Ed Woodward Facing Make-or-Break Transfer Window at Manchester United

Rob DawsonManchester United CorrespondentMay 22, 2014


Somehow, things seem different this time.

For the second consecutive summer, Manchester United have a new manager. Again, they need new players in the transfer window. Good players.

But it feels different. It's down, in part, to the appointment of Louis van Gaal. He's a big name who has managed some of the biggest clubs. It follows, then, that he should be able to attract big players. 

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MAY 17: Holland manager Louis van Gaal stands with assistant managers Danny Blind (L) and Patrick Kluivert (R) during the International Friendly match between The Netherlands and Ecuador at The Amsterdam Arena on May 17, 2014 in A
Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

More so than, say, David Moyes, who had 11 years at Everton and four at Preston North End on his managerial CV. Or so the theory goes, anyway.

History will remember last summer's transfer window as the moment it all started to go wrong for Moyes. Marouane Fellaini was the only return from a summer that had promised so much.

If United want to get back into the Champions League at the earliest opportunity, that can't be allowed to happen again.

But while Van Gaal's impending arrival has changed things, there is much that is still the same.

Jon Super/Associated Press

Ed Woodward, criticised for his role in last summer, has a big part to play again this time. The executive vice-chairman has two windows and deals for Fellaini and Juan Mata under his belt. He should be more experienced.

Paul Scholes, for one, thinks he's going to need it. In quotes carried by the Manchester Evening News, Scholes believes United's success next season depends on Woodward learning from his mistakes.

Edward Woodward has an awful lot to prove this time that he’s good enough at his job. He has to bring the players in that the new manager wants.

It’s obvious that last year he didn’t manage to do that. If he doesn’t, we are not going to get anywhere near the top.

No pressure then, Ed. 

Jon Super/Associated Press

Should the Netherlands reach the World Cup final, Van Gaal won't start his new job until mid-July. 

Until then, it will fall on Woodward to start the rebuild. Van Gaal has had his say on who United should be targeting. And it's up to Woodward to deliver. He will know that with each day that passes, the pressure will mount ever so slightly.

There is no Champions League on offer this time. But the expectations—the quality of the players expected to arrive at Old Trafford—will remain the same. That is Woodward's challenge.

If Van Gaal's appointment was the first step in reviving United, the next act is all about Woodward. And as Scholes says, he's got a lot to prove.