Manchester, Sep 16 (IANS) Manchester United fans may be missing the aggressive style of Alex Ferguson, but former defender Rio Ferdinand believes that they must get used to the different methods employed by current manager Louis van Gaal.
Once perennial contenders for the English Premier League (EPL) under the guidance of former manager Ferguson, United are struggling to stay in the title hunt during the current season under van Gaal.
The Dutchman has not endeared himself to United’s players and fans with his coaching methods with reports emerging during the week — confirmed by van Gaal — that skipper Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick had approached the manager earlier in the season with concerns over squad morale.
Ferdinand, however, believes that United are now a completely different team from the days of Ferguson and fans should adjust to a safer, more methodical brand of football.
“The philosophy is completely different. Manchester United supporters now have to go away and re-educate themselves on how to watch Manchester United. Don’t go there expecting to see free-flowing, attacking, gung-ho football,” the former England captain was quoted as saying by the Daily Star on Tuesday.
“It’s methodical, side-to-side, wait for an opportunity to come. It’s a different type of football, very methodical, clear-cut pattern of the way he wants the team to play and it’s totally different,” he added.
United are currently third in the EPL table after Saturday’s 3-1 win over Liverpool, but they have struggled with their rhythm in the early part of the season.
They are on 10 points, five behind league leaders Manchester City with the cross-town rivals looking like strong contenders for the title.
But Ferdinand, who believes than van Gaal’s methods will eventually bring success, urged United fans to be patient and not hark back to the heady days of Ferguson and legendary manager Matt Busby.
“I’m not saying that is the wrong way — it is the way he chooses to play and it is not the way Manchester United are used to playing. If it brings success, Manchester United fans will be delighted, I will be delighted. It is just a different way of playing football,” the 36-year-old former central, who represented United from 2002-2014, said.
“People who are old enough to remember those times (Busby, etc), they want fairytale and they’re going to reminisce about old times and want to see what they’re used to,” he added. “The younger generation, they’re not so attached to that and they can move on, but they’re going to want to move on to a style that they like.”