Tag Rio Ferdinand

Tag Rio Ferdinand

Fergie: Rio plays against Hull tomorrow

January 22, 2010 Tags: Shorts 1 comment

Rio Ferdinand, who has featured just eight times for Manchester United this season, will play against Hull in the Premier League Saturday Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed. The England defender, sidelined with chronic back complaint since the autumn, will return to Premier League action as United chase leaders Arsenal.

“Rio has been training very well in the last few weeks. He will play tomorrow,” Ferguson said at a Carrington press conference Friday.

Ferdinand first suffered a back injury as United won the FIFA Club World Cup in December 2008 and has been intermittently sidelined with the complaint or related problems for more than a year. The former-West Ham United player has not feature for United since the club’s defeat to Liverpool on 25 October – a match for which he was clearly not fit.

Meanwhile, central defensive partner Nemanja Vidic is two weeks away from full fitness, Ferguson confirmed, with long-term absentee Owen Hargreaves now training with the first team squad.

Evans fit but O’Shea out for two months

January 2, 2010 Tags: , , Shorts No comments

Manchester United defender Jonny Evans is back in training and could figure for the club within 10 days but John O’Shea is out for another two months, according to manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Evans, who has suffered with an ankle injury all season, has been training with the first team this week. Irishman O’Shea picked up a thigh injury against France in November.

“There is no sign at all of recovery for John,” said Ferguson of O’Shea’s problem.

“It is his first injury at the club and he is a big loss because he is such a versatile player. We just want to get him back but it could be a couple of months yet.’

“Jonny has been involved in the football side for a few days. He is doing well and should be back quicker, within the next 10 days or so.”

However, Ferguson says that there no date set for the return of injured defender Rio Ferdinand, who has not featured for United in more than two months.

“Rio is nowhere near that but the main thing is there is no recurrence of the back problem. That is what we have been waiting for. We wanted him to come through the test of running and turning. He is doing his programme in the gymnasium, which is good and at the moment it is looking very healthy.”

Fergie defends Rio ahead of Moscow tie

November 3, 2009 Tags: , , Matches 1 comment

Sir Alex Ferguson has rejected criticism of Rio Ferdinand and suggested that the defender is playing through injuries for Manchester United. Ferdinand, who has made a series of costly errors in recent weeks, will miss United’s Champions League tie against CSKA Moscow tonight with a recurring calf injury.

“There’s no discernible depreciation in Rio’s qualities, none for me at all,” Ferguson said ahead of United’s group B tie where a win will seal qualification for the knock out stages of the competition.

“In my time here we’ve always had the situation where one of the star players hits a little blip,” Ferguson added.

“Rio is going to get criticism but that’s part and parcel of being a Manchester United player and we are all aware of that. With Rio it’s quite simple. No one likes to be criticised. They all like to be loved and have arms round their shoulders at times but he will come out of it, there is no doubt at all about that.”

Ferdinand, who has made high-profile errors in recent United and England matches, has suffered a series of calf, back, hip and thigh injuries over the past year. The former Leeds and West Ham player, beaten for pace and strength by Fernando Torres for Liverpool’s opening goal at Anfield 10 days ago, has appeared in just eight of United’s 17 matches this season.

Indeed, the defender has missed around half of United’s games over the past calendar year, with the stop-start nature of the player’s appearances having an effect on Ferdinand’s form, according to Ferguson.

While Ferguson has no doubt Ferdinand’s form will return when the injuries clear up, others are less certain. Such is the perceived depreciation in Ferdinand’s form that former England manager Graham Taylor said the defender has “lost his legs” last weekend. Although Taylor’s appreciation of the defender’s art is aptly surmised by recalling how the former Watford boss deployed 6′ 3″ United centre-back Gary Pallister at left-back for a crucial 1994 World Cup qualifier in Norway.

Ferguson also revealed that Ferdinand, 31 on Saturday, has played through the pain barrier for United in recent weeks. While the defender will miss Tuesday’s match, he has a slim chance of making United’s trip to Stamford Bridge next weekend.

“Playing with injuries is not the easiest thing to do but of course we will try to get that right for Rio,” said Ferguson, who will pair Wes Brown and Jonny Evans against the Russian side at Old Trafford, with Nemanja Vidic also ruled-out.

“Calf injuries can be troublesome and, if you don’t arrest them and give them their proper treatment, you can end up the way we are just now with players playing games when they are not 100% fit.”

But Ferdinand’s position at the heart of both United and England’s defence is far from certain should injuries persist. Norman Whiteside, Paul McGrath and Louis Saha will attest that Ferguson is no slave to quality if he cannot deploy it on the pitch.

Wayne Rooney, another player likely to miss the CSKA match, has been given compassionate leave after the birth of his son, Kai. Ferguson will pair Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen in attack, with Italian teenager Federico Macheda drafted into the squad.

No case for the defence

October 28, 2009 Tags: , Opinion 1 comment

Less than a year ago Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic was the best central defensive partnership in Europe. Along with goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, the pair kept a series of clean sheets. Now each is a shadow of the former player, lacking in confidence and making errors that are costing Manchester United games and points.

Ferdinand’s recent form has been the subject of much debate. The mistakes include a chipped pass that directly contributed to Manchester City’s third goal, which was only redeemed by Michael Owen’s last-minute goal in the 4-3 derby victory. There was also the former-Leeds player’s mistake for England in the 1-0 defeat against the Ukraine earlier this month. Sunday at Anfield, it was Fernando Torres who out-muscled and outpaced the defender to score the opening goal.

Much of Ferdindand’s poor form is the result of injury and lack of match readiness. The defender has been in and out of the side, playing only a few of the games in which manager Sir Alex Ferguson would have wished. Despite this, most United supporters believe that with a run in the team, Ferdinand’s composure and form will return.

Of more concern is Vidic’s apparent decline. The Serbian, who débuted against City shortly after signing for United in January 2006, made a nightmare start to his Old Trafford career. But the defender’s signature during the winter transfer window allowed the former Spartak Moscow star time and space to adjust to the Premier League by the start of the 2007/2008 season.

Moreover, Vidic complimented Ferdinand. The Serbian became United’s rock to Rio’s continental approach, right up until the nightmare performance against Fernando Torres in United’s 4-1 defeat to Liverpool at Old Trafford in March.

Performances have followed a similar pattern. Against Barcelona in the Champions League final Vidic allowed Samuel Eto’o to waltz past for the opening goal. More recently, during United’s visit to CSKA Moscow, Vidic made repeated mistakes.

Last Sunday, Vidic was unfortunate to pick up an initial booking against Liverpool, with the Anfield crowd playing a significant part. It was also frustrating to witness the defender sent off for hauling down Dirk Kuyt, when Jamie Carragher got away with a booking for the same crime. But let us not forget the Serbian’s mistake in fouling Kuyt in the first place.

Aside from a bruised nose – and lost bragging rights – Sunday’s match matters little in the grand scheme. Liverpool, not good enough to mount a serious title challenge, will take victory as a season’s highlight. United fans can forget about defeat when celebrating a 19th league title in May. Nobody needs reminding of that fact more than Liverpool.

Of more immediate concern, though, is how to restore Ferdinand and Vidic to the finest central defensive partnership Europe has seen, and fast.

Who should be United's central defensive partnership?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Ring-rusty Rio comes under fire

October 12, 2009 Tags: Opinion 3 comments

In the high octane life of Premier League, international and Champions League football mistakes are hard to hide from. For Rio Ferdinand, one of the most consistent defenders in Premier League history, recent high profile errors against Holland, Manchester City and Ukraine are more than a little unfortunate. Questions have been asked.

Ferdinand’s troubles stem not from any conspicuous degradation in the player’s quality. After all, the old clichéthat ‘form is temporary and class permanent’ still reigns true. Indeed, Ferdinand can rightly place himself in the very top echelon of world central defenders. But having missed around half of Manchester United and England’s last 50 games, Ferdinand’s ring-rustiness has shown through in recent months. It’s a worrying trend.

Connected to the player’s long-term back complaint, Ferdinand suffered thigh, calf and groin problems over the past year. The defender, 31 on 7 November, has regular osteopathic treatment on the back complaint that first surfaced at the FIFA World Club Cup last December. However, the problem is now one that requires ongoing management, and not a quick-fix solution. An issue that has become a long-term worry for club and country.

Ferdinand’s injures have caused Sir Alex Ferguson to chop-and-change his central defensive partnership over the past year, with both Nemanja Vidic and Jonny Evans also suffering injuries. While Evans has benefited and is growing into a top class defender in his own right, United has conceded more goals than usual this season. A team that allowed the opposition to score just 29 times in 38 Premier League games last season, has conceded eight in as many games this campaign.

At international level Fabio Capello, forced to use West Ham United’s Matthew Upson more often than he would like, is now under pressure to consider replacing Ferdinand permanently.

The former West Ham and Leeds defender’s damaging mistake against Ukraine, where Ferdinand played a significant part in Rob Green’s dismissal, has heightened the pressure on the player. Ferdinand’s mistake followed rapidly on the heels of a horrendous error against Holland in August. Then in September Ferdinand played a central role is two of Manchester City’s goals at Old Trafford.

But the England manager has been wholly supportive of his vice-captain, dismissing Ferdinand’s most recent error.

“He made one mistake during the game,” said the England manager said.

“It was a long ball. The ball bounced and he didn’t judge the direction of the ball well. But after that he played a game, like the other players. At this moment he probably makes some mistakes, but you cannot question his value.”

This is a sentiment echoed by United manager Sir Alex Ferguson but with an eye on the future. Indeed, Ferguson spoke recently of Evans value to the team.

“Jonny has been fantastic and it’s very difficult for me at the moment,” said Ferguson recently.

“I said to him last week that I don’t know if I’m doing the right thing sometimes in leaving him out because his performance level is so high. I feel like I’m being unfair to him.

“I think the only thing that justifies me leaving him out is the performance levels of my other centre-backs, Ferdinand and Vidic, and their experience.

“Jonny is still young and he has got a great future here. The time will come when I have to put him in.”

It’s a warning that Ferdinand must heed by getting and keeping himself fit. It’s only then that we’ll find out if the defender’s decline is a short term blip or something more permanent.

Ferdinand’s fitness failures

September 24, 2009 Tags: Shorts No comments

United’s management is increasingly concerned about the long-term fitness of Rio Ferdinand, according to a report in today’s Times. The central defender, who sat on the substitutes bench for last night’s Carling Cup victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers, has missed 30 of United’s last 52 United and England matches says the paper.

Connected to the player’s long-term back complaint, Ferdinand suffered thigh, calf and groin problems over the past year. The defender, 31 on 7 November, has regular osteopathic treatment on the back complaint. However, the problem is now one that requires ongoing management, and not a quick-fix.

Sir Alex Ferguson has chopped-and-change his central defensive partnership over the past year, with both Nemanja Vidic and Johnny Evans suffering injuries. Evans played against Wolves, despite an ongoing ankle problem that may need surgery.

Ferdinand, who cost the club £30 million in 2002, signed a five-year, £130,000 a week, contract last summer. The Old Trafford bean-counters as well as the manager will be hoping Ferdinand is able to halt the tide of injuries.

Rio fit for Spurs clash

September 10, 2009 Tags: Shorts 1 comment

Rio Ferdinand could play in Manchester United’s away fixture at Tottenham Hotspur this Saturday after recovering from injury. Ferdinand, who has missed four Premier League matches, the Community Shield and two England internationals, has been out with a thigh strain. But the United defender joined first team training at Carrington this week and is available to play, if chosen by Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ferdinand’s return is a huge boost to the manager, who has seen a raft of defenders injured over the last few months.

“Rio has been in training this week and has a got a chance for Saturday, I’m not sure how big a chance but he has got a chance,” said Ferguson in his weekly press conference.

“I don’t know if there are any injuries with the players coming back from games but I think the England players are all right. We’re better off than we have been for months, in terms of defensive options.”

However John O’Shea is unlikely to figure after suffering a blood clot in his calf after the Republic of Ireland’s clash with Cyprus last weekend.

Meanwhile, Johnny Evans is suffering with an ankle problem which may yet need an operation. Brazilian full back Rafael da Silva is yet to return following surgery on a dislocated shoulder.

Nonsense Rio to Spain rumours

September 5, 2009 Tags: Shorts No comments

Tabloid rumour mill The Sun today reports that Rio Ferdinand is set to quit Manchester United for the warmer pastures of Real Madrid or Barcelona next summer. The typically weak ‘exclusive’, which carries unattributed quotes from ‘a source’, says that Ferdinand is seeking to boost his business profile as he enters his 30s.

MANCHESTER UNITED are heading for a Ronaldo-style battle to hang on to Rio Ferdinand. The England defender is a target for Barcelona and Real Madrid – and knows a move to Spain will boost his growing business career.

Ferdinand is under contract until 2013 but United could be tempted to cash in on a player who is 30 and who has suffered from recent injury problems. A move to Spain would give brand Rio the kind of platform both David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo have exploited at Madrid.

A source revealed: “Rio can see the sense of it. Not only would it be a fresh challenge as he nears the end of his career, it would also fit all his projects off the pitch.

“Rio has big business plans, which are already taking shape, and would really take off if he moved to one of the big Spanish clubs.”

The laughably inaccurate story, which is based on little more that quotes from a presumably Spanish-based agent, is typical of the negotiation-by-media tactics used by Real Madrid in the past.

Rio Ferdinand is under contract at United until 2013 and is one of the highest paid players at Old Trafford. He has repeatedly stated that he wants to end his career at United.