Rio Ferdinand critical of Manchester United, but Arsenal, and QPR as bad

Rio Ferdinand 3

Former Manchester United defender claims he saw the club conceding to Chelsea coming.

Manchester United fought back to claim a 1-1 draw against Chelsea on Sunday, scoring an injury-time equaliser.

They had conceded a second half header to Didier Drogba, after defender Rafael da Silva was badly mismatched from a corner.

Former defender Rio Ferdinand was watching on, and claimed to have seen the goal coming, bemoaning United's approach from set pieces.

Prior to the goal he used his Twitter feed to indicate he could barely look at his old side, and then after Drogba scored, went onto reinforce his point, and United's apparent weakness.

United have struggled defensively all season, but Ferdinand's own form for QPR has done little to persuade his old fans that the club made a mistake in letting him leave on a free transfer.

Statistics this season show that Manchester United have conceded the joint highest number of headed goals, but Ferdinand's QPR, and Arsenal, are equally as bad.

  Headed Goals ConcededEffective Head Clearances, per game
Burnley 7 20.44
Arsenal 5 13.56
Man Utd 5 16.22
QPR 5 19.78

Such a glaring weakness may be expected in relegation threatened sides like QPR and Burnley, both recently promoted, but for United and Arsenal, it is far more glaring.

It's no coincidence that for either team, they have been missing injured players. United have been stretched defensively, forced to hand debuts to Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair, while Arsenal have had to play Nacho Monreal at centre-back, and play Hector Bellerin for the very first time at right-back.

For Arsenal at least, they can take solace in Laurent Koscielny and Mathieu Debuchy coming back, two French internationals. The jury remains out on Manchester United's Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling, but Louis van Gaal's problems are partly of his own making, largely choosing to overlook strengthening the defence over the summer with only the so-far unconvincing Marcos Rojo added.

Making decisions like asking Rafael da Silva to mark Didier Drogba, is only going to compound the problem.

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