Rio Ferdinand has described the ‘night and day’ difference between Manchester United that has emerged in the space of a year.
The Red Devils suffered a humiliating 2-0 home defeat against Burnley on Jan 22 2020, a loss which marked the Clarets’ first win at Old Trafford since 1962.
Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer's side were left 30 points off the pace following this shock result, with rivals Liverpool cruising to the Premier League title.
A furious Ferdinand tore into United’s transfer policy and questioned the club’s direction.
“There’s nothing there that suggests to me that they are laying down the foundations for the future,” the 42-year-old told BT Sport.
“I’m sitting up here and I’m embarrassed. It’s embarrassing to be here. I don’t see what’s coming next, I don’t see a pathway or a target being set, saying ‘We’re going to get to that and this is how we’re going to get there’.
“I just don’t see it, from the recruitment. Put today’s result to one side and if you’re talking about the recruitment and the building of the squad to go on and challenge at some point, money has been spent willy-nilly in the last seven years- what’s to show for it? I can’t see what’s there. You can’t defend this.”
Fast forward to the present day, however, and Ferdinand’s assessment was quite the contrast.
Solskjaer’s side returned to the top of the Premier League table courtesy of a 2-1 triumph against Fulham - six points better of than this time last year having played five games fewer.
Speaking on BT Sport immediately after last night’s full-time whistle, Ferdinand said: “A massive contrast [to this time last season]. It’s like night and day.
"The confidence around the place now… You can imagine people walking around Carrington with a bounce in their step. It’s a totally different mindset. You can tell with the character and mindset.
“You can see Ole now has his pieces in place and you can see that when he changes a player, or two or three players, there doesn’t seem to be a drop in the quality on the pitch because there’s a consistency now.
“Yes, they’ve been asking the questions: is Ole the man? Are these players individually good enough? Are they good enough collectively?
“Right now, the points on the board tell you that they’re dancing to the right tune.”