Manchester United’s Ferdinand responds to tabloid swipe via Tweet

Rio Ferdinand

Veteran defender appears to take swipe at tabloid columnist who criticised him

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand appears to have taken a swipe at the tabloid columnist who questioned his leadership at Old Trafford this season.

Adrian Durham, of the Daily Mail, criticised Ferdinand for his prolific and sometimes puerile use of Twitter, and suggested that the centre-back’s performances at United had dipped this season.

Ferdinand has struggled to make an impact under David Moyes, and with his contract expiring at the end of the season it has been suggested that he could move to the MLS in America.

Durham pulled no punches in his assessment of Ferdinand, who he believes spends too much time Tweeting and not enough leading his team-mates on the field.

He wrote: “After messing Roy Hodgson about last year, and turning his back on England, I expected Ferdinand to become a regular and a leader for Manchester United.

“There’s nothing wrong with players having interests outside football, unless of course they take your focus away from the game. [Sir Alex Ferguson] felt so concerned he instructed Rio’s agent to run all of the centre half’s activities away from football by him first.”

Ferdinand has suffered from persistent injury problems this season which have limited him to just 13 appearances, the last of which came against Swansea City in early January.

Durham continued: “He’s now averaging one game a month for his club, sometimes watching the whole game from the subs’ bench. Rio’s out with a knee injury right now, but without wishing to be disrespectful, nobody is missing him.”

Ferdinand, however, appeared to hit back at Durham after United’s 2-0 win over Cardiff City at Old Trafford on Tuesday night, in which Robin van Persie returned to goal-scoring ways and Juan Mata made his debut for the club.

The 35-year-old Tweeted: “Decent last night at OT, good to see RVP back scoring & good debut by Juan da Man…Oh no, with that Tweet I’ve took my eye off the ball!”

image: ©

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch