01, January 10 News The Athletic UK Manchester United reporter Laurie Whitwell wrote a column article, the article
The title is – How Manchester United recruit: TrackerMan, Ten Hag’s influence and ‘A’ grades
One of the first things ten Hag did when he arrived in the United building was call in key scouts to study signing ideas.
Aside from the need for movement and technique to match his pressing tactics, Ten Hag insists new signings must have substance.
"He wants to have some character in the locker room," said one source, speaking on condition of anonymity to protect the relationship.
The Manchester United executives also realized that it is a huge challenge to show their skills at Old Trafford under the global attention, and it requires the strongest mentality. This is an aspect that should be paid more attention to when introducing players.
The five players signed last summer all followed this principle, and the main reason for abandoning Arnautovic also came from this.
The club’s top management trusts Ten Hag. In other words, the real leader of all Manchester United’s current signings is Ten Hag.
There are also people close to Manchester United who believe that buying certain players specifically to meet Ten Hag’s requirements is a long-term risk, because at some point Manchester United may continue to change coaches.
For example, in Manchester United’s starting list this season, there are players from four different head coaches, each with their favorite style.
Others felt that Ten Hag’s clear strategy provided the latest additions with consistency, so they could stick together as a team, a code that could be followed no matter who was the manager.
Behind ten Hag is a signing team that has undergone major changes over the past year, while using a scouting system that has existed for several seasons.
It was built by director of football Murtaugh, who joined the club in 2013, and director of recruitment Steve Brown, who joined the club three years later.
Known as TrackerMan, the system is a central database of hundreds of players, gathering information and opinions from 140 scouts around the world, 50 of whom work full-time and 90 are casual workers who usually only work weekends.
From these lists teams will draw a final shortlist, with either Ten Hag or the recruiting team having the right to veto any potential signings.
In October 2021, Dominic Jordan was appointed as United’s first data science director, after the club belatedly admitted they were lagging behind arch domestic rivals Manchester City and Liverpool when it came to statistical analysis.
Jordan later hired four people, but they have not officially performed their duties.
There have been questions about Jordan’s suitability for the football world given his hailing from fashion retailer N Brown, but United insist his inclusion adds a necessary layer of empirical scrutiny.
One director privately expressed surprise that it took so long for United to bring in data analysts.
Last April, Jim Lawler and Marcel Bout announced they were leaving the club.
Lawler spent 16 years at United and was instrumental in bringing in Vidic and Hernandez, as well as taking on the role of chief scout.
Lawler has a high standard of recommendation, and when it comes to discussing players, he’ll hold back.
Another former scout explained the thinking: "Sir Ferguson always said, ‘Never bring me a bad player’. He wasn’t too fussy about having a lot of players – ‘If there’s no one to buy,
Just don’t buy’."
But for Manchester United now, the glory has long passed, and this recommended model seems to be no longer applicable.
All five of United’s direct summer signings have made good starts so far.