This year was always going to be difficult for Manchester United after the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson and all of his coaching staff.
In their absence, United’s most experienced players needed to step up and take responsibility for leading the charge.
The likes of Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick had been there through the best times and had a winning mentality instilled in their minds. With them, the dressing room would still have that experience.
However, instead of leading by example and taking responsibility, Ferdinand seems more interested in making it as difficult for Moyes as possible.
Firstly, Ferdinand decided to go public and question Moyes’ team selection process when he said it was turning him into a madman. OK Rio, you have every right to be upset with how Moyes operates but keep it in house. Ferdinand’s quotes were never going to be seen in a positive light and they rocked the boat.
Then, there is the question of who leaked the team line-ups to David McDonnell enough times for him to be banned from the pre-match press conferences. Although the mole hasn’t been proved, the fact that McDonnell was the only journalist who knew that Ferdinand was ruled out for two weeks with a bruised knee speaks volumes. Of course, the McDonnell situation may be nothing more than a coincidence in which case Ferdinand isn’t responsible but the wider issue still exists.
As Rob Blanchette discussed, United have lacked a leader this season at a time when we desperately need one and Ferdinand has let the side down in that respect.
Sir Alex Ferguson always reiterated that control was one of the cornerstones of his success at United and unless Moyes wants others to think they can undermine him, he’ll now have to show Ferdinand the exit door.
Ferdinand was likely to leave the club in the summer anyway as part of Moyes shaping his own United but the 35-year-old has now risked leaving on sour terms. United staunchly supported Ferdinand through his drug test ban debacle and it is almost like a giant slap in the face of those who stood by him by not taking his position at the club seriously this season when we need our experienced players the most.