Football: Rio Ferdinand criticises David Moyes' reign at Manchester United

Queens Park Rangers' English defender Rio Ferdinand looks on during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers at White Hart Lane in north London on Aug 24, 2014. Former Manchester United defender
Queens Park Rangers' English defender Rio Ferdinand looks on during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers at White Hart Lane in north London on Aug 24, 2014. Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has become the first senior player to publicly criticise David Moyes, who lasted just 10 months in charge as manager at Old Trafford last season. -- PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) – Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has become the first senior player to publicly criticise David Moyes, who lasted just 10 months in charge as manager at Old Trafford last season.

Moyes was appointed from Everton to succeed Alex Ferguson before the start of last season but reigning champions United lost three of their first six games and finished seventh in the table, their lowest position since 1990.

In his new autobiography, being serialised in The Sun, former United captain Ferdinand, who left the club earlier this year, accused the manager of having the ‘mentality of a smaller club’, taking a negative approach and not understanding United’s attacking traditions.

“Moyes’ innovations mostly led to negativity and confusion,” the former England defender wrote. “Moyes set us up not to lose whereas we’d been accustomed to playing to win. This wasn’t Everton, it was Manchester United.”

Ferdinand, who joined Queens Park Rangers in July and was in the team who were beaten 4-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday, also criticised United’s decision to do away with some of the support staff like first-team coach Mike Phelan.

His conclusion was: “Looking back, I’d say David Moyes was unlucky. He and Manchester United were just oil and water somehow. “His ideas weren’t bad in themselves, they just didn’t fit with the group of players and the tradition and recent history of the club.”