Monday 16 September 2019

Rio Ferdinand latest former Old Trafford star to criticise Manchester United

Rio Ferdinand had a highly distinguished career at Man Utd
Rio Ferdinand had a highly distinguished career at Man Utd

Rio Ferdinand has become the latest former Manchester United player to criticise the club's dull style of play under Louis van Gaal.

The former United defender has delivered a withering assessment of the side's lack of ambition and claimed Van Gaal's midfield offers "zero threat" to opponents.

Ferdinand's comments come in the wake of Paul Scholes claiming he would not enjoy playing under the Dutchman and suggesting Anthony Martial does "not look bothered" about scoring goals.

Roy Keane also delivered a typically damning verdict on Wayne Rooney's slip in standards, saying the striker has been "awful" this season.

Keane was speaking in the wake of another poor United performance in the Champions League against PSV Eindhoven, with Wednesday's 0-0 draw leaving their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage on a knife-edge.

Ferdinand, writing in his column in The Sun, said United are not entitled to moan about Van Gaal given his reputation before arriving at Old Trafford but did acknowledge the side have been poor to watch.

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He said: "United knew what they were getting when they employed Louis van Gaal, so there can be no complaints now. In many ways, why should there be, given where he has taken the club in 18 months?

"They knew they were getting a manager who played a precise, possession-based game. That is what he is doing but, no, it is not very exciting.

"It wasn’t always exciting in my day at Old Trafford, either. However, there was certainly a lot more ambition and threat in our play than there is currently with United.

"If I’m a central midfielder facing [Bastian] Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin, I would not be worried. They pose zero threat.

"They are not players who can pass the ball like Paul Scholes or Andrea Pirlo and they don’t get forward. They just sit in front of the back four venturing forward for set-pieces.

"I have no idea from one week to the next which United will turn up. Every time I see signs of progress like with the display at Watford I’m immediately let down again. It is one step forward and two steps back."

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