15 Jan 2014

Molby: £30m Man Utd star is in decline & should quit before he 'ruins legacy'. Agree...?

Liverpool legend Jan Molby has delivered a withering assessment of Rio Ferdinand's effectiveness for Manchester United, and he's urged the former England star to think about retiring from football.

In a recent column for Eurosport, Molby claimed that the current demands of top-level football are 'too much' for Ferdinand, and urged him to 'face the fact' that it's time to call it a day. He explained:

"The demands at this level of the game are too much for [Ferdinand].

"Not only has he seen better days, but the longer he sticks around, the more he risks ruining his legacy.

"Perhaps he should just call it a day".

Reds legend Alan Hansen agrees with Molby on Ferdinand's receding effectiveness, but he called it two years ago, when he told The Telegraph:

"His [Ferdinand's] loss of pace means he is no longer a great player, he is still a very good one. The injuries that have stalked him in recent seasons have led to the situation where he now finds himself in real trouble if he progresses beyond the 18-yard line".

Hansen also paid Ferdinand the ultimate compliment:

"In my opinion, Ferdinand has been the best defender in the history of the Premier League, and, when he was at his best, was undoubtedly one of the best defenders in the world"

To be honest, I've never heard Hansen rave about a Liverpool defender in this manner, and in the Premier League era, there's at least one LFC defender who deserved such praise, and is - IMO - superior to Ferdinand, and that is Sami Hyypia.

Sami is the greatest defender I've seen in my lifetime, and he's criminally underrated for some reason. The Finn gave ten years of superb service to Liverpool, and was probably the club's most consistent player during that time.

Unlike Ferdinand, Hyypia - who left Liverpool at the age of 36 - never showed signs of decline at Anfield; he was playing at the top of his game right till the end, whereas Ferdinand is struggling, and has been for the last couple of seasons.

Liverpool's 4-1 thrashing of United at Anfield in 2009 typified Hyypia's enduring quality. He was originally due to be on the bench, but a warm-up injury to Alvaro Arbeloa meant he came into the starting line up, and at the age of 36, he put in an absolutely outstanding performance, keeping Rooney, Ronaldo and Tevez in his pocket for the entire game.

Overall, Daniel Agger aside, the Reds have been lucky with central defender fitness.

* Sami Hyppia player imperiously for Liverpool until the age of 36, and never seemed to get injured. Indeed, one of his finest performances for the Reds came in the 4-1 annihilation of Man United in his final year at the club, a game in which the big Finn had Rooney, Ronaldo, and Tevez in his pocket for the entire game. Conversely, Ferdinand and Vidic were torn apart.

* Carra put in outstanding service until the age of 35, and like Hyypia, he also managed to stay fit for most of his LFC career.

* Martin Skrtel is another robust defender who rarely gets injured, and although he's not at the level of Carra and Hyypia, he's still proven to be a fine defender over the years.

Ferdinand has made only 3 appearances since November for United, and he's been an unused sub in three of the last five games. Given the similarly advancing years and decreasing effectiveness of Nemanja Vidic, David Moyes will have to buy at least one top-class central defender in the summer, which means the writing is very much on the wall.


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  1. It depends on what you mean as a good defender? Do you mean brilliant technically or brilliant stop players getting past them? Let me clarify what I mean before I have people asking. A technically good player is good at reading the game, doesn't need to rely on tackling to defend (Paulo Maldini averaged 1 tackle every 2 games) and just generally comfortable on the ball. The other type of defender is the physical defender. The ones who you feel awkward watching them on the ball, huth the ball up whenever they can and use brute force to get the ball back and IMO are not as good players as the other type of defenders but could actually be a very good defender as they are more likely to put there body on the line. Look at Jamie Carragher. Let's be honest he was never any good on the ball and looked awkward when he was on the ball but he always put his body between him and the goal which inevitably led to all those own goals then you get the likes of Hyypia and Ferdinand who were calmer on the ball and generally read the game better.
    Jaap Stam was another defender as he got older he tackled less and less and that's why when Alex Ferguson started using statistics on players he thought that was a bad thing and sold him. Later admitting he had made a mistake. (I read that in Soccernomics before any of the inevitable United fans jumps on me for this)

  2. Ferdinand and Vidic are finished........................that is why the mancs need 2 CB's and 2 CM's minimum!!!!!...................which they won't get anytime soon.

  3. I vote hypia hehehee but aside from list i will go for maldini or hierro

  4. The big Finn is a legend, fantastic partnership with Henchoz, would love him back at anfield training our current defenders! hope he keeps showing promise as a manager & returns to anfield in some capacity in the future.

  5. I've voted Stam. Power, strength and vision of Hyypia but considerably faster too. By the way I'm missing Ricardo Carvalho.

  6. I agree with both points.

  7. I'd say, good as Hyypia was, Ferdinand was better at his best. The short-lived Vidic/Ferdinand axis (only really had one full season together and then they were always rotated, due to injuries) is the best of the Premier League era. The only one I can see challenging it is Terry/Carvalho but I think they benefited from an altogether more defensive team around them.
    Ferdinand was better on the ball than Hyypia and quicker. I'd have to put Vidic and Terry at their respective bests ahead of Hyypia too. The only problem with these 3 is that their primes were relatively short due to various injury issues. Still good defenders after the injuries but each had a claim of being the best in the world when they were fit.

  8. Right back atcha.