David Moyes, Rio Ferdinand
Not the United way: Ferdinand says Moyes was concerned about avoiding defeats than achieving wins.Reuters file

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has hit out at David Moyes's style of management during his time at Old Trafford, stating some of his tactics were "embarrassing" for both the players and the club.

The Scot, who took charge at Old Trafford as Sir Alex Ferguson's successor last summer, was shown the door in April, after the club fell from defending champions to seventh in the Premier League, and also suffered early exits in the other three competitions.

Ferdinand, who left the Red Devils and joined QPR this summer, has now pointed out some of the flaws in Moyes's reign at United, through his autobiography "#2Sides", which is now being serialised by The Sun. The former England international stressed that United players were often confused about how Moyes wanted them to play.

"Moyes's innovations mostly led to negativity and confusion. The biggest confusion was over how he wanted us to move the ball forward. Often he told us to play it long. Some players felt they kicked the ball long more than at any time in their career. Sometimes our main tactic was the long, high, diagonal cross. It was embarrassing.

"In one home game against Fulham we had 81 crosses! I was thinking, why are we doing this? Andy Carroll doesn't play for us! 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 10 passes."

Rio Ferdinand, David Moyes
What do you want us to do, David? Ferdinand says United players were often baffled about how Moyes wanted them to play.Reuters file

Ferdinand also stated that Moyes was always confused about how he wanted to go about restructuring United, and added that the former Everton manager was concerned about avoiding defeats than achieving wins.

"He tried to impose a vision but never seemed to be completely clear what that vision should be. Unintentionally, he created a negative vibe where, with Fergie, it had always been positive. It was always how to stop the other side. Moyes set us up not to lose. We'd been accustomed to playing to win.'

"Before every game he made a point of showing us videos of how dangerous the other team could be. There was so much attention to the subject it suddenly became a worry. You heard a lot of guys complaining: 'I just don't know what he wants'."

The 35-year-old also slammed Moyes's decision to drop him publicly from the side that played Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the Champions League last season.

"It killed me. Inside I wanted to scream and grab him. I'm a team player, so I just had to bite my tongue and stand there. But it was probably the worst single moment I ever had at United. I'd never been dropped for a big game like that - and to drop that on me in front of everybody."

Moyes was eventually replaced by Louis van Gaal this summer, who recorded his first competitive win as the United manager in Sunday's 4-0 triumph over Ferdinand's side QPR.

Quick Links