Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand has expressed reservations about manager David Moyes’ method of revealing his starting line-up for the club’s games.
Whereas Moyes’ storied predecessor Alex Ferguson used to name his team well in advance of matches, Moyes waits until the last minute before announcing his starting XI. The former Everton manager has seen his side fall 12 points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal and Ferdinand’s comments suggest that the players are not yet in tune with the new man’s methods.
“This manager’s a bit different in that he doesn’t name the team beforehand,” the 35-year-old former England defender said in a video diary on the BT Sport website. “You don’t really get to know the team. The old manager used to give you a little bit of an idea if you’d be playing and stuff.
“When you know you’re playing, the intensity goes up a little bit more on match-day and that’s what you need to try and make sure you’re doing, even if you don’t know you’ll be playing, to try and get to that intensity you’d be at when you know you’re playing.
“It’s hard... It’s hard to do that mentally because you spend a lot of nervous energy thinking ‘Am I playing?’ or ‘Am I not playing?’ and you’re just going round in circles in your head and turning into a madman.”
Ferdinand has not played in either of United’s last two matches — a 2-2 draw at Tottenham and a 1-0 loss at home to Everton in mid-week. The defending champions host Newcastle United today.
Mourinho wary of struggling United
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes it’s too early to rule Manchester United out of the EPL title race despite David Moyes’ side trailing leaders Arsenal by 12 points.
Mourinho’s Chelsea lie in second place, four points behind their London rivals as they take on Stoke City away tonight, and the Portuguese refused to discount the reigning champions' challenge.
“If it was another club, I’d say it was impossible, but not with United,” Mourinho said yesterday. “The team’s potential, what the club represents, the culture of the club — it’s not a club in panic or where you feel the end of the world is arriving. They are calm and support the manager.”
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