Manchester United: Ed Woodward Must Learn from His Mistakes Quickly

Rob DawsonManchester United CorrespondentSeptember 6, 2013

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24:  Marouane Fellaini of Everton during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and West Bromwich Albion at Goodison Park on August 24, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

It's been a summer of change at Manchester United.

Sir Alex Ferguson retired after more than 26 years, and David Gill stepped down after 10 years as chief executive. That's a lot of experience to lose in the span of a couple of months.

And, for David Moyes and Ed Woodward, there were big shoes to step into.

But this summer, above all, United fans wanted to see that nothing had really changed at all. They wanted to know that even with a new manager and new chief executive they would keep doing the things that had made the club one of the biggest and proudest in the world.

That's why the transfer window was such a big disappointment to most supporters. It just wasn't very Manchester United.

Scratching around on deadline is something other clubs do. Other clubs that aren't so well run. 

The majority of fans are excited to see Marouane Fellaini pull on a red shirt for the first time against Crystal Palace in a week's time.

But knowing United were forced to pay £4 million more than the fee quoted in the Belgian midfielder's expired release clause has left a bad taste. They aren't used to seeing the club's chief negotiators have their pants pulled down.

The biggest indignity was perhaps watching neighbour City, who left it late the previous summer, complete their business efficiently and with time to spare.

There are 116 days until the transfer window opens again, and the spotlight is back on Woodward. He must learn from his first attempt to make sure his second is more successful.

He will know United fans won't stand for continued failure when inexperience ceases to be an excuse.

The planning for the winter window should have already started. The scouting and gathering of information on targets should be well underway. After all, planning is everything.

This summer, it was as if United had adopted a scattergun approach. The professionalism with which they had traditionally gone about their business seemed to be missing as they fired off bids for target after target.

Woodward and Moyes did enjoy some success this summer. They needed a midfielder and got one when they signed Fellaini. Eventually.

They also stuck to their word and kept Wayne Rooney at Old Trafford. If he remains committed to the cause and Moyes can get 25 goals out of him, that should be considered a real coup.

But unfortunately for Woodward, his successes were outweighed by his failures. And with the clock already ticking down until the window reopens, he must learn from his mistakes quickly.