Rio Ferdinand singles out David de Gea as the ONLY Manchester United player who ‘has character’ as he picks apart their lack of fighting spirit after their humbling by Manchester City
- Rio Ferdinand has questioned the work ethic of the Manchester United players
- The Red Devils were thrashed 4-1 by fierce rivals Manchester City on Sunday
- And club icon Ferdinand named only one United player he would ‘go to war with’
- He said ‘keeper David de Gea performed admirably but criticised everyone else
Rio Ferdinand has claimed David de Gea is the only player he would ‘go to war with’ after Manchester United’s listless derby defeat against Manchester City.
United’s fierce rivals dismantled them 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, with the latter stages of the match as intense as a light training session at points.
And on his Vibe with Five podcast, Ferdinand said goalkeeper de Gea was the only one up for the battle at the weekend.
He said: ‘In the first half we could say that Man United were in the game, but in the last 20 minutes, as (pundit) Roy Keane said on Sunday, and it was very true, we found out about players when the chips are down.
‘We found out what they’re really made of and what it is like when players are down and out almost on their knees. Who has the character?
‘Who can you look in the eye and go: ‘I still want to go to war with this guy?’ Maybe not it has not happened for us today, quality-wise, or with missed chances, but I know that geezer will work with me and for me and make sure we get by someway or somehow through perseverance or hard work.
Rio Ferdinand (above) has named the one Manchester United player he would ‘go to war with’ after the side’s listless derby defeat against rivals Manchester City at the Etihad on Sunday
Ferdinand said goalkeeper David de Gea (pictured) was the only one to show a bit of fight
When asked which of United’s player he would fight alongside for success on the pitch, he added: ‘After that 20 minutes I wouldn’t think of many names. David de Gea, maybe, but it is different if you’re a goalkeeper in that situation.
‘Nobody covered themselves in glory. No one, out of the players that stepped on that football pitch in the last 20 minutes (covered themselves in glory).’
United performed well in the first half, pressing high, scoring an arguably deserved equaliser via Jadon Sancho, before City captain Kevin De Bruyne put the hosts back ahead before the half-hour with his second goal.
But after half-time United were far less competitive, and when Riyad Mahrez scored with around half an hour left, the players lost all confidence and essentially downed tools, allowing City to pass the ball around at the back without any pressure.
The lacklustre Red Devils (above) seemingly downed tools in the last 20 minutes against City
Pundits were scathing about the performance of Ralf Rangnick’s side, with Ferdinand adding the players ‘all just want to be mates’ and that ‘no one wants to put someone’s nose out of joint’.
He concluded: ‘They’re all being nice and they don’t really like each other but they won’t tell each other. To win, you’ve got to be telling them ‘you’re rubbish, sort yourself out’.
‘You don’t have to be that aggressive either… it can be a simple conversation. Please tell me they are (doing that).
‘I don’t see a response. Their body language is awful, walking about slumped, like the world’s against them, looking unhappy.’