Manchester United had too many fat players so I banned chips - David Moyes
David Moyes has revealed the reason behind his decision to ban chips during his reign as Manchester United manager – too many overweight players at Old Trafford.
Moyes, sacked as manager last April after less than a year in charge of the club, was criticised by Rio Ferdinand in the former United defender’s autobiography earlier 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 La Liga side 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 Carrington training ground because of concerns over the physical condition of some 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 former England captain’s 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’d 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’d 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’s 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.
“He [Januzaj] has the ability to go past people, inside or outside,” Moyes said. “He has quality on the ball and enough arrogance to show it.
“Adnan can become a top player. There’s a composure about him, he could be a wide player or even a centre-forward. There’s a lot of Chris Waddle about him. He’s got the lot.”