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'Phenomenal bench!' - Ferdinand concerned by Mourinho's constant changes

11:58 PM GMT+4 05/12/2018
Jose Mourinho Manchester United Southampton Premier League 01122018
The ex-England international has suggested that constant change is preventing the Reds from building on-field relationships

Rio Ferdinand has bemoaned Jose Mourinho’s decision to make wholesale changes to Manchester United’s line-up against Arsenal on Wednesday night.

The United boss made seven alterations to the side that failed to beat Southampton on Saturday evening, with only David De Gea, Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, and Marcus Rashford being excused from the axe.

Speaking as a pundit on BT Sport’s coverage of the game, former United defender Ferdinand expressed his concerns at Mourinho’s unwillingness to stand by players.

He said: “Some bench there, I have to say. They’ve got a great bench with [Romelu] Lukaku, [Juan] Mata, [Paul] Pogba, [Marouane] Fellaini. I mean, phenomenal.

“Yeah, he’s made changes, and after seeing the performance on the weekend against Southampton I agree with him, they needed to be some changes within that team, and as drastic as they are, it will remain to be seen if that ’s the right decision.

“Listen, something needs to be done. The common thing that we’ve seen with this team under Mourinho is changes every week - changes, changes, changes.

“That doesn’t bode well for me in terms of for the players and for the team because you need to form relationship within a team and you can’t do that when there’s chopping and changing week in and week out.”

United’s 2-2 draw with the Saints left them languishing in eight in the Premier League table, eight points behind the Gunners, who are currently fourth.

A loss on Wednesday would put serious pressure on both United’s Champions League aspirations for next season, and potentially Mourinho’s tenure as a whole.

The Portuguese manager’s hopes will not be helped his visitors current form. Unai Emery has overseen a remarkable run of 19 matches unbeaten since taking over at the Emirates, including most recently a resounding 4-2 win over Tottenham in the North London derby on Sunday afternoon.

The last two meetings between the sides have both ended in Man United victories, however, with Fellaini scoring a 91st minute winner back in April to give Mourinho’s men a 2-1 win over the Londoners on Arsene Wenger’s last visit to Old Trafford.