David Moyes immediately got off on the wrong foot with the Manchester United players upon his appointment as manager after imposing a ban on the eating of chips - something that caused an unexpected amount of friction.
Chips were down
It may have been far from a draconian change to the diet of a professional athlete but, as revealed by Rio Ferdinand, this decision from Moyes resulted in fury from the Manchester United players who simply wanted their “f***ing chips”.
This was such a bone of contention at Old Trafford that members of the squad made a move to plead for chips to return to the menu almost immediately after Ryan Giggs had assumed control following Moyes’ sacking.
“We weren’t eating badly. In fact, you’d struggle to find a more professional bunch of players than the ones at Manchester United in the summer of 2013,” Ferdinand wrote in his book, as serialised by The Sun.
“Then suddenly, for no good reason we could see, it was “no chips”. It’s not something to go to the barricades over. But all the lads were p***ed off.
“And guess what happened after Moyes left and Ryan Giggs took over?
“Moyes has been gone about 20 minutes, we’re on the bikes warming up for the first training session without him and one of the lads says: “You know what? We’ve got to get onto Giggsy.
“We’ve got to get him to get us our f***ing chips back.”
This, of course, was not the only change implemented by Moyes that resulted in discontent in the ranks, but perhaps the most notable given the reaction it caused among players despite its seemingly trivial nature.
One would assume these players should have far more pressing concerns to occupy their respective minds than a few chips on the eve of a match, and these revelations from Ferdinand just add to a feeling of sympathy towards the manager.
Moyes made mistakes at Old Trafford, there is no question of that, but he appeared to encounter a group of players who, in large parts, were reluctant to accept even the most minor of alterations to the long established status quo.
The issues the players had were exacerbated by poor results, with the Moyes changes unable to bear fruit, but Ferdinand’s comments suggest the squad were not exactly receptive to the instructions from their manager.