Former Manchester United defender believes senior players need to rally behind new goalkeeper Andre Onana – just like he and his teammates did with David de Gea.
It would be fair to say Andre Onana has had a rocky start to life at Old Trafford. I also feel that from speaking to fans at games, there’s more anxiety surrounding our keeper and he needs to switch that with confidence.
Onana’s high profile errors in the Champions League haven’t helped his case, but Erik ten Hag is standing by his man. He believes the Cameroon international is going through a troublesome introduction just like great keepers before him; including Peter Schmeichel and David de Gea.
Ferdinand has also come out backing Onana and believes that with the right support network, he can turn things around for himself at United.
“Yeah, I think that’s why probably me and David have still got a relationship now because I think those moments there, it’s about the experienced players making the young ones feel confident,”Ferdinand told TNT Sports, as quoted by the Daily star
“When they’re making good plays, it’s just reassuring them. When they’re making a mistake, it’s not berating them. Sometimes there’s going to be times when you have to berate someone like that. But when you know they’re young and they’re fragile, like David was, you have got to box clever around those situations.
He wasn’t one for being talked to for a long period of time, he wanted to feel that his team-mates had the confidence and I think that’s a big thing. If your teammates have got confidence in you, it’s almost like: ‘f*** what anyone else has said because I know the people that really matter and are around me, have confidence in me’.
“I think that’s what the players, the experienced players at Man United now have to rally around.”
Interestingly, a source close to one new signing told us recently that there was surprise at the realisation that the current dressing room doesn’t have many standout leaders. They noted how it was a completely different story at the player’s previous club.
So, that makes me question whether Onana and fellow new signings have the right support network around them in the dressing room… If they don’t, Ten Hag needs to address that, and they need to contribute to creating a more competitive environment in the dressing room.
Ferdinand added: “He [Onana] seems like quite a confident kid to be fair. I’ve spoken to him a couple of times before the Burnley game, especially on the pitch before the game.
“He seemed confident, mistakes are part of it. He understands that, but we have to remember as well, he’s not a goalkeeper that hasn’t had these moments before. He’s made mistakes before and came back and played for Milan in the Champions League final, played for Ajax in the Champion League semi-final.
He’s got the experience of making mistakes, rebuilding and going again. I think he’s made of the right stuff and speaking to the staff there, that’s what they talk about. You can tell he’s got the character to ride something like this.”