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Rio Ferdinand could not believe Erik ten Hag choice vs Arsenal, offers alternative Man United tactic



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Credit: YouTube / Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE

Rio Ferdinand has displayed his dismay at Erik ten Hag’s choice to start Casemiro at centre-back, offering an alternative Manchester United player.

With five of Manchester United‘s six first-team central defenders injured, Casemiro has had to start the last five fixtures as an auxiliary centre-back, and many have lambasted his performances.

Against Crystal Palace, Casemiro was all over the place, and against Arsenal, he was at fault for the Leandro Trossard goal that sunk Erik ten Hag‘s men to yet another defeat.

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With Arsenal winning a high turnover from André Onana’s kick upfield, Casemiro stood a good 15 yards behind the rest of the club’s back line, playing Kai Havertz well onside, with the German then crossing the ball in for Trossard to finish.

Speaking on his Vibe with Five podcast, Rio Ferdinand has expressed his dismay at Ten Hag’s decision to continue playing Casemiro there, labelling it “not fair”

“When is he going to take Casemiro out of the backline,” the former United defender asked. “Why can’t Ambrabat play there or Scott McTominay? Was Scott [McTominay] injured?

“I just don’t think it’s fair. If you see a few mistakes from somebody who is playing there, who has never played there before, and you see those mistakes early, you should go: ‘Do you know what? I’m not going to do this to you.

“’I don’t care how experienced he is, I’m not going to do this to him. Come on. We’ll move you out of there and get you back to the position’ you know.”

It was then proposed that Aaron Wan-Bissaka could potentially fill the hole instead, to which Ferdinand replied: “Yeah, play him there. Then play one of the other guys right-back. Put Amrabat there. You’ve played him left-back, play Amrabat right-back.

“That’s the most natural thing for me. Aaron Wan-Bissaka centre-back and Amrabat at right-back, because he was happy to play him left-back for a few games. I don’t know. We just look like we’re on repeat here. We look like we are an uncoached team.

“In the creative end of the pitch we were also lacking massively. Decision-making and quality just weren’t there.”

Willy Kambwala, 19-year-old centre-back, was on the bench, but when asked about why Casemiro was in the back four ahead of him, Ten Hag said: “I didn’t have options. Kambwala was not fit. Just returning from injury is not fit to start.

“McTominay? I haven’t seen it, but what I heard was not always a success, and I think he’s better in that advanced position, higher up the pitch, and there we had our problems.”