Rio Ferdinand is in hot water after calling Alan Wiley a “sh*t ref”

Rio Ferdinand is in hot water after calling Alan Wiley a sh*t refComment & analysis round-up

Quote of the day: “I am not surprised [at United’s yellow cards], the referee is there for this. If players do not respect him, it should be yellow and red cards. It doesn’t matter who you are – Liverpool or Manchester United, whoever. It was strange that he [Riley] finished the game when he did but we need to accept his decision.” – Felipe Scolari.

Runner-up: “Khaldoon [al-Mubarak, future chairman] and I have agreed that we will not be making any more announcements for a while as we really now need to sit down with the manager, executive chairman [Garry Cook] and key staff and put together plans that will, over time, get the club to where we want it to be. As part of that, we will absolutely spend time listening to the fans about what you think about the future of the club. We are very aware that without the fans there would not be a club to buy and your voice will be heard by the organisation at the highest level.” – Sheikh Mansour.

Today’s overview: Analysis of yesterday’s Chelsea-Manchester United game dominates the backpages.

Reporting on the final moments of the match, David Hytner claims that Rio Ferdinand may be hauled up in front of the FA on disciplinary charges for abusing the ref in the tunnel. Sean Ingle adds more details to Ferdinand’s outburst in his summary of the game – “He [Wiley] even blew for time early, to general confusion, having initially appeared to have given a foul against Rio Ferdinand, prompting the United defender to call him a ‘shit ref’ as he walked off.”

Taking a wider perspective on the match, United let a crucial psychological blow slip through there fingers yesterday at Stamford Bridge, according to Daniel Taylor. Alan Hansen questions Manchester United’s ability to accommodate four top forwards, while David Pleat focused on the performance of John Obi Mikel and fence-sitter Henry Winter argued both sides could take positives from the game.

Martin Samuel goes on the offensive against Newcastle, claiming that they are relegation-fodder. Mike Anstead also finds himself Toon-bashing, highlighting the 10 biggest problems facing the club at present. Finally, the Daily Mirror report that Newcastle are preparing to ship out up to 11 players in the January sales.

In other news, the Daily Mail quote Glenn Hoddle on why Spurs are performing so badly, Rob Hughes gives his verdict on Bayern’s humiliating 5-2 defeat at home to Werder Bremen, and Jeff Carlisle looks at how Darren Huckerby is flying in the MLS.

And another article worth a read is Gabriele Marcotti in The Game, who looks at the Jose Mourinho show at Inter Milan. “When José Mourinho was named coach of Inter Milan I received a text from one of his new players. ‘Boy, this is going to be fun!’ he wrote. ‘I can’t wait to see who he picks a fight with first… You guys will have plenty to write about.”

Rio Ferdinand is in hot water after calling Alan Wiley a sh*t refReporting on the final moments of the Chelsea-Manchester United match, David Hytner (Guardian) claims that Rio Ferdinand may be hauled up in front of the FA on disciplinary charges. “United’s team bus was attacked with a missile – a window was cracked and the perpetrator arrested – after a match which finished with Rio Ferdinand storming down the tunnel, shouting obscenities, seemingly about the referee, Mike Riley. The United defender could be in trouble if the fourth official, Rob Styles, who was on hand, reports him for his comments. The final action of the game had seen Ferdinand, one of three United players booked for dissent – the others were Patrice Evra and the substitute Cristiano Ronaldo – go into an aerial challenge with Didier Drogba, the Chelsea substitute. Drogba crashed to the ground and when Riley opted simply to blow his whistle for full-time, Ferdinand stormed straight off. With Gary Neville, the United captain, engaged in heated debate with Riley, Sir Alex Ferguson strode on to the field to ensure that order was restored.”

The Guardian’s Sean Ingle adds more details to Ferdinand’s outburst in his summary of the game. “A point apiece was a fair result from a game which, while intriguing, never had much flow because of the officiousness of Mike Riley. He blew constantly, like a 1950s child playing at being a traffic policemen after finding a whistle in his Christmas stocking. It wasn’t a dirty game, yet Riley flashed eight yellows – seven at United players, just the one at Chelsea blue – missed a blatant Ronaldo dive, and generally got more things wrong than right. He even blew for time early, to general confusion, having initially appeared to have given a foul against Rio Ferdinand, prompting the United defender to call him a ‘shit ref’ as he walked off.”

Manchester United let a crucial psychological blow slip through there fingers yesterday at Stamford Bridge, according the Daniel Taylor (Guardian). “Had United demonstrated that Stamford Bridge was not, in fact, impregnable the impact would have been twofold: first, it could have been the spur to kick-start United’s season and answer some of the criticisms that have been attached to their performances over the last few weeks; second, it would have blown a gaping hole in Chelsea’s own confidence. Instead, Salomon Kalou’s header changes the entire dynamic. Once again, United’s supporters are left to wonder why their team has lost the winning habit – and how long it will be before it comes back.”

Alan Hansen (Telegraph) questions Manchester United’s ability to accommodate four top forwards. “Sir Alex Ferguson’s biggest problem appears to be in the area where he commands his greatest strength in depth – in attack. A combination of Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov, Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo gives you incredible firepower. But the United manager’s biggest question is, how can he accommodate all of them? As they proved 10 years ago, you can succeed with a roster of four top strikers. United won the Treble with Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and they succeeded because Ferguson found he could play them in any combination. Ten years on, he might not be so sure.”

David Pleat (Guardian) focused in on the role of John Obi Mikel for Chelsea in yesterday’s match. “It was Luiz Felipe Scolari’s redeployment of Mikel John Obi that swung dominance Chelsea’s way at Stamford Bridge after Manchester United had held the ascendancy in the early stages and taken the lead. The Chelsea manager asked Mikel to make a positive change of positioning after about half an hour, pushing him further forward to support Frank Lampard and Michael Ballack rather than protecting the back four. Chelsea wrested midfield control by overloading in that area and monopolising the ball and it gave Lampard and Ballack a chance to make their runs further forward.”

Henry Winter delivered his match report in the Telegraph, noting both sides could take positives from the game. “Apart from the point and the gutsy display, Ferguson can take other positives from the Bridge, notably an assured performance by Jonny Evans alongside Rio Ferdinand, a buccaneering contribution from Patrice Evra and sweat-soaked shifts from Owen Hargreaves and Darren Fletcher. For Chelsea, a confident start to the season cannot mask the reality that Didier Drogba must return to the starting fold. Nicolas Anelka again failed to impose himself, and missed a chance presented by Joe Cole that could not have been more gift-wrapped had it come with ribbons and a card that began ‘Cher Nicolas’.”

Adopting classic English stereotypes, John Cross (Mirror) claimed English grit helped earn Chelsea a point. “It was hardly a classic Chelsea performance and lacked the sort of style and swagger which Scolari has injected into the squad since taking charge in the summer. But Scolari will have gone home knowing that Chelsea have the kind of never-say-die spirit which turns teams from contenders into champions. Blues simply refused to surrender their unbeaten Premier League record and dug in to snatch a point that was beginning to look beyond them.”

Rio Ferdinand is in hot water after calling Alan Wiley a sh*t refThe Times’ Martin Samuel goes on the offensive against Newcastle, claiming that they are relegation-fodder. “From the pitch to the board-room, Newcastle have become a big no-show. The directors are too frightened to turn up and the players are hiding behind excuses, while the management thinks that each day could be its last. It is not a recipe for disaster because, in terms of the direction the club are taking, that has happened. It is a recipe for relegation… Who was in charge as the club slipped into the relegation zone on Saturday, with no prospect of a steadying hand on the tiller? Chris Hughton is the caretaker manager, but no one is taking care of this club. There is a void filled only with angry voices and the occasional bleating of the owner and now the players have gone into hiding, too.”

The Sun’s Mike Anstead also finds himself Toon-bashing, highlighting the 10 biggest problems facing the club at present. “No7: Avoiding a relegation scrap Saturday’s dismal defeat at West Ham dunked Newcastle into the Premier League drop zone. Yes, it is still early days in the season but they must drastically improve their form — something that is difficult to imagine right now — to avoid being pulled into a relegation fight come Christmas.”

According to the Daily Mirror, Newcastle are preparing to ship out up to 11 players in the January sales. “Steven Taylor is ready to join a mass exodus at Newcastle – even though he recently signed a new contract at St James’ Park. The England Under-21 star is one of 11 players ready to quit the Magpies in January following the departure of Kevin Keegan. Others include Michael Owen, Oba Martins, Nicky Butt, Damien Duff, Shay Given, Joey Barton, Alan Smith and Shola Ameobi.”

Rio Ferdinand is in hot water after calling Alan Wiley a sh*t refThe Daily Mail quote Glenn Hoddle, who gives his verdict on Spurs’ poor form. Hoddle: “It’s easy to plead for patience but that is what is needed at Tottenham right now. They have rebuilt and rebuilt over the last five or six years. There has been a lot of money spent but just throwing money at it isn’t the answer because the existing top four are not exactly short of cash… Ramos has signed some good players but they have yet to prove that they have what it takes to perform in the Premier League instantly and that is what is required from players these days. How much would he give to still have Jermain Defoe at the club? People talk about losing Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane but for me they had a prolific goalscorer – one who will end up at the top of the scoring charts this season – in the squad in him.”

Moving onto European football, Rob Hughes (IHT) reports on Bayern’s humiliating 5-2 defeat at home to Werder Bremen. “Viewed on video, the goals were largely aided and abetted by home-team defending that would not pass for amateur soccer… Poor Michael Rensing. Somebody had to follow Oliver Kahn’s domineering decade-and-a-half as Bayern’s goalkeeper, and whereas we can only imagine the rage with which Kahn would have stood up against such a good hiding, Rensing was to blame on at least three of the goals. The result will send tremors around the Bundesliga, and further afield. Bayern’s name is meant to carry a certain cachet; its history as Germany’s most mighty force used to be worth almost a goal start.”

ESPN’s Jeff Carisle looks at how Darren Huckerby is flying in the MLS. “In the eight games Huckerby has played on the left side of midfield, the Quakes have scored 13 goals, after netting just 11 times in their first 16 matches. And in the process, he has bucked all of the stereotypes that follow older, foreign players, namely that they only come to MLS to go through the motions and collect one last paycheck. Not only has Huckerby tallied four goals and four assists during his short time in the South Bay; his marauding runs down the left wing have also done plenty to unbalance defenses… Huckerby’s midseason rescue of the Quakes makes him this year’s Cuauhtemoc Blanco, minus the hair-trigger temper.”

And another article worth a read is Gabriele Marcotti in The Game, who looks at the Jose Mourinho show at Inter Milan. “When José Mourinho was named coach of Inter Milan I received a text from one of his new players. ‘Boy, this is going to be fun!’ he wrote. ‘I can’t wait to see who he picks a fight with first… You guys will have plenty to write about.”