GIve youth a chance – Manchester United have some lessons for procurement

So Manchester United  were without several key players, fielded a team with an average age of about 12, and still stuffed Spurs - one of the 8 best teams in Europe last year, arguably...

Alex Ferguson doesn't perhaps get the credit he deserves as a true radical - perhaps because he doesn't look like a radical. But the way he gives young players a chance - Cleverley this season comes to mind - and says "you keep your place if you play well", even if bigger names have to sit it out, makes him special. Chelsea have no record of doing that, as a comparison.

So, in our usual tradition of drawing tenuous procurement links, what can we learn? If they're young enough, they're good enough? And that should apply to category managers as well as holding midfielders. You have to take a risk sometimes to win the big prizes - taking a risk on that untried, slightly mad start-up supplier?  And trust your judgement - even if observers are shaking their heads? You remember Alan Hansen saying "you never win anything with kids" just before United won everything.

Perhaps all of the above. But getting back to the football - Welbeck, man of the match for me the other night, learnt everything he knows at Sunderland last year, of course..  perhaps CPOs from big firms should lend out young star procurement managers to smaller organisations for a year or two to gain experience? There's an idea....!

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First Voice

  1. Dan:

    So what can we learn from Arsenal? That you still need experienced leaders in the team, no matter how talented the youths players are?

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