Rio Ferdinand insists Manchester United must focus on ‘finer details’ to avoid splashing the cash to fix defensive problems as he reveals the lengths he and Edwin van der Sar used to go to in order to stop the opposition
- Manchester United have been criticised for their defensive problems this term
- Rio Ferdinand says United should focus on the ‘finer details’ of their problems
- He claims spending a fortune in the January transfer window will not fix them
- Ferdinand recalls the agreement he had with Edwin van der Sar to avoid issues
Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester United should focus on the ‘finer details’ of their defensive problems, rather than spending a fortune in the January transfer window.
Ferdinand believes instances – such as taking the lead twice against Leicester on Saturday, but only walking away with a draw – could be avoided if they establish certain defensive principles.
Ferdinand recalls the agreement he and former Red Devils goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar had and claims their theory solved similar issues during their time at Old Trafford.
Rio Ferdinand says United should focus on the ‘finer details’ of their defensive problems
United have been criticised for their defensive problems following their draw to Leicester
‘Sometimes you can’t just keep churning out chequebook after chequebook, buying player after player, sometimes it’s down to the coaching and analysing things and looking at the finer details,’ Ferdinand told Five YouTube Channel.
‘Edwin van der Sar text me during the [Leicester] game, when the goal went in and McTominay didn’t go out to close him [Harvey Barnes] down and Bailly was behind him.
‘And it took me back to when we used to play and I would always say to Edwin, “When you see me going out to someone one-v-one, or on the edge of the box, I will try and stand in a certain place and wherever I stand, you stand opposite to it, you react off where I stand”.
Ferdinand recalls the agreement he had with Edwin van der Sar to avoid defensive issues
Ferdinand claims United should have their own agreements with each other to prevent goals
‘So if I was going out to say, Fernando Torres, on the edge of the box, I know he’s right-footed, I’m going to make sure that he can’t hit it back between my legs. So he can down the right-hand side, keep pushing down the right-hand side, and get a shot off, but I’m going to allow you to shoot near post, that’s fine, but not back through my legs, I’m going to block that.
‘And I’d say to Edwin, “If it goes through my legs hopefully you save it, but if you don’t it’s down to me. I take full responsibility”. And that’s the conversations we were having.’
Ferdinand added that the players must take responsibility to work together on ironing out the finer details.
He added: ‘That’s what players need to do. You need to create relationships, talk off the pitch before you go on, if this situation happens this is what I’m going to do, react off it this way. So no stone is left unturned. It’s in the detail. You win three points with detail sometimes.’
He says spending money will not help and that their problems must be addressed at training
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s (above) side have conceded 23 goals in their opening 14 fixtures
Ferdinand believes this could be difference between Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side – who have the worst defensive record in the top half of the Premier League, having conceded 23 goals in their opening 14 fixtures – winning or losing.
He said: ‘You go home with one point, or no points, because you didn’t concentrate or find out about the finer details and make sure you both were on the same page.
‘It’s about working in twos, pairs, in threes, quartets sometimes, working together in little units on the pitch and getting a good understanding of each other.’
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