Rio Ferdinand admits Manchester United would be taking a gamble if they replace Louis van Gaal with Ryan Giggs as manager.
Louis van Gaal’s position as United boss has come under scrutiny in recent weeks after his team slipped down the Premier League table after exiting the Champions League.
Jose Mourinho has been tipped to succeed Van Gaal if he is sacked and Giggs, who is the Dutchman’s assistant, has also been mentioned as a possible successor.
Ferdinand, who played alongside Giggs for 12 years, acknowledges the Welshman would stick to the club’s long-founded traditions of playing attractive football and bringing through youth players.
But he also concedes it would be a gamble appointing someone with no long-term managerial experience.
“Jose Mourinho’s name is getting mentioned. If you want someone whose got a career track record in winning in the Premier League and various other countries, then he’s that guy,” Ferdinand told NDTV.
“But if you want someone who understands the philosophy, whose respectful of the philosophy, who identifies with the fans, knows the place inside out, who’s going to be a bigger risk, then Ryan Giggs is that guy.”
Ferdinand won the Premier League six times during a successful 12-year spell under Sir Alex Ferguson.
The defender played alongside some of the most revered names in the club’s history like Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Scholes, David Beckham and Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Together they played some of the most exhilarating football in decades, but now United are playing for more conservative football and Ferdinand does not like it.
“From when I left, I knew it would be difficult. But I expected more,” said Ferdinand, who made 455 appearances for the club.
“I expected us to make a bigger change under the new manager but it just hasn’t gone as well as we would have liked.
“I think the biggest problem today is the style of football. If you speak to anybody, that’s the biggest problem for people.
“They can understand not winning sometimes, but if you play the right way, the philosophy that everyone has come to expect from Manchester United, then people will be more accommodated. But that has not been the case.”
Van Gaal has hit out at the media on several occasions after reports emerged of United making contact with Mourinho.
But Ferdinand insists the former Ajax, Bayern Munich and Barcelona coach should be used to such criticism after 25 years in management.
“If you are the current manager of Manchester United, or any football club and your name is being touted about getting the sack and about people getting put in, it’s definitely not nice to hear,” he said.
“But that’s the industry we are in and that happens. You can’t say I don’t like it, you’re here, this is what you have been doing for years and that’s the way it is so you have got to accept it.”
Frank Lampard, meanwhile, has predicted Mourinho would be a success at Old Trafford.
Lampard, who twice worked under Mourinho at Chelsea, told This Morning: “I don’t know (where he is going next). I haven’t spoken to him much. I spoke to him briefly when he left Chelsea.
“There’s a bit of a merry-go-round of managers at the minute and I think he’ll probably sit tight for a while and then will end up at a big club somewhere, because he’s a great manager.”
Asked whether that big club might be United, Lampard added: “I think it’s a possibility.
“If Louis van Gaal goes on, which I think he’s said he’s going to leave at the end of the season at the latest, I think Mourinho’s the type of manager that will certainly come into their thinking.
“He could certainly handle a club like that, that’s what he’s about.”