Manchester United have appointed Andy O’Boyle as deputy football director.
O’Boyle, who returns to United 16 years after serving as an academy coach, will leave his current job as head of elite performance at the Premier League this summer.
He will provide support to football director John Murtough in driving the club’s football strategy across the first team, academy and women’s team.
O’Boyle, who has previously held roles at Liverpool, England U21s, Coventry and Wrexham, said: “I am thrilled to be rejoining Manchester United at such an exciting time for the club, as the first team prepares for a fresh start under Erik ten Hag, and the academy and women’s teams go from strength to strength.
“Whilst it has been a privilege to serve the Premier League for the past five years, I can not wait to get started at United and play my part in creating the right environment for football success.”
At the Premier League, O’Boyle has been responsible for advising clubs on talent identification and recruitment, performance analysis, sports science and medicine, psychology, and loan management.
He is due to complete his UEFA Pro License this summer and is also working towards a doctorate having already achieved a Masters in sports science.
“We are delighted to welcome Andy back to Manchester United to take up this important role in the club’s leadership,” Murtough added.
“Andy has experience across all technical areas of football, from fitness and sports science to scouting and recruitment.
“This will make him a valuable addition to my team at Carrington as we continue to strengthen leadership and strategic planning across all of our football activities.”
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“The last piece of the puzzle.” That is how Jose Mourinho described Manchester United’s Europa League final win over Ajax in May 2017. United were, he pointed out, now a club that had won every trophy in the world of football.
The victory that night in Stockholm was supposed to be the beginning, not the end. It may have been their third trophy of the season – as Mourinho memorably gesticulated with his fingers – but it had also been what he described as his most difficult season as a manager.
United muddled through at times, finishing sixth in the Premier League. But back then even a spluttering version of the red machine seemed capable of churning out silverware. Louis van Gaal had been sacked with the FA Cup plonked right in front of him.
There was an acceptance that United needed to improve and an assumption that they would. Instead, the fifth anniversary of that win came and went but it remains the club’s most recent trophy. Liverpool have won six since then. Manchester City have won 11.
How has that happened? How has it been allowed to happen? It is a tale of hubris and self-harm, a club hindered by too many voices and too few. From ownership to recruitment, the problems were myriad. The solution? It is unclear whether that has yet been found.
With five years now having passed since United’s last trophy, we look at how and why it went wrong for a club that had once been synonymous with success …
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