‘It’s embarrassing. Fans were walking out . . .’ Rio in impassioned plea for change at Old Trafford

23 Jan, 2020 - 19:01 0 Views
‘It’s embarrassing. Fans were walking out . . .’ Rio in impassioned plea for change at Old Trafford Rio Ferdinand


Rio Ferdinand branded Manchester United an embarrassment after another abject defeat and mutiny inside Old Trafford.

Ole Gunner Solskjaer’s team were booed off by supporters following the 2-0 reverse against Burnley, and thousands left long before full-time.

Fans again directed their ire at Ed Woodward and the Glazer family with United now having lost three of their last four Premier League games.

Ferdinand did not hold back and criticised a lack of direction at board level as questions surrounding Solskjaer’s future intensify amid a worst points haul in 30 years.

“I’m sitting here embarrassed. It’s embarrassing to be here seeing this,” the former defender said on BT Sport.

“You can’t defend this. Fans were walking out after 85 minutes. People at the top need to see this and make changes and put a plan in place. Young kids in schools around the country won’t be wearing Man United shirts, they won’t be wanting to come here and see this.

“Nothing there suggests this is laying the foundation of future. I don’t see a pathway. Where’s the target set on the wall, saying this is how we’re going to get there? Money has been spent willy-nilly in the past seven years, what’s to show?” 

Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer consoles Daniel James as Phil Jones and Aaron Wan-Bissaka walk off the pitch after the match

Solskjaer claimed he has not finished clearing the decks of deadwood. “Recruitment is always going to be the talk at the moment because we’ve started a clear-out and get-players-in job,” the manager said.

“For me the most important thing is that we have to perform on the pitch and this wasn’t good enough for a Manchester United team.

“Of course we are disappointed with the points tally and the performances but we are still fifth in the table. I don’t want to hang onto us being fifth in the table but of course we work every single day with these boys to improve, to get us performing better than this.’ 

Goals either side of half-time by Chris Wood and Jay Rodriguez consigned United to an eighth defeat of the season and gave Sean Dyche only a second victory in 31 matches against Bix Six opposition.

United are six points worse off this season than at the same stage under David Moyes in 2014. Burnley have won more Premier League matches than United since Solskjaer’s permanent appointment last March.

United are now 30 points behind leaders and fierce rivals Liverpool having played two more games than the Reds.

Ferdinand wants the big-money players to stand up and took aim at Harry Maguire, who joined for £80 million, after the centre-back’s effort when United conceded the first.

“Go up and win it, show some desire,” he said. “Maguire as the captain has to go up with desire. What are you doing there Maguire!?

“He starts in a great position with his arm out, he can feel Chris Wood. But then he doesn’t anticipate it. You can’t be that far off and leave your man there. He (Wood) then gets in front of him, not good enough, and punished.”

The former United star concluded by saying: “Is the danger being known as biggest club over? 

“Being known as one of biggest as a brand will last a long time but we don’t want to fall into that category of what Liverpool did. It was 30 years for them to get into position of where they are now. We can’t get in that position.”

Meanwhile, Dyche surmised: “There’s something really special about winning here. We’ve been close over the last few seasons but we handled the game well tonight. 

“It’s not easy. As the game wore on I thought we’d see it through, I didn’t have that in the past.”

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