Manchester United legend Roy Keane has pointed his finger at the club’s vice-chairman Ed Woodward for their disappointing 2013-14 campaign.
The Red Devils finished as low as seventh in the league table with 64 points from 38 matches and will miss out on the Champions League next season.
David Moyes took over from Sir Alex Ferguson last summer, and although he was always going to face a tough debut campaign as United manager, not many expected the Manchester outfit to have such a disastrous season.
The signs were there right from the start, as United failed to sign a number of their transfer targets last summer and eventually recruited midfielder Marouane Fellaini from Moyes’ former club Everton for £27.5 million on deadline day. Juan Mata arrived from Chelsea in January for a club-record £37.1 million, and while the Spain international proved to be productive, Fellaini turned out to be one of the worst signings of the season in the Premier League.
Moyes paid the price for United’s terrible season and was sacked as their manager in April. Many believe that the 51-year-old was simply not cut out for the job, underlining his rather direct style of football and failure to manage world-class international footballers.
However, former United captain Keane has gone to the root of the problem and has claimed that had Woodward been able to get the transfers done last summer, then the three-time European champions wouldn’t have had a disappointing season.
‘He (Moyes) had one transfer window, and it's not always down to the manager when players don't come in’, he said at ITV's World Cup coverage launch. ‘I think Ed Woodward needs to look at himself. He's got to get deals done’.
Many fans and experts have claimed that Moyes did not have the reputation that his predecessor Ferguson had in order to attract the top players. However, last summer United were the Premier League champions and were – and still are – millions of footballers’ dream club. There was something not right about the way transfer negotiations were done, and Moyes alone cannot be held responsible for that.
Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal will reportedly take over the reins in the summer, with veteran winger Ryan Giggs having steered the ship as interim-manager in the last four matches.
So how does Keane think things will pan out this time?
‘I think he should have been given more time’, said the Irishman. ‘I was happy with David Moyes. I think Van Gaal is a good choice. Only time will tell. He's managed big clubs’.
Indeed, only time will tell.