Rio Ferdinand: This is why Man United have been winning under Jose Mourinho

by Leo Nieboer


Former Manchester United full-back Rio Ferdinand believes that a balanced midfield trio has underpinned the recent success encountered by Jose Mourinho’s side this season.

Mourinho begun the season evidently unsure of the right midfield combination, deploying Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini at the base of midfield with Wayne Rooney as a N0.10 in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

However, since switching to a 4-3-3 with a midfield trio of Pogba, Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick, Man United have begun to find their flow under the 53-year-old.

Ferdinand, speaking to ManUtd.com, pointed towards the emergence of this midfield trio as the main reason behind United’s solid run of form.

“I don’t think Jose knew his best team for a while but in the last few games you’ve seen him consistently starting the three midfielders of Herrera, Carrick and Pogba and I think you’ve seen a better balance in the midfield, so hopefully we can start motoring on now,” he said. 

“That’s been a problem in the past in terms of working out where the balance is and who the best partnerships and combinations are, and I think he may have found that in those three.

It frees up Paul [Pogba], who’s a bit more of a maverick, and means he can roam a bit more.”

Pogba, Herrera and Carrick have played together on seven occasions now, winning five and drawing two in the process. This was a system that many believed to be the obvious modus operandi from day one, but Mourinho clearly harboured doubts surrounding Carrick’s ability to play on a regular basis.

But as we approach the new year Mourinho will know that, with Pogba’s prowess going forward, Herrera’s tenacity and Carrick’s poise, he has found the ideal midfield combination after a long period of uncertainty.

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