Rio Ferdinand Should Be Pointing The Finger At Himself
If Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand wanted to prove to Sir Alex Ferguson he's a past-it old man who needs replacing, he certainly achieved that after the acrimonious 6-1 thrashing at the mercy of Manchester City.
Thirty-two-year-old Ferdinand had an awful game and was directly responsible for three of the six goals City scored.
Here are five ideal replacements for Rio Ferdinand at Manchester United.
Possibly the best young defender in La Liga at the moment, Real Socieded star Iñigo Martínez could be the man for Manchester United.
He is another young defender, aged just 20, but the centre-back has been Sociedad's best player this season and has also become a strong player for Spain's U21s, where he has struck up a good understanding with David De Gea.
He's also performed much better than Ferdinand statistically, winning exactly double the number of tackles per game, blocking more shots per game, making almost double the amount of key interceptions per game and having a better aerial duel success rate.
On top of that, he also fits into the United mantra of building up play from the back, making more passes than any of his teammates, with a success rate of 77 percent, and hits double the amount of long balls per game than Ferdinand.
If there's any player who can fill the shoes of Rio Ferdinand at Old Trafford, it's Iñigo Martínez.
Out of any defender in the transfer market, Borussia Dortmund star Mats Hummels is possibly the player most ready and immediately good enough to replace Rio Ferdinand at Manchester United.
He may only be 22, but he's already a seasoned professional and was vital for Dortmund as they won the Bundesliga last season.
And this term he's continued his rich vein of form, again proving his worth as he makes 3.4 tackles per game, which is more than triple that of Ferdinand. He also blocks more shots and has a significantly higher aerial duel success rate.
Germany international Hummels is also another player able to start attacks from the back, having also made more passes than any of his teammates and hit twice as many accurate long balls per game than Ferdinand.
Also, Hummels has made eight key passes in the league this season, meaning not only can he defend exceptionally well, but he can also create goalscoring chances for his teammates—something Ferdinand can't do.
If Manchester United can't nick Mats Hummels from Borussia Dortmund, they can always try to get his centre-back partner Neven Subotic.
The Serbia international, also 22, has struck up a good understanding with Nemanja Vidic for his country and could continue that partnership at Old Trafford.
Subotic was reportedly the subject of a £17.5 million bid from Chelsea in the last January transfer window. He was also crucial to Dortmund winning the Bundesliga and, like Hummels, has again been paramount to the team this season.
He's made 1.7 tackles per game this season, which is half that of Hummels but almost double the amount of tackles made by Ferdinand.
He's also blocked more shots than United's ageing defender, has a much better aerial duel success rate and has made the same number of key interceptions.
Subotic also makes a staggering 10.4 accurate long balls per game, meaning he's possibly the best centre-back in Europe—and maybe even the world—for starting quick counter-attacks, something Manchester United are famous for.
Possibly the best place in the world to pick centre-backs, Serie A with its many schools of catenaccio has tons of world-class central defenders.
Experienced Juventus star Giorgio Chiellini is no different.
The defender, 27, has been a rock for Juve this season as they've climbed into third in the Serie A table, having conceded the third-lowest amount of goals in Italy's top-flight this term.
He's made 3.7 key interceptions per game and won 1.9 tackles per match—both of which is double the amount made by Rio Ferdinand.
He's also possibly the best player for starting passing play from the back, having made a staggering 73.4 passes per game, with an even more incredible 88-percent pass success rate, which far exceeds that of Ferdinand.
Chiellini may have no significant re-sale value, but as a quick solution to Manchester United's defensive problems, he's ideal.
A tried-and-tested, Premier League-proven defender who needs no adapting at all if he were to join Manchester United, Gary Cahill could be ideal.
The 25-year-old Bolton Wanderers centre-back, the subject of failed bids from Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in the summer transfer window, has been one of the best defenders in the Premier League for quite a few seasons now.
But this season, continuing to be vital to the Bolton cause, Cahill looks as if he could do with a change of scenery, and perhaps at long last could do with securing that one big transfer in his career.
And that's where United come in.
After all, Cahill outperforms Rio Ferdinand in terms of key interceptions made, accurate clearances made, shots blocked, offsides won and aerial challenges won.
He's already taken Ferdinand's place in the England team.
With Rio Ferdinand failing to get back to the heights of previous seasons, could Gary Cahill replace him at Manchester United as well?