Ferdinand calls on Man Utd defenders to focus on ‘finer details’ as he reveals mid-game text from Old Trafford legend criticizing performance
Former Red Devils captain says extra transfer spending isn’t the answer to the team’s defensive vulnerabilities
Rio Ferdinand says spending more money is not the way to solve Manchester United’s defensive problems and that they should instead focus on “the finer details”, citing his experience alongside the former England goalkeeper. Red Devils Edwin van der Sar.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side led twice against Leicester on Saturday but only came away with one point at King Power Stadium when Jamie Vardy’s late strike deflected Axel Tuanzebe.
It is the first time United have lost road points this season, having won their previous six away league games.
While the wit and character shown to fight from a goal down is admirable, Ferdinand believes United’s inability to keep clean sheets consistent will cost them in the long run.
Solskjaer’s side have the worst defensive record in the Premier League’s top half, having conceded 23 goals in their opening 14 appearances.
Some have suggested the Norwegian should enter the transfer market in January in an attempt to beef up his defense. Ferdinand, however, believes the current set of players can resolve the team’s defensive deficiencies on their own.
“Sometimes you can’t just keep producing checkbook after checkbook, buy player after player, sometimes it’s all about coaching and analyzing things and looking at the smallest details,” he said. on his Five Youtube channel.
“I’m not saying the coaches don’t do that at Man United, because I know they do, but sometimes there are little nuances, little things that you might think or forget or don’t think about at the time. “
Ferdinand says he and his former teammate van der Sar addressed similar issues during their time at Old Trafford.
The former England international played alongside the Dutchman throughout his six years as a United player, during which the club won 10 major honors, including four Premier League titles and the 2008 Champions League.
“Edwin van der Sar texted me during the [Leicester] match, when the goal entered and McTominay did not come out to close it [Harvey Barnes] and Bailly was behind him, ”added Ferdinand.
“And that took me back to when we were playing and I always used to say to Edwin, ‘When you see me dating someone one on one, or on the edge of the club, I’ll try to hold on. in one at a certain place and wherever I am you stand in front of you, you react where I stand ”.
“So if I went out to say, Fernando Torres, on the edge of the box, I know he’s right handed, I’m going to make sure he can’t hit him between my legs. So he can go down the right side, keep pushing the right side and get a shot, but I’m going to let you shoot close to the post, that’s fine, but not back through my legs, I “I’m going to block that .
“And I would say to Edwin, ‘If this gets through my legs, I hope you save him, but if you don’t, it’s mine. I take full responsibility ”. And these are the conversations we had.
“And that’s what the players have to do. You need to build relationships, talk off the pitch before you continue, if this happens that’s what I’m going to do, react that way. So no stone is left out. It’s in the detail. You sometimes earn three points with details.
“You come home with a dot, or no dots, because you don’t focus or educate yourself on the finer details and make sure you are both on the same page. . It is about working in pairs, in pairs, in three, sometimes in quartets, to work together in small units in the field and to understand each other. “
Ferdinand also says the responsibility for working on minor details shouldn’t necessarily lie with the manager. Instead, it is up to the players to go the extra mile, which can often be the difference between success and failure.
“All these players these days, you can tell by the way they play, went to the training ground, saw it, they are all well trained as teams, they all have a game plan, all work for what the manager wants – that’s good, that’s great. But sometimes you need a little more than that, ”he says.
“There is a little detail in games that is going to get you across the line and you just have to be very diligent to do it as a team. Sometimes it’s not up to the manager or the coaches, it’s up to you as a player to start asking questions and start pulling people aside and saying, “We’re going to do this because this will succeed. easier for you, and I’ll stay here and you react to me ”.
“Take responsibility, take leadership of situations, as simple as that.”