Mourinho has toughest job in EPL: Ferdinand
Manchester, Jan 14 (IANS) Former England defender Rio Ferdinand has asserted that Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has the toughest job among his contemporaries in the English Premier League (EPL) this season.
Speaking on the new managers that have come to the EPL this season including the likes of Pep Guardiola, Juergen Klopp and Antonio Conte, Ferdinand said the Portuguese has not had it easy trying to change the philosophy of the club from previous incumbent Louis Van Gaal’s regime.
“With the team that (Juergen) Klopp is building, the expectations are rising around Liverpool. Expectations are nothing new for Jose Mourinho or United.
“I think Jose has had one of the hardest jobs out of the top teams in terms of personnel, changing the mentality at the football club, going against the philosophy that had been drilled in over the last couple of years, reshuffling things, and it was a huge job for him. It still is,” Ferdinand said in a column on Manchester United’s official website.
Ferdinand lavished praise on Michael Carrick, saying the veteran midfielder is a vital cog for the team.
“What he (Mourinho) needed to do was find a formation and find the personnel to fit it. He’s come across it, and the real crux of that was within the football club when he got there, and that’s Michael Carrick.
“I said it under Louis van Gaal and David Moyes: Michael is so crucial to the football team. It’s obvious how good he is on the ball, but I think more important is how he is defensively. The roving eye just looking for an entertaining football match probably won’t see it, but in terms of defensive positions and shielding the back four, he’s one of the best I’ve played with. I think he’s the best around at the moment,” Ferdinand said.
“When there’s a turnover and Michael receives the ball, he doesn’t play it sideways if he doesn’t have to; he’d rather play a ball through the lines and into the attacking third.
“Our most dangerous players are our attacking players and they need the ball quick and early. Over the last few years, we were playing so slowly that other teams were able to get back into their two blocks of four and wait for us to break them down,” the former Manchester United star added.
“That becomes difficult, no matter who you are, whereas when Carrick plays, he gets the ball, plays it through the lines and then our attacking players are facing the opposition’s back four, which gives us more opportunities to get shots off or create chances, and goals are scored this way.”