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Many thought Man Utd were already a pub team – Richard Arnold’s reunion and Erik ten Hag’s transfer policy confirm this


THE sight of Old Trafford’s new transfer guru sitting drunkenly hosting a strategy meeting with the Red Army confirms what many already suspect.

Manchester United is now a pub team.

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Richard Arnold opened up on Man Utd apprehensions during pub chat with fans

Young general manager Richard Arnold was made aware of a crowd of p****d-off supporters who were planning another anti-Glazer protest, so rushed to his local to usher them in.

The secret shoot gave him a Panorama-style feeling that this was a reunion that shouldn’t be happening.

A modern-day Roger Cook secretly recording a drug deal or discussing tactics with a secret cult of swingers in suburban Cheshire.

If Arnold’s contacts in the transfer market were as good as his fellow hoolie scouts, then things wouldn’t look so bad.

Many thought Man Utd were already a pub team – Richard Arnold’s reunion and Erik ten Hag’s transfer policy confirm this
Many thought Man Utd were already a pub team – Richard Arnold’s reunion and Erik ten Hag’s transfer policy confirm this

But Arnold’s impromptu powwow was the only conversation at the self-proclaimed ‘biggest club in the world’, which also appears to be winning the title of ‘worst race’.

Arnold’s predecessor, Ed Woodward, stayed as far away from the hoi polloi as possible, ultimately fearing for his safety.

But it’s hard to imagine Peter Kenyon, Martin Edwards or legendary boss Sir Alex Ferguson dropping everything at home to rush in and quell a barking crowd with two dozen bottles of WKD and a few packets of pork scratchings.

This is how far United have sunk under the hated ownership of the Glazers.

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The botched transfer policy, which from the outside looks like it’s regularly written on beer coasters, only reached its embarrassing climax recently.

Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Edinson Cavani, Nemanja Matic and Jesse Lingard all left without a penny in transfer fees.

Just watch how midfielder Pogba, in particular, is suddenly reborn as a world-class player wherever he swings next.

Matic is already integrated under Jose Mourinho at Roma and Lingard is wanted by West Ham and Newcastle.

Arnold, we are told, is a die-hard United fan.

Coming from Chelmsford, of course.

To his credit, he is said to be an ordinary fan who is as comfortable in the cozy as in the VIP boxes.

Fair play for him to have faced the angry crowd who are fed up with seeing their former titan of one club quietly drifting away from any sense of belonging to the game’s elite.

But there is a feeling United are already looking at another lost year, with the new season still six weeks away.

It’s not uncommon these days for Old Trafford to be as silent as a church on matchdays, but the silence on transfers is even more alarming.

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When 30-year-old Christian Eriksen, a man who suffered cardiac arrest on the pitch, is torn between signing for a club with a 75,000-seater stadium or tiny Brentford, then something is wrong.

New manager Erik ten Hag has, so far, shown only a limited imagination as to how he wants to rebuild a team in dire need of renovation.

As the hipster’s choice, we expected a long list of cultured point guards, ballers and little-known up-and-coming stars known only to the Dutchman and his intricate network of contacts.

Instead, United seem limited to chasing after former Ajax players who, like Eriksen, seem unwilling to play for a club wallowing in past glories having not won the league since 2013 without end in sight.

Frenkie de Jong, Antony, Lisandro Martinez, Jurrien Timber. All are still playing or are former players of the old club Ten Hag.

Sam Allardyce led a managerial tour of England using the same tactic for years with Kevin Nolan.

If Ten Hag doesn’t take his finger off and find someone ready to play for the 13-time Premier League champions, then those fans will be back in the pub every weekend.

And Arnold will end up with the biggest beer belly in English football.

Many thought Man Utd were already a pub team – Richard Arnold’s reunion and Erik ten Hag’s transfer policy confirm this

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Erik ten Hag has a huge job to do to turn around Man Utd’s fortunesCredit: PA



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