David Moyes: United had too many fat players so I banned chips
David Moyes has revealed the reason behind his decision to ban chips during his reign as Manchester United manager: there were too many overweight players.
Moyes, sacked as manager last April after less than a year in charge, was criticised by former United defender Rio Ferdinand in his autobiography this season for ending the long-standing pre-match ritual of low-fat chips on the evening before games.
Ferdinand, now at Queens Park Rangers, also claimed that Moyes left the United players stunned by arranging a training session in a "public park" in Munich last season on the day of the Champions League quarter-final second-leg defeat against Bayern in the Allianz Arena.
However, while Moyes has rejected Ferdinand's claims that United trained in a public park, the Scot - now in charge of Real Sociedad - has admitted in an interview with 'Four Four Two' magazine that he acted quickly to take chips off the menu at the club's training ground because of concerns over the physical condition of members of the squad.
"Yes, I did ban chips," Moyes said. "It was because a couple of players were overweight and I didn't think chips were good for their diet."
However, when asked about Ferdinand's "public park" comments, Moyes dismissed the claims. "We went to prepare on the morning of the game as we would always do," Moyes said. "It wasn't in a public park."
In the interview, in which Moyes responds to questions from readers, he also denied claiming that United should "aspire" to be like Manchester City following the 3-0 derby defeat at Old Trafford against the eventual champions last season.
"I would never say that," Moyes (51) said. "I may have said that we aspired to play like one of the teams at the top when we weren't at the top, but I would never say that Manchester United should aspire to be like Manchester City. I don't think that's something any United fan would aspire to."
Although Moyes' reign ended in failure, with United finishing seventh and missing out on European qualification, his decision to promote teenage winger Adnan Januzaj proved a high-point of his time in charge.
"Adnan can become a top player," said Moyes. "There's a lot of Chris Waddle about him. He's got the lot." (© Daily Telegraph, London)