Manchester United Executive Ed Woodward Backs Jose Mourinho

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2018

A combination of file pictures created in London on August 24, 2018 shows Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho (L) on the touchline ahead of the English FA Cup fifth round football match between Huddersfield Town and Manchester United at the John Smith's stadium in Huddersfield, northern England on February 17, 2018 and Manchester United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward (R) standing on the pitch before the start of the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on April 3, 2016. - Jose Mourinho on on August 24, 2018 denied a rift with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward despite growing speculation over the power structure at Manchester United. (Photo by OLI SCARFF / AFP)        (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has told club shareholders the Red Devils are not about to make a rash decision regarding manager Jose Mourinho after a relatively poor start to the 2018-19 campaign.

Per Goal's Kris Voakes, Woodward urged shareholders to "look at the bigger picture:"

"As it's easy to get caught up in the game-by-game fluctuations of our season, or even the relatively minor pieces of business and industry news, I would like to take this opportunity to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

"We're the biggest sports team in the world as measured by number of fans, and we know that's a position that requires continued effort and investment to maintain.

"Our board, our investors and everyone at the club are aligned with the fans on what we need to do on the pitch and that is to win trophies.

"That's one of the reasons we hired Jose Mourinho, and we've already won three with him."

United have started the season in disappointing fashion, taking just 10 out of 18 possible points in the Premier League. They lost back-to-back fixtures against Brighton & Hove and Tottenham Hotspur and were held to a 1-1 draw by Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

On top of the disappointing results, the level of play has left a lot to be desired. Even star midfielder Paul Pogba has voiced his displeasure with the attacking approach, something many took as a swipe at Mourinho:

MailOnline Sport @MailSport

'When we are at home we should attack, attack, attack' Paul Pogba criticises Jose Mourinho's tactics after Manchester United are held by Wolves https://t.co/fnAlZP7JwQ https://t.co/gr3yBE2dIR

Woodward's primary focus as an executive is on the financial side of things, however, and in that department, the club continues to thrive.

As shared by the Manchester Evening News, United's income continues to rise:

Man United News @ManUtdMEN

United's income has gone up for the third year in succession #mufc https://t.co/AFtEu6FWUS

The lack of excitement surrounding the side can perhaps best be summarised by this note from sports writer Martyn Ziegler, who listened in on the conference call in which the figures were discussed:

Martyn Ziegler @martynziegler

Summary of 25min Man Utd investors call: the club is doing very very well on social media.

The increased income didn't lead to major transfer activity in the summer, while Premier League title rivals Liverpool splashed the cash and defending champions Manchester City also added to their squad. Those two teams already sit well ahead in the standings and have excited their fans with attacking play.

While it's too early to speak of a crisis, there are plenty of fans who question Mourinho's fit at Old Trafford. That includes Bleacher Report's Rob Blanchette:

Rob Blanchette @_Rob_B

With the type of owners we have, we really need a coach who can operate on a healthy budget, but also make all parts of the team stronger through coaching and ideology. That’s never really been Mourinho’s strength. An #MUFC coach must lead & provide energy with tactical purpose.

The Special One seems to have the full backing of Woodward, however, so don't expect the current situation to change anytime soon.


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