Rio Ferdiand‘s start to the new season seems to show he seriously struggling, which is being reflected in Manchester United‘s form.
The English defender, now 34, has looked very far off his standards of seasons past. But this has now become such a regular talking point that you begin to wonder just what the situation is.
His mistakes and poor defending has now resulted in some serious problems. We saw in the 4-1 defeat to Manchester City that he struggled to keep things together on a major scale, but there have been other occasions such as Dwight Gales‘ simple turn of pace for Crystal Palace and Daniel Agger‘s movement for Liverpool. There have now been numerous errors that have led to United conceding.
But in the 2-1 loss at home to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, it seemed to be clear that this was more than just a blip; Ferdinand is now seriously struggling to be the man David Moyes requires at the back. Morgan Amalfitano showed the weaknesses in Ferdinad’s physicality and awareness. His positioning was all wrong. The Ferdinand of old would have seen the danger early on and been able to deal with it calmly. Instead, he was left bare and torn apart by a fairly average pace. It was embarrassing. Things didn’t get better. Jonas Olsson‘s header that rattled off the bar was due to Ferdinand failing to get to grips with him, and having his body position all wrong. But yet again, Ferdinand was involved in United conceding — as Saido Berahino‘s winning shot went through Ferdinand’s legs who failed to close down.
It was not a good day and it hasn’t been a good start for Ferdinand. With the likes of Chris Smalling and Johnny Evans performing better, albeit still not that great, the future looks a little bleak now for Ferdinand. He has work to do to improve his game, because it is now actually costing his team. He is by far worse than he has ever been and sadly I think his place in the line-up is currently unjustified. We all know what a great leader and defender Ferdinand can be, but he has looked the opposite so far this season.
Maybe David Moyes agrees too, with Wayne Rooney the preferred captain. It remains to be seen how long this poor form will last, but you would suggest that he won’t be such a certainty to start in the coming games.