Why the Fall of Jadon Sancho means the Fall of Man United

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To say the dust has settled on the transfer window would be a lie and with a 33-year-old who hasn’t played football for 7 months, there is a lot of dust to be settled. Some may see the signings of Alex Telles, Donny Van de Beek, Amad Traore, Edinson Cavani and Facundo Pellistri as a successful transfer window but whether you agree with them or not, the main concern is not the players we got in but more the players we didn’t, most notably Jadon Sancho.

Now I’m sure, like me, you are fed up of hearing the name Jadon Sancho especially considering United failed in their pursuit of the Englishman and on the surface every fan feels disappointed and perhaps angry that one of the best young talents in world football is not donning the number 7 for the ‘Red Devils’.

You may be hurting for the short term, but I have some bad news. This failure may spell further days of darkness ahead for Manchester United. Let’s see how Man United’s incompetence will cost them in the long run.

Jadon Sancho: The Story

The Sancho saga was undoubtably the talk of the summer but the whole story was blown way out of proportion.

In late July, Man United were understood to have already agreed terms with Sancho and with Jadon wanting to join the club, everything from the players side including sponsorships and rights were done and it was all riding on Man United paying the required £108m that Dortmund wanted for the young Englishman. That is where the problems began.

Despite Borussia Dortmund’s August 10th deadline, Man United thought they would use their big-name value to try and push the German club around, but Dortmund weren’t having any of it. After that deadline, the deal was still believed to be open but as the days counted down, United kept waiting for Dortmund to lower their price as the club didn’t want to pay over the odds for anyone this summer due to the impact of Covid 19 on the finances. So both clubs stances were very clear, United’s was to wait until the very last minute in hope of the price lowering however Dortmund knew they didn’t have to sell the player and Sancho was never going to force a move so their stance was to stick to their price throughout, and rightly so.

So, we get to a week from deadline day and we are beginning to hear all sorts of stories regarding this Sancho summer saga, notably some rumours of Jadon trying to force a move and some bids lower than expected going in. It was then confirmed that a bid hadn’t actually gone in for Sancho and the club were still waiting for the asking fee to be decreased, despite Dortmund knowing full well that wouldn’t happen. Man United fans started to believe that this deal is so crucial that the board would just pay up and with the personal terms already agreed, the deal would be completed in a matter of hours. However, Man United stood their ground and never met the asking fee.

To the present day where we are now 48 hours or so remove from Monday’s deadline day with no Sancho or any right winger to show for it and with the board more than happy with their business, that has generate a mass of angered fans tweeting their frustrations.

So clearly, going into the season without our primary target and no out and out right winger is a disaster but there are darker times on the horizon because of this transfer calamity.

The Time

Firstly, Man United spent up to nearly 8 months “monitoring” Jadon Sancho and for the club not to get the deal done feels like a complete waste of time. We all know United don’t do two big deals simultaneously so with all their focus on this transfer, it maybe neglected a bigger problem sitting in the heart of our defence. If United were to just admit defeat like Dortmund set out for months then they could have turned their attention to either another player in that position like an Adama Traore or an Ousmane Dembele or a centre back which many fans would argue was a bigger priority to begin with but because the board’s heads were so involved with Sancho, the other players and positions were ignored. A lack of another centre back could prove costly this season and all that comes to the amount of time wasted of the Jadon Sancho deal.

 

Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba is another player who likes to throw up a few sagas in his time at United especially with his contract drawing to a close. Just before Ole came in, Pogba was almost 100% certain he was to leave the club come the end of his deal and would be off to Real Madrid, Barcelona or even a return to Juventus.

This all changed when Ole got the team performing well after Bruno’s signing in January and for once it looked like there was real progress at United. However, the fans weren’t the only ones who saw this progress, Pogba did as well. With the board promising, yes promising, fortunes changing for the club, you would forgive Pogba for staying at the club that had a clear vision of multiple league titles and Champions League trophies. But we all know what happens next. That vision is thrown completely out of the window.

Now whether you buy the Covid 19 excuse or not, Man United didn’t back the manager and didn’t give him any of his top targets one of which was Jadon Sancho. Just put yourself into Paul Pogba’s shoes after seeing how the transfer window unfolded. You were promised progress, you were promised backing, you were promised a vision and none of that has materialised. Coming into your prime and with an undoubtable desire to win the top trophies in club football, why would you stay. Why would you stay at a club that doesn’t care about its players or its fans?  Don’t be surprised or angry if Pogba was to refuse his contract extension and leave the club because he understands the shambles of this situation. All of this is stemmed by the total incompetence the board had in the Jadon Sancho deal.

The Rest of the Players

Man United’s last fixture was a 6-1 home defeat to a direct Champions League rival in Tottenham Hotspur, managed of course by previous coach Jose Mourinho. It doesn’t take a footballing genius to work out the players were absolutely useless in that game and even though the sending off of Martial changed the game, we were going to lose it in an embarrassing way anyway.

So why did the players not turn up?

I think we are too far into the season now to use the match sharpness excuse and injuries aren’t an issue at this precise moment so what could it be? Well, it’s time to put yourself in another pair of boots. If you were a Manchester United Football Club player and you have just finished third in the league and achieved Champions League qualification after it looked impossible in January, would you be disheartened and frustrated when the board doesn’t back the manager that got you there and add next to nothing to the squad while all your closest rivals are strengthening much more than you?

Yes, you would. That’s the point. You can only go so far until you need the people running your club to step up to the plate and we have reached that point. Take Luke Shaw for example. He said in an interview last month that the club needs further recruitment in order to challenge further. While shooting himself in his foot by prompting the club to get a replacement for him, he had a point and the board has completely ignored him.

The question you have to ask yourself is what motivation is there for the players if at the end of the season your club isn’t financially backed?

The negativity surrounding the club from the unrest with fans to the lack of support from the board is also demotivating which is a big part into why the team is performing so poorly of late.

Both Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard have a close friendship with Jadon Sancho and would have expected to be in the same team come the transfer windows closure. This will again demotivate Rashford especially which could cause short term problems in form and maybe issues about club status in the long term.

Another case of unrest amongst players is Sergio Romero whose wife has publicly stated her displeasure at the club for not allowing his wishes to leave. Although this doesn’t have an immediate connection to Sancho, it again shows the destruction this board is causing to the club in more ways than one.

Don’t rest on the impact this will have on Aaron Wan Bissaka either. The young Englishman has been massively out of form in recent months and an addition of Jadon Sancho could have helped ‘The Spider’ out hugely. He could focus on his defensive game while Sancho covered all thing attacking on the right-hand side. With Greenwood, the attacking job is harder because he is a bonified striker but with Sancho, he would be playing in position which not only would help AWB defensively but help contribute to the team going forward.

Future of Players and Managers

The whole world and its dog knew Man United were heavily linked with Jadon Sancho and with the board not getting the transfer over the line, it is the biggest example yet of how incompetent the Man United board are.

Say Ole was sacked, which looks to be a real possibility at the moment. The front runners for the job would be Max Allegri, Mauricio Pochettino and Julian Nagelsmann but ask yourself this. Why would you accept the job? Yes, the size of the name is a big pull but managers aren’t stupid and they would take one look at the recent history in the transfer market and know that even though they would get backed initially, they would be hung out to dry in the long term. Managers go to big clubs like United to win trophies and that is just too far a reach with the current ownership at United. So, this Sancho saga may turn the heads of some of the world’s best coaches.

The same case with players. You go to United to win silverware but serial winning goes hand in hand with financial backing and that just doesn’t happen year in year out at the club. Despite not many teams being bigger than United, players will have more options than joining the ‘Red Devils’ so will begin to look else way for a career covered in gold and glory.

Conclusion

There are probably many more knock on effects this failure will have on the club like sponsorships falling through but the above has outlined just how big a problem not getting Jadon Sancho is for Man United in the short term and the long term.

I wish to be proved wrong but unless major changes occur at Carrington, I don’t see many happy days ahead for United and it can all fall on the unsuccessful pursuit of one Jadon Sancho.

August 2022

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