Rio Ferdinand absolutely nails Moyes' biggest failure at United 3 years ago

Rio Ferdinand absolutely nails Moyes' biggest failure at United

Fair play to BT Sport.

In the last year or so, the broadcaster has made a concerted effort to make Premier League Tonight actually worth watching.


While Sky Sports still have leading tactical analysts Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher enthusiastically drawing arrows on screens, BT Sport have managed to package their Saturday evening programme as a kind of inside-the-ropes football confessional booth.

Last year, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand regularly shared forthright stories about their playing days. It made for fairly compelling stuff, especially their honest reflections on not particularly liking one another when they played together for England.

Lampard and Gerrard have moved onto management this season, of course, leaving Ferdinand as the main man.

This weekend, Rio had Martin Keown and Jermaine Jenas for company and, while you'll struggle to get anything interesting out of them, the former Manchester United defender cut right to the heart of David Moyes' doomed reign at the club.

When asked by presenter Jake Humphrey about his time under the embattled Scot at Old Trafford, Ferdinand didn't hold back.

"David Moyes in the big games played first not to get beat, then to see what we could get from the game. Before we were always on the front foot. That mindset came from being Everton manager."

Watch the clip below.


Moyes was responsible for a radical change in United's approach to big games. Instead of focusing on their own strengths (they were champions, after all, during his time at the club), they worried about the opposition.

However, Ferdinand believes Moyes' biggest fault was failing to delegate.

"Certain managers come in and change very little, some managers come in and change a lot," Ferdinand continued. 

"It's not just on the pitch, tactically, it's off the pitch when certain messages are given beforehand. Even, for instance, the way Moyes would tell players they weren't in the squad. To win the league, you need to have 22-25 players on board.

"The difference between him and Alex Ferguson was that Ferguson told the fringe players that they were as important as the starting eleven, that their time would come when they would define a match or win a match. 

"When he told someone they weren't playing, he would do it with courtesy. Moyes, who is his own man, came in and said 'I'm not going to pander to your needs or do it the way it was done before. I'm doing it my way – and that maybe put some people's nerves out of joint."

"Moyes' hands were on everything at the club. He was involved in the scouting, of the analysis of opposing teams, the physiotherapy. He was involved in taking every training session and every team meeting. You can do that at Everton, but at Manchester Utd, you've got to delegate. Ferguson trusted other people."

"The best traits Ferguson had were that he delegated and that he trusted other people."