15 September 2014 10:51
Rio Ferdinand has slammed David Moyes for the “embarrassing” tactics he employed during his ill-fated tenure as Manchester United manager.
Moyes was appointed as successor to the legendary Alex Ferguson in July 2013, but the Scot was dismissed less than 12 months into a six-year deal last April following a dismal reign.
Ferdinand, who joined QPR in July after 12 years at Old Trafford, has now broken his silence on life under Moyes’ stewardship, claiming the former Everton boss brought an “alien” approach to United.
“Moyes’s innovations mostly led to negativity and confusion,” Ferdinand wrote in his autobiography, which is being serialised in The Sun.
“The biggest confusion was over how he wanted us to move the ball forward. Often he told us to play it long. Some players felt they kicked the ball long more than at any time in their career.
“Sometimes our main tactic was the long, high, diagonal cross. It was embarrassing. In one home game against Fulham we had 81 crosses.
“The whole approach was alien. Other times Moyes wanted lots of passing. He’d say: ‘Today I want us to have 600 passes in the game. Last week it was only 400’. Who cares? I’d rather score five goals from 10 passes.”
Ferdinand was particularly scathing of Moyes’ decision to host a training session in a park ahead of a crucial UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich.
“To practise our set-pieces and stuff we went to a public park. It was bizarre. Local people started coming from all over to watch us and take photos and videos.
“It was amateurish. I mean, why not just send Bayern an e-mail or a DVD?”
Ferdinand was also disgruntled at how several traditions established at United under Ferguson were scrapped without consultation or compromise.
“Footballers are creatures of habit and for as long as I can remember at United, it was a ritual that we had low-fat chips the night before a game. We loved our chips.
“But Moyes comes in and, after his first week, he says we can’t have chips any more.”
He added: “Under Fergie, for example, before a game on a Saturday we always played a small-sided match on a small pitch on the Friday. We loved it.
“We’d get into the mood for the following day by expressing ourselves, having fun, trying stuff out.
“We’d done that for years and suddenly – again for no good reason – Moyes changed it by making us play two-touch.”