Former Manchester United defender, Rio Ferdinand, did not disguise his disappointment at the team’s performance in the Europa League, describing it as ‘a failure’.

Speaking on BT Sport after the game ended in a remarkable 11-10 loss in a penalty shootout against Villareal.

Ferdinand joined two other ex-Manchester United players, Owen Hargreaves and Paul Scholes, who have won silverware at the club.

Villarreal CF v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League Final
(Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

After the game, Ferdinand echoed the sullen feeling of many fans of the club and described it a lost opportunity to instill a ‘winning culture’ at the club.

Ferdinand said: “This was an opportunity to form part of a winning culture at the football club and that was the acid test tonight and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his team failed. you have to put it bluntly and that’s a fact.

“They didn’t get the job done, if you get to a cup final you win it and if you don’t, to be brutal about it, it is a failure.”


Progress has still been made

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom in the studio after the game with Rio adding: “If you look at it as the whole of the season, they have improved if you look where they were the last season. The trajectory is going in the right direction slowly but surely.

“Ole’s come in and stabilised the club from where it was before. The club was all over the place whereas now he’s come in and stabilised it but obviously there comes a time when you need to start getting silverware in the cabinet.”

Scholes agreed with this line of thought, adding: “They weren’t very good tonight. But overall there has been progress.”

“Ole is rebuilding, we’re getting better. Finishing second is better than where we’ve been. I think he’s on the right lines.”

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