Rio Ferdinand has hit out at David Moyes for trying to impose a vision on United, despite the Scotsman, who was also lambasted for adopting “embarrassing” tactics, himself not being too clear about the plan.
Ferdinand returned to Old Trafford on Sunday after leaving the club on a free transfer in the summer, having brought a 10-year career at United to an end in disappointing fashion as the club endured an absolute nightmare of a season under the former Everton manager, who was criticised by Ferdinand for creating a “bad vibe”.
“He tried to impose a vision but never seemed to be completely clear what that vision should be,” Rio said in an extract from his autobiography #2Sides, which is currently being serialised in The Sun. “Unintentionally, he created a negative vibe where, with Fergie, it had always been positive. It was always how to stop the other side. Moyes set us up not to lose. We’d been accustomed to playing to win.’
“Moyes’s innovations mostly led to negativity and confusion. The biggest confusion was over how he wanted us to move the ball forward. Often he told us to play it long. Some players felt they kicked the ball long more than at any time in their career.
“Sometimes our main tactic was the long, high, diagonal cross. It was embarrassing. In one home game against Fulham we had 81 crosses! I was thinking, why are we doing this? Andy Carroll doesn’t play for us!
“The whole approach was alien. Other times Moyes wanted lots of passing. He’d say: ‘Today I want us to have 600 passes in the game. Last week it was only 400’. Who cares? I’d rather score five goals from 10 passes.”
Ferdinand also hit out at Moyes’ decision to make the team practice set pieces in a car park before the return leg of the Champions League quarter final against Bayern Munich, a move the defender defined as “amateurish”, while he the former United manager’s decision to announce Ferdinand that he would be dropping him in front of the entire squad didn’t go down well either.
“It killed me,” said Ferdinand.
“Inside I wanted to scream and grab him. I’m a team player, so I just had to bite my tongue and stand there. But it was probably the worst single moment I ever had at United. I’d never been dropped for a big game like that – and to drop that on me in front of everybody.”
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