Gary Neville and Rio Ferdinand are at odds in their arguments on whether Manchester United are capable of being a pressing team under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer like their rivals
Rio Ferdinand has disagreed with Gary Neville over the reason behind Manchester United ‘s tactical struggles – and how to solve their issues.
The former teammates seemingly believe United should head in a different direction following the Red Devils’ humiliating 5-0 defeat at home to Liverpool.
A number of goals scored by Jurgen Klopp’s men came from United’s poor pressing, particularly Naby Keita ‘s opener just five minutes into the crunch clash.
Post-match, Neville claimed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and co were “kidding themselves” if they believed they were a pressing team due to their personnel.
However his former dressing room pal says that the side are capable – but must be disciplined and focused to do so.
“I saw Gary Neville say that Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Paul Pogba can’t press. I don’t agree with that, they can press. Any player can press if you’re told to.”
Speaking during a video recorded in hospital via his Vibe with Five YouTube show, Ferdinand said: “If Bernardo Silva, Kevin de Bruyne, [Raheem] Sterling, [Jack] Grealish, [Riyad] Mahrez … if they’re not pressing the manager will drag them off the pitch. The same with Klopp at Liverpool.
“If [Sadio] Mane and [Mohamed] Salah aren’t pressing, do you think the manager will accept that? Get off the pitch.
“That’s how ruthless Ole has got to be. Sir Alex Ferguson was exactly the same.
“If Ryan Giggs didn’t get back and make tackles and interceptions the manager was on him at half-time, and he’s the most decorated and experienced player we had.
“You can’t tell me that players can’t press. Some do it better than others.
“But trust me if the manager tells players to press they’ll get a response. I don’t buy the excuse that people can’t press.”
The 42-year-old has also sent a message to the Red Devils camp, demanding things “have got to change” and suggesting that if arguments are not breaking out in “feisty” training sessions, “it’s because you haven’t got the right people in.”
“At all the big clubs, if there’s problems, everyone is looking to themselves for answers,” Ferdinand continued.
“You’re getting into people, there’s an aggressiveness in training again because your pride is hurt. I’d want to see that response if I was the manager now.”
The player-turned-pundit also commented on Solskjaer’s situation and potential sacking, having spent five years alongside him at United.
“People calling for Ole to be sacked, that’s for the club to decide,” Ferdinand stated.
“I’m not into calling for managers to be sacked but what I do know is that Ole has come in and improved the club from where it was.
“He’s amassed a fantastic group of players and they need to be moulded into a team. That’s the job of the manager,” before once again being critical of the tactics.
Do you agree with Neville or Ferdinand? Let us know your thoughts below.
“I see Bruno [Fernandes] pressing on his own. I see Greenwood pressing on his own. I rarely see when they all go.
“When Liverpool press, they go in four or fives, they’re all in there and they all understand where they’re meant to be.
“This type of performance and result has been waiting for a long time. Villarreal it could’ve happened but we got away with it, Leicester, Newcastle even had chances.
“I’ve not watched United this season and thought ‘wow, we’ve totally dominated that team’ and that’s what the best teams do.
“They dominate when they have the ball and they suffocate when they don’t have possession.”
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