Rio Ferdinand ‘excited’ by Man Utd but refuses to give title verdict out of ‘meme’ fear

Man Utd: Solskjaer admits Fernandes may need rest

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has admitted he is “excited” by the club’s form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but he does not want to get too carried away and “become a meme again”. United currently sit second in the Premier League table with the same amount of points as defending champions Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have played a game more than United and the two sides will face each other in a bumper clash next Sunday at Anfield.

Despite the Red Devils’ good form so far this season, Ferdinand has refused to get carried away like he did after United’s dramatic comeback win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League in March 2019.

After losing the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie 2-0 at Old Trafford, United won the second leg 3-1 thanks to an injury time penalty from Marcus Rashford and went through on away goals.

At the time, Solskjaer was still the club’s caretaker manager and Ferdinand urged the board to give the Norwegian the job on a permanent basis.

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Speaking on BT Sport, Ferdinand said: “Man United might not thank me, but get the contract out, put it on the table, let him sign it, let him write whatever numbers he wants to put on there — given what he’s done since he’s come in — and let him sign the contract and go.

“Ole’s at the wheel, man — he’s doing his thing. Man United are back!”

Ferdinand’s comments have since become a meme and he is wary of saying something similar about United’s title bid this season.

Speaking after their 1-0 win over Watford in the FA Cup third round, Ferdinand told BT Sport: “I don’t want to jump the gun like I’ve done before! “I don’t want to become a meme again!

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“As a football fan, it’s part of it to become emotional, to become hyped up and to get excited about things.

“United sitting pretty at the top of the league after the game at Burnley, I’d be excited, 100 per cent.

“It’s a massive game after that against Liverpool to really put a marker down and say, ‘We’re here to stay.'”

Ferdinand went on to claim that United could build their team around Scott McTominay after the midfielder scored the only goal of the game against Watford, adding: “You can see in the way he conducts himself but more importantly the way he plays out on the pitch he’s wholehearted. He covers the ground well, he takes responsibility in situations and you need all that as a captain.

“You need to be somebody who people can look at and he seems to have those sort of traits. He has the credentials to be a mainstay in this team and be an important member of this team for years and years to come because of the way he applies himself.

“It’s not just about footballing ability sometimes, there’s more to it than that, your mental capacity to take things on board but also the ability to accept responsibility and be the man that people look to for inspiration.

“He’s almost certainly now become one of the main players in that midfield area and he’s someone I think Ole could build around.

“He’s not the one who you’d say is the most imaginative or the person you’d say has got the most skills, but there’s other things that he brings to the game that other players don’t bring, that intensity, that work rate, the effort, and importantly the responsibility he takes on.”

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