Chips, Crosses and Manchester United Confusion

Chips, Crosses and Confusion, just some of the things that will be remembered for David Moyes era at the helm of Manchester United, according to Rio Ferdinand. In his new book titled #2sides being serialised in The Sun newspaper, Ferdinand lifts the lid on a disastrous season in which Moyes alienated himself from the squad by axing key staff like Mike Phelan and Rene Meulensteen, stopping the players from eating chips a day before games and concentrating too much on the opposition which baffled the players.

Ferdinand goes on to say he had meetings with Moyes and his centre half partner, Vidic, in which Moyes would go on and on about the opposition so much so that the defensive pair came away wondering what they had been asked to do.

Rio describes how Moyes would be obsessed with playing a long diagonal ball in games, instead of attacking with wingers which United have been renowned for over decades. This was evident in the home game with Fulham in which everyone there could not ignore how many aimless crosses United put in that day, only to end up drawing against a team rooted at the bottom of the table. Rio wondered if United had an Andy Carroll playing that day there were so many crosses put in.

Moyes changed his mind throughout the season in what he wanted from the players, going from crosses to more passes. Moyes was quoted as saying ” I want 600 passes today, we only did 400 last week”. Who counts? Why 600?

The final straw for Ferdinand was being told he would not be playing in the biggest game of the season, a champions league quarter final away at Bayern Munich and to be told the day before in a public park. Ferdinand said he could have throttled Moyes there and then, but realised his time at United was up.

As these strange stories now start to seep out of what was a tight camp at Old Trafford, one thing is clear, David Moyes was clearly out of his depth. Ferdinand said he had a “small club mentality”. Moyes appeared to make mistakes at every turn, major mistakes that meant he was never going to be given more time to turn things around. He changed too much too soon, getting rid of the backroom staff, changing what he wanted from his players on a weekly basis. These players were used to consistency, used to being at a big club and being treated properly, it is clear Moyes lost the dressing room very quickly, once that happens, there is no going back.