Manchester United legend-turned-pundit Rio Ferdinand believes that his former club have been more successful than their league rivals as they do not constantly chop and change goalkeepers.
The Red Devils have had David de Gea feature between the sticks since the start of the season with Jose Mourinho allotting him as the club’s first-choice goalkeeper for the Premier League and Champions League.
In comparison, Arsenal are likely to field David Ospina instead of Petr Cech for their Europa League games this term whilst Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have a similar case with Loris Karius being preferred ahead of Simon Mignolet for their Champions League outing.
Speaking on BT Sport, Ferdinand insists that United hold an advantage in this regard as the uncertainty over the goalkeeping position has proved the Achilles heel for their close competitors.
“You have got to build relationships with the players on the pitch. Two centre-halves and the goalkeeper, that’s a triangle. I had that with Edwin Van Der Sar and [Nemanja] Vidic and it became telepathic. You can’t get that chopping and changing. You need to play games consistently,” he told BT Sport.
“It’s like when you play for England, you play two, three, four games, you don’t feel a part of it. You need ten, fifteen games to feel a part of it. And that’s the way the keepers will be as well.” Gary Lineker had given rivals Arsenal as an example of the situation, to which Ferdinand replied: “They don’t win the league, though, that’s why.”
De Gea has been in fine form for the Red Devils since the start of the campaign having kept four clean sheets across all competitions. However, Mourinho is likely to rest him for the Carabao Cup outing against Burton Albion next week with Sergio Romero set to earn some valuable playing time.
Romero had started 11 of United’s 14 Europa League games last term, but Mourinho appears to have a clear plan of featuring De Gea in goal for the Champions League campaign.