Rio Ferdinand says Jose Mourinho has overcome a huge ‘obstacle’ in changing the mentality at Manchester United.
The Portuguese’s side have made a winning start to the new Premier League campaign, impressively beating Bournemouth and Southampton.
They have added stars such as Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as well as bolstering the defence with impressive young recruit Eric Bailly.
Despite ending the season with an FA Cup, the atmosphere within the club appeared to turn toxic as Louis van Gaal’s reign was evidently coming to an end.
“The biggest change for them, other than the players they have bought, is the mentality shift,” the former Red Devils defender told Mark Saggers and Danny Murphy on Kick Off (listen to the full podcast here).
“Under Van Gaal for the last two years there’s been a negative vibe around, not only the football team, but the place.
“I think that’s changed with Mourinho and one of his biggest obstacles would have been to change the mentality of the players, from playing sideways and trying to nick games here and there to being a team that dominates physically, tactically and all over the park.
“It’s a huge shift for them this season.”
In recent years under David Moyes and Van Gaal, Old Trafford has become a shadow of its former self, less feared by opposition teams.
Former England defender Ferdinand, who won six Premier League titles under Sir Alex Ferguson with Man United, says the new signings have the aura to bring the ‘fear factor’ back to the club.
He continued: “What it looks like is teams are in the tunnel looking across and saying ‘oh that’s Zlatan [Ibrahimovic], oh that’s [Paul] Pogba’ and that is what it used to be like.
“You used to win the games in the tunnel sometimes.
“They still have to prove that, they get it initially but they have to go out and prove it and, including the Community Shield [win over Leicester] they have done that.
“That fear factor will start to grow the longer they go on and win.”
Rio Ferdinand joined Mark Saggers and Danny Murphy on Kick Off, listen to the full interview above