Rio Ferdinand believes that Manchester United made a mistake when they hired David Moyes to replace Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ferguson announced his retirement before the end of the 2012/13 season and infamously handpicked Moyes from Everton, who was then dubbed ‘The Chosen One’ in reference to Jose Mourinho’s previous ‘Special One’ moniker.
“I thought that [Mourinho should take over] at the time,” Ferdinand told the FIVE YouTube channel. “I thought Mourinho would have been the one to come in then to carry on what the manager was doing.
“He had the experience of that type of player, that stature of club etc. but it never materialised.
“At that time I would have been punching the air if Mourinho came through the door. Mourinho has the experience, he’s won the league, won the Champions League, managed at Inter, Real Madrid, Chelsea – they’re all big clubs man!
“He knew what he was coming into but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee you success at Manchester United as we saw when he came at the time he did.”
Moyes was sacked less than a year into the job and United went after a higher-profile coach in the hopes that someone with more elite-level experience could succeed.
They turned to Louis van Gaal, but the Dutchman lasted just two years in the job.
Finally, United appointed Mourinho in 2016, but the Portuguese coach, while winning the Europa League and the League Cup, was unable to consistently challenge in the Premier League and was replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in December 2018.
When speaking about United’s current side, Ferdinand questioned why Solskjaer plays so defensively in big games, offering protection to an expensively assembled backline.
“If I had one question to ask Ole that would be it. Why do you keep playing two holding midfielders? Why do you keep playing two defensive midfielders in this team?” he added.
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Manchester United were denied a penalty in controversial fashion against Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players were furious that Callum Hudson-Odoi wasn’t penalised for a handball, as they had to settle for a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge. The point leaves United 12 points behind leaders Man City, with Crystal Palace the next opponents.
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“We’re playing with one less player in an attacking position all the time. Other teams have more players attacking against us because of the amount of players they can release to go forward because of the confidence they’ve got in their defenders.
“I’d love the answer to that question. That would be one of my big questions for him, 100 per cent.
“Because you can’t spend 80 and 50 odd million for the right-back and for the centre-back, 35 plus for the other centre-back and 30 odd for the other left-back and still be having issues at the back.”