Morning! We won! Anyone else forgot what that feels like?
Di Maria has given us a serious jolt
I’m not going to pore over Di Maria and the new boys too much here, but what’s important and somewhat of a relief to note is that United played like United; hungry, determined, precise and most importantly, aggressive. Until now they looked like they’d never played with each other before and whilst title talk is silly, Louis Van Gaal was right when he talked about trajectory. QPR might have been abysmal opponents but frankly they were the punching bag that we needed.
The defence, though, still needs a little work. Bearing in mind how horrendous QPR were there were still a handful of panicky moments. The team remains heavily frontloaded and until reinforcements can arrive (hopefully in the form of Kevin Strootman in January) things are going to be a little more shaky at the back than at the front.
Rio Ferdinand still kicking David Moyes while he’s down
After being handed a ceremonial box of something for his 455 games for United, and then pretty much having his arse ceremonially handed to him by Angel Di Maria and his own abominable QPR teammates, you have to feel a little bad for Rio Ferdinand. He had the option of doing one to China or the USA to re-enact Scrooge McDuck’s coin dive but decided he wanted to keep playing in the Premiership, for his old manager. Fair enough.
Meanwhile, in what has come as a surprise to precisely no one, he is now giving David Moyes a good verbal kicking as he serialises his autobiography in the Sun. It was revealed back in May that Rio was told in the dressing room following the 1-1 draw with Southampton that his contract wasn’t being renewed which, if true, isn’t a terribly classy way to go out for someone who was instrumental in marshalling one of the finest defensive units in the Premier League.
Choice quotes from Ferdinand on Moyes thus far include:
- On a video session with Moyes: “Me and Vida [Nemanja Vidić] came out of there and looked at each other. ‘I don’t know what the f*** he just asked us to do,’ I said.”
- “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 ten passes!”
- “The mixed messages were even worse. Sometimes he’d say, ‘I want you to pass the ball.’ Other days it was: ‘I don’t want you to pass the ball.’ What the fuck do you want us to do, man?”
Some of the players’ outwardly mutinous conduct during Moyes’ reign is open to question, but the picture of mistrust and scepticism that Ferdinand paints is pretty awful nonetheless. If Ferdinand felt so strongly, as a leader of the club it’s likely his disgust at the new system would have filtered through to the rest of the squad, rendering Moyes’ job difficult from the outset. A Daniel Taylor piece back in March even made reference to a member of the coaching staff’s nickname was “Fuck off (name)”. It was almost certainly Phil Neville, as that rolls of the tongue rather nicely.
The funniest part of Ferdinand’s recent rant, though, is the thing about Moyes stealing players’ chips:
“It’s not something to go to the barricades over (the chips). But all the lads were p***** off. And guess what happened after Moyes left and Ryan Giggs took over? Moyes has been gone about 20 minutes, we’re on the bikes warming up for the first training session and one of the lads says: ‘You know what? We’ve got to get on to Giggsy. We’ve got to get him to get us our f****** chips back.”
You almost shudder to think that a potential reason for United playing so poorly under Moyes is that they were in a strop about not having their chips.
Any thoughts? Put them down below.
Until next time (tomorrow I reckon)