Rio Ferdinand described himself as “devastated, dejected and frustrated” on Twitter after Manchester United’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in the Europa League on Thursday night - and that summed up the mood of every Red Devils’ fan.
Ferdinand and his former United teammate Paul Scholes tore into Louis van Gaal on BT Sport after the embarrassing performance at Anfield and rightly so.
During the post-match analysis, Ferdinand also reeled off a list of players that Van Gaal should have kept, arguing they’re better than the current group of players in the United ranks.
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“There’s a list of players here, I’ve written down,” Ferdinand said. “[Angel] Di Maria, Nani, [Patrice] Evra, [Danny] Welbeck, Chicharito, [Jonny] Evans, [Darren] Fletcher, Rafael, [Shinji] Kagawa - I can go on.
“Are they worse than the player who were out there? They’re better than that team there - and that’s the problem.
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“That’s where I see there’s been a shift in the last couple of years - it’s gone backwards and that’s the disappointing thing.”
LvG rejects flourishing elsewhere
United fans would agree wholeheartedly with Ferdinand after last night’s performance.
The previous evening, on Wednesday, they had watched Di Maria produce a magnificent individual display for Paris Saint-Germain against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League.
The Argentina international, who remains the most expensive signing in United’s history, is just one of many talented players Van Gaal has failed to get the best out of since arriving at Old Trafford in the summer of 2014.
Nani, Welbeck, Chicharito, who has scored a career-best 23 goals for Bayer Leverkusen this season, Evans, Rafael and Kagawa are all enjoying decent campaigns - some better than others - and Van Gaal’s decision to offload this group of useful players has left the Red Devils with a threadbare and under-equipped squad.
The likes of Daley Blind and Anthony Martial look in desperate need of a rest after playing so much football over recent months, while it could be argued that United shouldn’t be relying on an inexperienced 18-year-old (Marcus Rashford) for goals.
De Gea is United's only world-class player
How many of the current Manchester United squad would get into the teams of Barcelona, Bayern Munich or Real Madrid?
With the exception of United’s world-class goalkeeper David de Gea, the only visiting player to emerge from last night’s match with any credit, the answer is obviously zero. Although Anthony Martial could be at that level in a few years time.
Van Gaal has made so many suspect decisions in terms of ins and outs that, for this reason alone, he could have few complaints if Manchester United sacked him at the end of the season.
Manchester United fans: which players should Louis van Gaal have kept at Old Trafford? Let us know by leaving a comment below.