United deservedly lost 2-0 at St. James’ Park, thanks to goals from Joe Willock and Callum Wilsonwith Erik ten Hag’s side putting up one of their worst performances of the season.
The result means the Magpies have leapfrogged the Red Devils into third place, with United falling out of the top four after Tottenham drew 1-1 at Everton on Monday night.
There was a lot of criticism of the players, with Luke Shaw admits he and his teammates didn’t show enough “passion, desire, hunger and attitude.”.
But Ferdinand is now questioning Ten Hag’s team selection, with Marcel Sabitzer and Scott McTominay starting in midfield with Bruno Fernandes in the number 10 role, although the latter two switch positions during the match.
“I was shocked that Fred wasn’t playing. Fred understands what is needed and what is needed for this game, he has the energy, the legs, the tenacity,” said the legendary United defender on FIVE.
“When you’re in St. James,” you have to have people who understand it’s going to be a physical game, are ready and have that energy.
“You can criticize Fred for anything but energy, sacrifice and self-dedication has never been something you can pass on to him as negative. Those are the things that belong to Fred as part of his game.
“So I was really surprised when he didn’t start the game. But I feel like as a whole team nobody took the bull by the horns. They weren’t ready.’
Ferdinand also criticized the team for their poor performances since winning the Carabao Cup in February, including a 7–0 defeat at Liverpool and a goalless draw against bottom of the table Southampton.
“Looks like they won the Carabao Cup and took down tools. They think they’ve done enough, it feels like that,” he added.
“We looked in a very good position [to finish in the top four]. Now it’s a lottery, because nobody has a real form at the moment.’
United hope to get back to winning ways in their next game on Wednesday night when they host Brentford.
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