Rio Ferdinand reveals Manchester United players’ agents are asking him to tone down his criticism of their clients this season
Speaking on the Vibe with Five podcast (h/t Daily Mail), ex-Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand has revealed that a number of agents of United players have contacted him to ask him to tone down his criticism of their clients’ poor form this season.
The club legend was discussing the Red Devils’ issues on the field after the 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Manchester City on Sunday on his podcast when he revealed this news. The result leaves his former side in fifth place in the Premier League table.
Ferdinand, who won six Premier League titles with Man United, revealed that he gets a number of phone calls from players’ agents asking him to stop criticising their clients, but the pundit said that he would only apologise if he was being vindictive and getting personal, which he was not.
“The amount of phone calls I get from agents, “oh, can you not say this, why are you criticising so and so”, do me a favour. If I was being vindictive and personal and saying bad things personally about these people I’d get it, I’d take the call and say sorry.”
Currently, in fifth place, the first-team stars will need to pick up their socks and perform miles better than their display on Sunday to have any chance of finishing in the top four of the league and qualifying for the Champions League next season.
“But I ain’t saying sorry”
Man United put in perhaps their worst performance of the season last weekend at the Etihad Stadium, as they were outplayed by their superior opponents. Things were so bad that in the second half, the visitors barely had any possession and failed to make a single shot at the opposition goal.
Ferdinand said that he would not be apologising or feeling sorry about the players because he was only stating the facts. The club legend went on to say that the stars should be their own biggest critic, and he was only being paid to do his job.
“But I ain’t saying sorry for stating facts. I ain’t saying sorry for tactically looking at the way people are playing and highlighting situations where you think you could do better there. You should be your biggest critic, you shouldn’t be thinking about what I’m saying, this is my job, I’m paid to do this. Go on the training field and work, don’t worry about me, I’m going to be sitting here talking, my career’s done.”
Ferdinand gave a damning indictment of what things were like in the dressing room, with players and their agents reaching out to him for expressing his own opinions. It is downright embarrassing to hear of such incidents, given that these are professional athletes who are paid an insane amount of money to play the game we all love.
Football stars are looked up to by so many fans and young kids, and hearing news like this will only put them off their idols. Clearly, some of the current first-team stars are not able to handle the harsh truth. They are better off taking a look in the mirror rather than shooting the messenger.
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Instead of demanding apologies, the players should be well focused on getting back on their feet and putting in a response in the next game. Tottenham Hotspur are no easy opponents, but there is enough quality in the current Man United side to put in an impressive display and silence their critics.
March sees us take on Atletico Madrid and Liverpool as well, and any repeat of the City performance from Sunday will do us no favours. The players will need to take a long, hard look at themselves and perform at their full potential to ensure we get through this month with as many points as possible to finish in the top four by the end of the season.