Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand did not feature against Tottenham today, but insisted he was rotated rather than dropped.
He tweeted: To play a full season at full throttle every game is hard to do...the BPL is a long, hard & rugged league to play in....squad rotation vital.
However his next comment, suggesting the team believe themselves capable of coasting through game, hint at some of the troubles at United so far this season, unable to string a run of wins together.
Many saying "u gotta give 100% every game"-the top teams can play at 80% at times & win games when confidence is high. #PaceYourselves— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) December 1, 2013
Quickly he was forced to defend himself...
And other fans joined in the criticism:
@rioferdy5 well Rio can you tell the lads to up the pace, because the effort given at the minute isn't winning us enough games!!— Chris Etty (@chrisetty) December 1, 2013
@rioferdy5 Well if that's the attitude in the team no wonder we are dropping points !!! Can't believe you would say that let alone think it.— Barry Murphy (@DampnessMurphy) December 1, 2013
The point Ferdinand is clearly missing is that this United side are not the unstoppable force of the past, able to win games by three or four goals week in and week out, who could afford to drop a notch.
This side have shown this season they are struggling, and with the adjustment period to a new manager and his system, there should be no reason for complacency.
Ferdinand's comments seem ill-judged for a time when the team have won two Premier League points out of a possible six in the last two weeks, dropping further ground on league leaders Arsenal.
It was Ferdinand himself who was beaten for Cardiff's equaliser a week ago, and it's time for him to start stepping up, and take advantage of any opportunities he gets - and that means giving 100 per cent.
image: © Paolo Camera