single, unconnected events that collectively trigger a chain reaction with a resulting catastrophe. Flight Crash Investigation is one example; not managing change at one of the world’s highest profile Clubs is another.
First event was SAF leaving at very short notice with no shadowing period for the new manager – why didn’t Moyes join as the appointed successor but work as assistant manager for 1 season before taking over the reins? The result is Moyes is in at the deep-end with no feel for the squad’s strengths and weaknesses.
Second event was for the long-time Chief Executive to leave at the same time as SAF. This resulted in over-ambitious, unrealistic transfer targets during the summer and a panic buying of Fellaini at significantly over the odds.
Thirdly Moyes removed the long established, successful and trusted back-room team – and for what good reason? The result - all that experience and insight into the players just walked out the door to be replaced by Phil Neville and Giggs. Planning tactics or things aren’t going well on match day, who shall I turn to for advice – Meulensteen or Phil Neville? Why put yourself in that position? It beggars belief.
United’s current position is down their Board. This group didn’t see the big picture in terms of change and risk management and will pay the price for at least 1, if not more, Champions League free seasons.