Manchester United are undertaking as seismic a transition this season as they did last. That may sound ridiculous considering that Sir Alex Ferguson brought his incredible quarter of a century tenure to an end last year.
But Manchester United have suffered similarly apocalyptic changes this summer as, apart from another managerial change, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have left the club, while Patrice Evra could also be gone for good.
They have been absolute legends for Manchester United and soccersweep has written time and again about its strong belief that Ferdinand has been discarded prematurely by Manchester United.
Having seemingly put his injury problems behind him he may have lost some of that lightning pace that he once had.
But ball playing defenders of this quality do not come along very often and Manchester United could sorely use the services of Ferdinand over the next year or two.
We would put young mobile players around him and let him run tings until he’s 40. He’s still no slouch but that passing ability and composure in defence is almost irreplaceable.
Ferdinand has always been one of soccersweep’s favourite players and we believe he’s the best defender The Premier League has seen – bar none.
So it’s was at once comforting and disheartening to hear Harry Redknapp endorsing this idea, on signing the player for QPR. He said:
“I spoke to Ryan, not that I had any doubt,” he added.
“I just asked about how much training he did and Ryan said if he still had been his manager this year then he would have been his number one centre-half. When he took over last year the first thing he did was put Rio back in the team.
“He was fit all last season, but David came in and wanted to change the team around. He didn’t pick him.
“We got his records from Man United and he was the fourth/fifth highest player, in terms of being available for training and playing.
“You will always get doubters and people who say ‘he’s had it’ or ‘he’s finished’. I back my own judgement and opinion.
We believe that, with a player like Steven Caulker alongside him next season at QPR he could be one of the players of the season. At 35 he’s still in fantastic shape and has lost little of his will to win – he is the one player who can make defending look as sexy as attacking.
QPR fans needn’t worry that Rio possesses any of the arguable football foibles of his brother – because the older Ferdinand is still world class.
It’s a huge shame for Manchester United fans that he has left the club and we feel that it’s a decision that could yet come back to haunt the club.
Let’s see the legend in action. Manchester United fans: dismayed that Rio has departed?Follow @soccersweep10