Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 12°C Tuesday 20 October 2020

One reason United failed under David Moyes is because he banned chips - Rio Ferdinand

The former defender reveals all in his autobiography #2sides.

Ferdinand seems to have a chip on his shoulder about Moyes.
Ferdinand seems to have a chip on his shoulder about Moyes.
Image: Andrew Matthews/EMPICS Sport

RIO FERDINAND HAS revealed what he believes were a series of mistakes David Moyes made during his unsuccessful stint as manager of Manchester United — including the banning of chips the night before matches.

Former United defender Ferdinand — who made an unhappy return to Old Trafford when his QPR side were hammered 4-0 in the Premier League by his old club on Sunday — has had his say on Moyes’s woeful 10 months in charge of United in his autobiography ‘#2Sides’, which is being serialised in the Sun.

The 35-year-old centre-back also labelled Moyes’s tactics “embarrassing” and said the Scot had brought with him the “mentality of a small club” following his time in charge of Everton.

But Ferdinand said one of the first signs of looming trouble was Moyes’s ban on the tradition of players eating chips the evening before a game.

“It’s not something to go to the barricades over (the chips)…And guess what happened after Moyes left and Ryan Giggs took over?

“Moyes has been gone about 20 minutes, we’re on the bikes warming up for the first training session and one of the lads says: ‘You know what? We’ve got to get on to Giggsy. We’ve got to get him to get us our chips back.”‘

Former England defender Ferdinand, who won 81 caps, said the players became confused by Moyes’s tactics.

“Moyes’s innovations mostly led to negativity and confusion.

“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.”


Moyes was the hand-picked successor of former United manager Alex Ferguson, who retired in 2013 after more than 26 years in charge at Old Trafford, during which time he had become British football’s most successful manager.

But before the following season was finished, Moyes had been sacked with United finishing the campaign seventh in the Premier League — a position which meant they failed to qualify for both the lucrative Champions League and the second-tier Europa League.

Ferdinand said he knew it was time for him to leave United after 12 years at Old Trafford when Moyes dropped him for the Champions League tie with Bayern Munich while the club trained on a public park — something he labelled “amateurish”.

United lost 3-1 in Germany and, following a 2-0 defeat at Everton, Moyes was sacked on April 22.

Ferdinand said Moyes spent too much time focusing on the strengths of the opposition, which created a climate of fear in the dressing room.

“Before every game he made a point of showing us videos of how dangerous the other team could be. On the morning of a game we’d spend half an hour on the training ground, drilling to stop them,” he said.

“There was so much attention to the subject it suddenly became a worry.”

He added: “You heard a lot of guys complaining: ‘I just don’t know what he wants’. He had me doubting everything.”

- © AFP, 2014 

No limits – an evening with the Irish amputee team

Van Gaal underlines title ambition and asks more of Di Maria

About the author:


Read next: