Manchester United have appointed Andy O’Boyle as assistant football director.
O’Boyle, who returns to United 16 years after serving as an academic coach, will leave his current job as head of elite performance at the Premier League this summer.
He will provide support to football manager John Murtough in driving the club’s football strategy across the first team, academy and women’s team.
O’Boyle, who has previously played for Liverpool, England U21s, Coventry and Wrexham, said: and the academy and women’s teams go from strength to strength.
“Although it’s been a privilege to serve in the Premier League for the last five years, I can’t wait to start at United and play my part in creating the right environment for football success.”
At the Premier League, O’Boyle was 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 Professional License this summer and is also working on earning a Master’s degree in sports science.
“We are delighted to welcome Andy back to Manchester United to take on this important role in leading the club,” added Murtough.
“Andy has experience in all technical areas from football, from fitness and sports science to scouting and recruiting.
“This will make him a valuable addition to my team at Carrington as we continue to strengthen leadership and strategic planning throughout all of our football activities.”
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“The last piece of the puzzle.” This is how Jose Mourinho described Manchester United’s Europa League final victory over Ajax in May 2017. United were, he pointed out, now a club that has won every trophy in the world of football.
The victory that night in Stockholm it had to be the beginning, not the end. It may have been their third trophy of the season – as Mourinho gestured memorably with his fingers – but it was also what he described as his most difficult season as a manager.
United were occasionally confused, finishing sixth in the Premier League. But then even a splashing version of the red machine seemed capable of emitting silverware. Louis van Gaal was sacked with the FA Cup placed directly in front of him.
There was an acceptance that United had to improve and an assumption that they would. Instead, the fifth anniversary of that victory has come and gone but it remains the club’s most recent trophy. Liverpool have won six since then. Manchester City won 11.
How did that happen? How was it allowed to happen? It is a story of hybris and self-harm, a club hampered by too many votes and too few. From ownership to recruitment, the problems were myriad. The solution? It is unclear whether this has yet been found.
With five years since United’s last trophy, we look at how and why it failed for a club that was once synonymous with success …
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