Rio Ferdinand has criticised Louis van Gaal, and has backed Ryan Giggs to take over as Manchester United manager.
Ferdinand left United in 2014 after 12 successful years at Old Trafford, but the club have struggled in the aftermath of Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure as boss in 2013.
David Moyes was appointed to replace Ferguson but was sacked within a year, while Van Gaal’s future is subject to intense speculation.
With United in fifth and six points behind neighbours Manchester City in the chase for Champions League qualification, and with many still questioning the Dutchman’s style of play, Ferdinand has joined the critics.
“From when I left, I knew it would be difficult,” the former defender told NDTV. “But I expected more. I expected us to make a bigger change under the new manager but it just hasn’t gone as well as we would have liked.
“I think the biggest problem today is the style of football. If you speak to anybody, that’s the biggest problem for people. They can understand not winning sometimes, but if you play the right way, the philosophy that everyone has come to expect from Manchester United, then people will be more accommodated. But that has not been the case.”
Van Gaal has been unhappy with regards to the speculation over his job, with Jose Mourinho constantly touted as his replacement in the summer. Ferdinand understands the current manager’s frustrations, but says that he must accept inevitable media coverage.
“If you are the current manager of Manchester United, or any football club and your name is being touted about getting the sack and about people getting put in, it’s definitely not nice to hear,” Ferdinand said. “But that’s the industry we are in and that happens. You can’t say I don’t like it, you’re here, this is what you have been doing for years and that’s the way it is so you have got to accept it.”
Ferdinand also backed former team-mate and current assistant manager Ryan Giggs to replace Van Gaal in the summer, but admits he is a bigger risk than Mourinho.
“Jose Mourinho’s name is getting mentioned. If you want someone whose got a career track record in winning in the Premier League and various other countries, then he’s that guy,” said the 37-year-old. “But if you want someone who understands the philosophy, whose respectful of the philosophy, who identifies with the fans, knows the place inside out, who’s going to be a bigger risk, then Ryan Giggs is that guy.”