Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has questioned Harry Maguire’s captaincy of the team after their latest defeat and says a number of players need to be told to ‘pull their socks up’.
The Red Devils are currently 15th in the Premier League table, nine points adrift of pace-setters Liverpool, and are yet to record a victory at Old Trafford after four league matches, losing again on Sunday against Arsenal.
Ferdinand fears for his old club and is worried about a potential lack of leaders in the dressing room, calling on skipper Maguire to drill into the squad the standards expected of United players.
Speaking on his FIVE YouTube channel, Ferdinand said: ‘I just feel at the moment we’re lacking confidence in certain areas. We gained a bit of confidence in midweek – do they get too over confident?
‘I saw Harry Maguire, a couple of his comments after the game, saying “Maybe we’re patting each other on the back too much”. Get hold of that team. He’s the captain, get in that dressing room.
‘I hope he’s getting in there and getting round people and telling people, “Listen, we aren’t the finished article yet, we’ve got loads to do, there’s more from us to come, pull your socks up you”. I don’t know if that’s going on man.
‘The captain of Man United… there’s always been leaders in that changing room who would be going round there and drilling people, either one-to-one or in front of the group, pulling people aside, having little conversations to try and get people up and make sure they stay on their game.
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‘I remember I used to chat to Nani, I didn’t even chat to him really it was two or three words: “Assists and goals”, “Shoot on sight”, boom that’s it. It doesn’t need a whole essay worth of words to give to people. Sometimes it’s short and sharp, punchy little things that people know, “Yeah that’s good information, quick, concise information” go out there and do it.
‘Or sometimes people need: “Listen, what you doing man? You’ve been rubbish. Sort yourself out”. Are these conversations going on?
‘It isn’t just for the management to deal with that. Sometimes it’s players in that dressing room that need to stand up and go bang, and put it on people. Listen, I had it put on me at times and I put it on other people – that’s the environment and culture that you need.’
On United’s display against Arsenal, he added: ‘All in all the Manchester United performance was poor man. This is the problem with Man United, it’s been inconsistencies that are killing them.
‘One week you say, “Yeah I can see something”, there’s a little bit of light there, Rashford comes in, Martial, Fernandes. Then the week after the wheels kind of fall off a bit. The frustration is unbelievable.
‘This is the lowest points tally at this stage since David Moyes’ short reign when I was there – and they finished seventh that season. It doesn’t fill me with much confidence in that sense. They’ve not won at Old Trafford up to now since we started the season in the Premier League.’
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