Manchester United players will be embarrassed to leave the house, claims club legend
By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Rio Ferdinand has claimed that Manchester United’s players should be embarrassed by their performances after they crashed out of the Champions League.
United slipped to a 3-2 defeat to Wolfsburg on Tuesday night in the final game of their Champions League group.
The Premier League giants will now compete in the Europa League in the new year, which could also have repercussions for their title challenge.
“It’s embarrassing, I was in a squad that went in the Europa League, it’s an embarrassment,” Ferdinand told BT Sport Europe afterwards.
The former United defender was in Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad when they failed to progress beyond the Champions League group stage on two occasions and remembers it as a horrible experience.
Ferdinand said: “You don’t want to come out of your house, you don’t want to walk around Manchester, people looking at you and thinking you’re not good enough, questioning you as an individual, as a team who didn’t get through the group stages that you should have, on paper.”
United appeared to have clinched qualification for the knockout stages when Marouane Fellaini’s 83nd minute header was deflected into the Wolfsburg net to make it 2-2, after Anthony Martial had given the visitors an early lead.
But, in a thrilling encounter, the German club’s lead was restored a minute later to make it 3-2 and, almost simultaneously, PSV Eindhoven took the lead over CSKA Moscow in the other group match to condemn Louis van Gaal’s side to third place in Group B.
Ferdinand believes United’s squad requires a significant overhaul if they are to progress in Europe.
“If you strip it back and look at this squad, this squad needs a real hard looking at,” said Ferdinand. “There’s no pace in the squad, no power, there doesn’t seem to be great resilience at times, the leaders you look for in situations like this, at the moment it looks like people are looking around at each other rather than being the man to stand up and saying ‘I’m going to drag you through the forces’.
“Normally when you look at the top teams there’s not only one, there’s two, three four in those types of teams, and I don’t see that at the moment.”