Manchester United's 15 worst decisions during the Ed Woodward era


Manchester United are down in the dumps right now.

Under the increasingly-weak lead of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Red Devils are beginning to lose their grip on top six status and find themselves just two points above the relegation zone.

The giddy excitement that came during Solskjaer's interim tenure and after the 4-0 win over Chelsea has well and truly dissipated, with the Norwegian's job looking gradually more precarious.

However, although Solskjaer must surely shoulder a lot of the blame, there's a vast majority of United fans who are actually pointing the finger at executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.

The unpopular Old Trafford figure has been in charge of transfers since 2013, which coincides with both Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement as well as the dramatic downturn in United's fortunes.

Ed Woodward's worst mistakes

So, in light of the Woodward criticism, the team at Goal has decided to assess the biggest mistakes the United chief has instigated over the last six years.

The result? No less than 15 clangers ranging from managerial decisions, transfer strategy and even the direction of the club's philosophy. Enjoy - or rather despair at - the clangers down below:

1. Replacing Ferguson with Moyes

Should Moyes have been given more time? Yes. Should Moyes have been appointed in the first place? Probably not.

Hull City v Manchester United - Premier League

2. Hiring Louis van Gaal

Selecting the Dutchman, in spite of a strong 2014 World Cup, always seemed retrograde in terms of the style of football and Van Gaal duly sent the Old Trafford faithful to sleep for two seasons.


3. Signing Angel Di Maria

Arguably the first example of trigger-happy spending, United broke their transfer record for a player who scored just four goals and eventually departed for a £16 million loss.

Manchester United v Chelsea - Premier League

4. Giving up on Depay and Zaha

Just look at what both players are achieving at Lyon and Crystal Palace and tell us United gave them enough of a chance at the club.

Manchester United v Sunderland - Premier League

5. Snapping up Schneiderlin

United might as well have put £25 million in a wheelbarrow and burnt it.


6. Re-signing Paul Pogba

A controversial choice. Pogba has produced some magical moments on his Old Trafford return, but Jose Mourinho and plenty of frustrated fans would argue that he's brought more bad than good.

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

7. Moving for Mkhitaryan

Another short-sighted signing that simply didn't suit Mourinho's plan at the club. Largely injured, inconsistent in front of goal and poor defensively.

Manchester United v Derby County - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round

8. Beating City to Sanchez



9. Buying Fred

Another signing that United beat their city rivals to, Fred has seriously struggled to adapt to Premier League football and needs to turn things around quickly if he wants to avoid the axe.


10. Offloading Daley Blind

Sure, the Dutchman was never a world beater for the Red Devils, but boy could United do with a player like him right now and his form with Ajax proves the point perfectly.

Manchester United v Real Salt Lake

11. Sacking Jose Mourinho

Hindsight is a beautiful thing. Booting out Mourinho looked like a fair decision at the time, but the Portuguese brought United closer to the Ferguson days than anybody had since.


12. Giving Phil Jones a new contract

United clearly got a kick out of distributing new contracts earlier in 2019 and they went one step too far when they gave Jones a four-and-a-half year deal.

Manchester United v Rochdale AFC - Carabao Cup Third Round

13. Appointing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

If nothing else, Woodward seemed to jump the gun with making Solskjaer's interim contract a permanent one. 


14. Not replacing Lukaku, Sanchez or Herrera

It's all well and good selling half your strike-force, but dare we say replacements are needed afterwards?

Newcastle United v Manchester United - Premier League

15. Going back to the club's 'roots'

A slew of recent decisions at the club corroborate that Woodward has, like some romantic, been seduced by the nostalgia of returning to the Ferguson era. Hitherto, it hasn't worked.