Ferdinand slams ’emotional’ Man Utd players and claims they ‘expose’ each other

Ferdinand slams 'emotional' Man Utd players and claims they 'expose' each other

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has delivered a scathing assessment of the current team, claiming the players are too emotional and that they lack real leaders.

United currently sit sixth in the Premier League, 11 points off the top four, and have struggled to build on what was a successful first year in charge for Erik ten Hag. The Dutchman is now under huge pressure heading into the business end of his second season, with his future in doubt now that Sir Jim Ratcliffe has taken charge of football operations.

And Ferdinand has been critical of United’s performances this season, suggesting they lack “rigidness” and “just go gung-ho at times”. Speaking on the Stick to Football podcast, brought to you by Sky Bet, Ferdinand said: “You need leaders to be talking and pulling people about in games.

“How many times would you say to someone ‘For the next few minutes, just sit and stay tight, be hard to play against.’ I think emotion comes into this [ Manchester United ] team a lot. They are quite emotional players; they just go gung-ho at times – there’s no rigidness to this team.”

Ferdinand also highlighted the recent emergence of Kobbie Mainoo, questioning why the 18-year-old has not been protected more by the senior players. “You look at Kobbie Mainoo, who everyone is raving about and rightly so – he’s been magnificent since he’s come into the team,” he added.

“But I don’t see anyone trying to protect him. He’s a kid – imagine if a young kid came into one of our teams, you try and protect that kid. There’s only the odd one, like Wayne Rooney, you don’t have to protect, but in the main you want to make sure there’s bodies around, don’t leave him exposed.

‌”How many games do you see him being left exposed? Imagine that feeling, being exposed in that midfield, it’s a lonely place in there if there’s big spaces. There’s got to be older players and coaches in that team that make sure they tighten it up for that player, especially for the game at the weekend [against Liverpool ].”

Jonny Evans, Casemiro, Raphael Varane and Scott McTominay

Ferdinand has criticised United’s current squad
Getty Images)

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher delivered a similar assessment of United and placed the blame firmly at Ten Hag’s door. “I look at Manchester United, and it’s like it’s two separate teams in one,” he said.

“You have the front five, almost trying to press, and leaving this massive space. Any competent coach would look at that and go ‘We’re either all up here or all up there’ – surely it isn’t that difficult.”

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