Manchester United hero Rio Ferdinand has revealed that he was forced to tell a youngster at the club to “stop crying like a little baby”, after the player in question became distraught at losing his place in the team.
The quotes revealed today, which have been serialised by The Sun from Ferdinand’s new book #2Sides, detail how Ferdinand, who spent the best part of 12 years as a player at Old Trafford, found out last season that one of the young players had broken down in tears before the manager, after hearing that he wasn’t going to play.
And, rather than offer a sympathetic shoulder to cry on, it would appear that the former England captain prefers a tough love sort of approach.
Ferdinand, who arrived at United in the heyday of Sir Alex Ferguson’s career, when young players were expected to earn their keep and graft until they were given a shot at the big time, revealed that he could not help himself but intervene when he had heard about the youngster’s conduct.
“Last season I was told that one of them had cried in front of the manager," Ferdinand wrote.
“I asked what the matter was. 'I thought I was going to play today,' he explained. I reminded him he was 19 and told him to stop crying like a little baby."
The QPR switch
Of course Ferdinand’s campaign last term proved to be his last ever in a United jersey, as he made a switch to Harry Redknapp’s newly-promoted QPR side upon seeing his Old Trafford contract run down. Coincidentally the legendary centre-back returned to his old haunt at the weekend, when United hosted his new side in the Premier League, though the match will hardly have given the 35-year-old cause to recall fond memories.
The R’s were demolished 4-0 as Van Gaal’s side recorded their first victory of the Dutchman’s reign, with new arrivals Angel Di Maria and Ander Herrera opening the scoring and Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata ensuring that there could be no QPR fight-back.
The result leaves Ferdinand and Co. on just three points from their opening four fixtures, having also suffered defeats at the hands of Hull City and Tottenham Hotspur.
A home victory over Sunderland will have given Redknapp cause for some optimism, but even he will know that the team has to improve if they are to ensure that their Premier League adventure isn’t cut short by immediate relegation back to the Championship.
As for Ferdinand’s former club, the introduction of a number of high-profile stars appear to have done them a world of good. Di Maria in particular has shone in his first two matches for the Red Devils, particularly on his home debut at the weekend.
Some will argue that QPR posed a very limited threat away from home but nevertheless Van Gaal is certain to be happy with the ruthless edge his side offered.