Search icon


07th Oct 2018

Rio Ferdinand claims there’s “no way back” for Eric Bailly at Manchester United

Robert Redmond

“He has been made the fall guy here”

Manchester United recorded a dramatic comeback victory on Saturday at Old Trafford, but it wasn’t such a good afternoon for Eric Bailly.

The 3-2 win over Newcastle United could easily have saved Jose Mourinho his job, for now at the very least, and it could well turn out to be the turning point in the club’s troubled season. Or it could just paper over the cracks for another few weeks.

Kenedy and Yoshinori Muto had given Newcastle a two-goal lead in the first half and United looked to be on course for another disappointing result.

Mourinho’s position looked very tenuous at 6.15 pm on Saturday evening.

However, his team rallied in the second half.

Juan Mata, Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez got the goals to help the home side to a memorable victory. Sanchez’s goal was his first of the season and came in the final minute as Mourinho’s side laid siege to the opposition end.

Eric Bailly was, at that stage, long gone from the pitch. The Ivorian defender started the match but was substituted after just 19 minutes for Juan Mata and was effectively made the fall guy for United’s awful start to the game.

Mourinho’s decision to remove a £30 million defender for the inexperienced midfielder Scott McTominay spoke volumes about Bailly’s position within the squad, according to Ferdinand.

The former United and England defender reckons that Bailly’s time at United could be over following the substitution.

“I feel sorry for Scott McTominay. He’s a central-midfielder being forced to play centre-half,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport.

“I don’t see a way back for Bailly now. Dragged off, with the manager stating in the last game, that, ‘I don’t have defenders who can play the ball out from the back’. He has been made the fall guy here.”

Rio also took issue with Mourinho’s post-game comments.

The former Chelsea manager claimed that he has been the victim of a “manhunt” in recent weeks due to Man United’s poor form. He said that some of his players are struggling to cope with the pressure.

“It is the first time I see man-hunting. I can cope with it,” he said.

“I can live with it. Some of the boys, in spite of them not being the man that is hunted, they are not coping well with it. Marcus Rashford was sad on the pitch, Scott McTominay was scared on the pitch. Even older players commit mistakes that are not normal.”

However, Ferdinand rejected Mourinho’s claims.

The BT Sport pundit said that any criticism from the media has been because of United’s disappointing results, rather than any agenda against Mourinho.